Attleboro Mayor John McIntyre

John McIntyreMayor1939-1944

John W. McIntyre was the youngest mayor ever elected when he took the oath of office as the city's eighth mayor in January 1939.

He was 32.

Nine mayors later, Kevin J. Dumas would eclipse that record with his election at the age of 27.

McIntyre was also the first mayor to serve more than two terms.

A lawyer, he was elected in December 1938, and defeated H. Winslow Brown, a turnabout from 1936, when Brown, a former city councilor thrust into the mayor's office when Mayor Frank R. Sweet died in office, defeated him for the top job.

When he took office, McIntyre was confronted with ongoing financial woes brought on by the Great Depression.

No one had money, so of course the city didn't have money.

Attleboro, like its citizens, was forced to do without.

Two years later, World War II exploded onto the scene with all the death and hardships that come with war, even at the local level.

Rationing to support the war effort made tough times tougher, and Attleboro men and women served and died.

It was a hard time.

But, McIntyre and the city persevered.

At the end of his six years in office, he was remembered for helping to keep the city's morale high, for balancing the budget and cutting taxes.

Willett School was built during his tenure, as were miles of sidewalks and other infrastructure.

It's been speculated that McIntyre's hardscrabble youth helped prepare him for the trial of leading a city in tough times.

His dad died when McIntyre was 13, and he worked in the family's floral business to help his mom.

Then, he worked his way through Boston College.

He became an engineer for the state, and then worked his way through law school.

McIntyre was elected to the city council at the age of 25, the youngest ever at that time, and six years later was appointed as a special judge in district court.

He left office after three terms to pursue his legal career, but in 1970 became president of Cumberland Engineering and won a patent for an invention.

McIntyre was also a photographer of some renown and a master contract bridge player.

The eighth mayor was alive on Dumas' inauguration day, and still had two years yet to live.

His life spanned all of Attleboro's 17 mayors, and that life was a remarkable one, indeed, according to a Sun Chronicle editorial on the event of his death in 2006.

The newspaper called him "a man for the century in Attleboro."

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