History of Mayors and City Hall

Wausau became a city on April 2, 1872, and its citizens elected their first Mayor August Kickbusch on April 9, for a one year term. City officials held their meetings above the firehouse located on the Courthouse Square. (Mayor Biographies and Photos)

1872 August Kickbusch
1873 Jacob Paff
1874 August Kickbusch
1875 Charles Hoeflinger
1876 Bartholomew Ringle
1877 John C. Clarke
1878 Daniel L. Plumer
1879, 1880, 1881 John E. Leahy
1882, 1883 Daniel L. Plumer
1884 John Ringle

1885 - 1912, City Hall was located at 125 E Washington Street. (Washington and First Street, by RR tracks) It cost $10,200 to build City Hall, which did not include the building of the clock tower, that was a separate bid. The clock in the tower was a gift to the city from B.G. Plumer and August Kickbusch.

1885, 1886 Rufus P. Manson
1887 Anton Mehl
1888, 1889 Ernst C. Zimmerman
1890 Gustave Mueller
1891, 1892, 1893 Robert E. Parcher
1894 John Miller
1895 Henry E. McEachron
1896 Emery J. Anderson
1897 Henry E. McEachron
1898 John N. Manson
1899 Joseph Reiser
1900 Victor Anderson
1901, 1902, 1903 Louis Merchetti

In 1902, a new general charter set terms at two years.

1904 Ernst C Zimmerman
1906 Myron H. Duncan
1908, 1910 John F. Lamont

1912 - 1967, City Hall was located at 300 Block of Forest Street (Site of present US Post Office). On October 29, 1913, Mayor John Ringle held a special dedication service for the new City Hall. In the early 1920's, the city erected a “Work for Wausau” sign on top of the building to attract new industries and people to the city.

1912, 1914 John Ringle
1916 Herman E. Marquardt
1918 John L. Sell
1920, 1922, 1924 Emil Flatter
1926 Otto Muenchow
1928 Alfred V. Gearhart
1930, 1932 Otto Muenchow
1935, 1936 George Borowitz

At the 1934 election, Muenshow defeated W.I. LaCerte by six votes and LaCerte asked for a recount. Judge A. H. Reid reviewed the case and ordered all ballots brought into court. He found some invalid ballots and ruled the election void. At a special election in 1935 George Borowitz was elected and in 1936 he was re-elected. Borowitz drowned in a fishing accident and August Polster was elected in 1938

1938 August Polster
1942, 1944, 1946, 1948, 1950, 1952 Herbert Albert Giese
1954, 1956 Arthur M. Smith
1958, 1960, 1962 Ben Schuck

Mayor Schuck asked the council to increase the term of office to four years and announced he would not be a candidate. John Kannenberg was elected in 1964, for a four year term.

1964, 1968, 1972, 1976, 1980, 1984 John Kannenberg

1967 - present, City Hall is located at 407 Grant Street. Built in 1941 for Employers Insurance Eastside Office. City took occupancy on April 1, 1967 when Employers President J. Mearl Sweitzer presented the key to Mayor John L. Kannenberg. Cost to purchase was $900,000.

1988 John Robinson
1992, 1996-1997 John Hess

1997 Jim Schaefer

In 1997, John Hess resigned and a special election was held in April 1998 to elect a mayor to complete the remainder of his four year term. Linda E. Lawrence, the first female mayor, won the election and was re-elected to a full term in 2000.

1998, 2000 Linda E. Lawrence

From April 2001 to March 2002, the City Hall building went through total interior renovation. Departments and services were temporarily relocated to 700 North Third Street during that time. On April 23, 2002, Mayor Linda Lawrence held a special Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and Open House for the newly renovated City Hall.

2004 - Present, James E. Tipple

Special thanks goes to Bill Hart and the Marathon County Historical Society, who provided many of the photos and biographical data for our Mayors of yesteryear. We appreciate your cooperative efforts!
To learn more about the history of Wausau or Marathon County, stop by the Marathon County Historical Society and Library located at 410 McIndoe Street, Wausau or call 715-848-6143. Hours: Tuesday - Thursday 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., weekends 1:00 - 4:30 p.m.

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