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Biographical Sketches of Village Trustees & City Commissioners
K thru O

 

K  L  M  N  O

K

Name
KAIN, GARY W.

Service
Commissioner 1978-1990
Mayor Pro Tem 1985
Mayor 1980-1981, 1986

Biography
No biographical information available

 

Name

KANE, ARTHUR J.

 

Service

Commissioner 1933-1940

 

Profession

Salesman for Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Co.

Biography
No biographical information available

 

Name
KELLY, ROBERT T.

Service
Commissioner 1971-1980
Mayor Pro Tem 1973, 1979
Mayor 1974-1975, 1979-1980

Biography
No biographical information available

L

Name
LADD, DAVID

Service
Commissioner 1926

Biography
No biographical information available

 

Name
LANGLEY, THOMAS

Born
1831

Died
October 4, 1907

Service
Trustee 1891-1893

Biography
No biographical information available

 

Name
LANZETTA, DANTE J., JR.

Born
August 22, 1941 Philadelphia, PA

Service
Commissioner 1985-2003
Mayor Pro Tem 1986-1987, 1993-1994
Mayor 1987, 2001

Profession
Public Relations, Public Affairs and Opinion Research at General Motors

Biography
A thirty year resident of Birmingham, he graduated from Brown University with an A. B. and received an M. A. from the University of Chicago.

 

Name
LEE, GEORGE L.

Born
1829

Died
September 3, 1904

Service
Trustee 1864

Profession
Merchant
Post Master

Biography
He was the son-in-law of Elijah Willits, who was the first landowner in Birmingham. March 1, 1864 elected to the Board of Trustees at the first Village election. Served as postmaster and moved his office to his store in the corner of the National Hotel.

 

Name
LEET, JULIEN S.

Service
Trustee 1884-1885

Biography
Mr. Leet was an expert in designing and installing gas lighting plants. He installed a number for Birmingham residents and churches. His business even took him to Ohio.

Name
LEONARD, MASON A.

Born
February 29, 1856, Troy Township, MI

Died
January 25, 1905 Detroit, MI

Service
Trustee
Village President 1900-1901

Profession
Held many public offices

Biography
Mr. Leonard held positions on the school board, Troy Township Treasurer and Supervisor for several years. He was a member of the Birmingham Lodge #44, F & A. M. He was a well-respected and popular citizen of Birmingham.

 

Name
LEWIS, CHARLES E.

Service
Commissioner 1930-1932

Biography
No biographical information available

 

Name
LEWIS, HOPE FERGUSON (HALGREN)

Born
April 18, 1897

Died
April 25, 1992

Service
Trustee 1927-1930

Profession
Owner of Dy-dee Wash Inc.

Biography
Graduated valedictorian of her class at Hill School and earned a teaching degree from the University of Michigan. Lewis was the first woman elected to the Village Commission. She served as Director of the Community House, helped to organize the Birmingham Area Seniors Coordinating Council (BASCC) and was active in the Woman’s Suffrage Movement.

 

Name
LOWMAN, MAURICE

Born
1885

Died
April 20, 1967

Service
Commissioner 1922-1924

Profession
Residential and Commercial Contractor

Biography
Mr. Lowman came to Birmingham in 1916 to build the Presbyterian Church that was on Woodward and stayed. He was the first Village of Birmingham Manager from 1919-1921. He was a charter member of the Birmingham Gun Club and life member of Chapter 93, R. A. M., an experienced carver and poet.

 

Name
LUSCOMBE, THOMAS L.

Born
June 29, 1873 Ontario, Canada

Died
June 11, 1956

Service
Trustee
Village President 1919-1920

Profession
Owner and operator of Luscombe Shoe Store in Detroit
Later was a realtor

Biography
Mr. Luscombe and family moved to Birmingham in 1914. He was elected to the Board of Education in 1918. He was a member of the First Church of Christ Scientist.

M

Name
MABEE, ISAAC

Service
Trustee 1885-1886

Biography
No biographical information available

 

Name
MAIN, RALPH A.

Born
1905 Ellwood City, PA

Died
January 31, 1969, Royal Oak, MI

Service
Commissioner 1945-1954
Mayor 1947-1948, 1953-1954

Profession
Engineer

Biography
Named Engineer of the Year by the Oakland Chapter of the Michigan Society of Professional Engineers in 1968.  Mr. Main also served on the Oakland County Board of Supervisors, four years, Drain Commissioner, six years and on the Planning Commission nineteen years. In 1937, he became head of the City of Birmingham Engineering Department. In 1944, he entered private practice.

 

Name
MALLENDER, FRED

Born
October 19, 1868 Waleswood, Yorkshire, England

Died
November 14, 1953, Birmingham, MI

Service
Trustee 1914

Profession
Farmer
Real Estate Broker

Biography
His early life he spent as a farmer and real estate broker. Later in life, he kept a keen interest in real estate as long as his health permitted and earned his reputation as one of the City's most avid gardeners.

 

Name
MALLENDER, MILTON F.

Service
Commissioner 1943-1952
Mayor 1946-1947, 1948-1949

Biography
No biographical information available

 

Name
MANSER, WILLIAM

Born
1853

Died
April 1, 1923

Service
Trustee
Village President 1876-1877

Profession
Shoemaker

Biography
He was the Methodist choir leader for many years, and one of the most faithful of the church. He liked to sing and had a deep bass voice. He was small in stature but enjoyed boxing and once tangled with George Mitchell. His shop was on West Maple that had once been Alonzo Snow’s (John West Hunter’s son-in-law) factory and later the blacksmith shop of Horace Barnum.

 

Name
MARTIN, REX A.

Service
Commissioner 1988-1995
Mayor Pro Tem 1990
Mayor 1991

Biography
No biographical information available

 

Name
MARTIN, WILLIAM L. II

Service
Commissioner 1946-1949

Biography
No biographical information available

 

Name
MARTZ, JOHN E.

Born
1888, Youngstown, OH

Died
June 2, 1976

Service
Commissioner 1935-1947
Mayor 1936-1944

Profession
Attorney, practicing until his death

Biography
Martz was educated in Ohio and received his BA in 1910 from Ohio Wesleyan University and graduated from the Detroit College of Law in 1913. Mr. Martz was mayor for eight years, longer than any other person was. During his twelve years on the commission, he participated in the introduction of many City facilities and services. He was also a member of the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce. He was treasurer of the Birmingham Board of Education from 1931-1933.

 

Name
McBRIDE, J. HARRY

Born
January 24, 1881, Beaver Dam, Ohio

Died
ca. August 27, 1968, Birmingham, MI

Service
Trustee
Village President 1922-1923

Profession
Teacher, Owner of Hardware House of McBride

Biography
Attended Ohio Northern University at Ada.  Taught in Beaver Dam Public Schools and then worked as a hardware store clerk before moving to Birmingham.   In 1910, opened the Hardware House of McBride on North Old Woodward.  Exchange Club charter member in 1924.

 

Name
McDANIEL, TOM

Born
April 16, 1939 Detroit, MI

Service
Commissioner 2003-present

Profession
General Motors, finance and general management

Biography
Attended Birmingham schools and graduated in 1957. McDaniel led Historical Society efforts to establish the Birmingham Historical Museum including development of idea and fund raising. Served on the Historic District and Design Review Commission 1995-2002, two years as Chairman and the Historical Board 1999-2003, 2002-2003 as Chair. He is married with five children, and lives in the historically designated 1898 Erwin Farm House.

 

Name
McKEON, DIANNE M.

Born
April 17, 1941

Service
Commissioner1999-present
Mayor Pro Tem 2000-2001
Mayor 2001-2002

Profession
Administrative Assistant
Insurance Underwriter

Biography
Member and past president of the Village Players of Birmingham. Served on the Board of Directors of Insurance Women of Metro Detroit. Advisory Parking Committee of the City of Birmingham for seven years, chaired for four years. Board Member of the Principal Shopping District. Member of two City of Birmingham task forces: CSO Project and Birmingham 2016 Plan. Santa House volunteer and Community House volunteer, 1998 Fund Raising Committee.

 

Name
McNAMEE, RUTH B.

Service
Commissioner 1965-1974
Mayor Pro Tem 1969-1970
Mayor 1970-1971

Profession
Wife
Mother
Professional volunteer
Politician

Biography
As a Professional volunteer who enjoyed helping people, she was appointed to the Birmingham Planning Board, and then she served nine years on the City Commission. She was the Oakland County Supervisor in 1968, Trustee on the Michigan Municipal League 1970-1974. A Member of the Michigan House of Representatives for ten years. She was especially proud of being a rigorous supporter of woman’s issues.

 

Name
MILLER, JUDITH R.

Born
July 22, 1936 Detroit, MI

Service
Commissioner 1981-1985

Biography
Graduated from Case Western Reserve University in 1958, moving to the Birmingham area in 1962, and still a resident. From 1977 to 1985, she operated a dressmaking service. Miller served as State Representative from 1985 to 1991 and as a Michigan Business Ombudsman until 1994. She then served as the Executive Director of the Michigan Association of Community Arts Agencies. She has also served on the First Church of Christ Scientists Board of Directors, Birmingham Area Senior Coordinating Council Board and the League of Woman Voters for the Birmingham Area Board.

 

Name
MINOR, LANCE C.

Service
Commissioner 1951-1954, 1959-1960
Mayor Pro Tem 1953-1954

Biography
No biographical information available

 

Name
MOSS, CHUCK

Born
August 31, 1953 Norfolk, VA

Service
Commissioner 1997-2001
Mayor 2000

Profession
Writer
Broadcaster

Biography
Moss received a BA from Michigan State University in 1975 and a JD from the University of Detroit School of Law in 1979. Elected to the Oakland County Board of Commissioners in 2001. He is a member of the Michigan State Bar Association and Director of the Birmingham Optimist Club. He served on Birmingham’s Traffic and Safety Board from 1993-1997 before being elected to the City Commission. He writes columns for several newspapers and has hosted radio and television shows.


 

Name
MITCHELL, ROBERT

Born
August 6, 1818 Westmorland, NY

Died
July 29, 1890

Service
Trustee 1864

Profession
Ran a mercantile business

Biography
March 1, 1864 elected to the Board of Trustees at the first Village election. His second child was George H. Mitchell who was a partner with Almeron Whitehead in publishing The Birmingham Eccentric among many other business ventures.


 

Name
MOXLEY, RALPH W.

Born
March 30, 1912

Died
December 24, 1992

Service
Commissioner 1970-1976
Mayor Pro Tem 1972-1973
Mayor 1973-1974

Profession
Birmingham Police Chief 1948-1967

Biography
He graduated from the FBI Academy in 1947. He founded the Oakland Police Academy, the first police academy in Michigan in 1967. As an Oakland County Commissioner from 1977-1980, he helped Oakland Community College receive money to build their Criminal Justice Building, honoring him with a plaque on the building. He was married and had three children.


 

Name
MOODY, WILMER EDMUND

Born
January 30, 1885 Glen Rock, PA

Died
January 1950, Birmingham, MI

Service
Commissioner 1936-1948
Mayor 1945-1946

Profession
Manager Yellow Truck & Coach Manufacturing

Biography
Moved to Michigan in 1928, to work for the Yellow Truck & Coach Manufacturing, which later became General Motors Corporation Truck & Coach Division. Elected to Commission in 1936 and served until 1948. He was a member of First Presbyterian Church and president of the Birmingham Golf Club.


 

Name
MOORE, SCOTT D.

Born
Detroit, MI

Service
Commissioner 1993-1999, 2003-present
Mayor Pro Tem 1997, 2005
Mayor 1998

Profession
Lawyer
Teacher

Biography
Mr. Moore graduated Magna Cum Laude from Western Michigan University. He taught eighth grade history and English in the Waterford Public Schools. In 1979 graduated from the Detroit College of Law as a J. D. As a City Commissioner and Mayor, he worked extensively with federal mandates. Taught a course on patterns of civilization at Cranbrook-Kingswood High School.

N

O

Name
O’GORMAN, JOHN F., JR.

Service
Commissioner 1948-1950, 1958-1959

Biography
No biographical information available


 

Name
O’NEAL, EDWIN A.

Born
1860 Ontario, Canada

Died
September 1954, Birmingham, MI

Service
Trustee 1896-1898, 1901-1906

Profession
Owner of E A O'Neal Harness Maker

Biography
O'Neal moved to Birmingham in 1885. His harness shop also repaired bicycles and sold fine leather goods evolving into other goods as automobiles became popular. He also served as Citizens League Vice President in 1912, a group of businessmen and civic leaders interested in the affairs of the Village. They worked on organizing the Fire Department and the paving of Woodward and Maple.


 

Name
OSBORNE, ERNEST W.

Service
Commissioner 1932-1933

Profession
Owned a Ford dealership

Biography
OsBorne moved to Birmingham from Auburn, Indiana and lived on George Street across from the Barnum School tennis courts and just down the street from his dealership at George and Old Woodward. He was a charter member of the Exchange Club.

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