H. Winslow Brown had an up and down career as a politician. An executive at R.F. Simmons Co., he started out as an at-large city councilor and was first elected in 1927 for a one-year term.
Brown was re-elected in 1928 and 1930 for two-year terms, and in 1930 he topped the ticket with 3,894 votes. But in 1932, he fell out of favor with voters for some reason, and was left out of the running.
His fortunes reversed again in 1934, however, and was again elected to an at-large council seat. And to top that off, he became city council president.
When his colleagues elected him to that post, little did they know the move would put Brown into the mayor's office 18 months later. Mayor Frank R. Sweet fell victim to a heart attack while on business in Boston on May 20, 1936, and died seven days later.
Brown took a leave of absence from Simmons, and served out the last six months of Sweet's term, then ran for the office in his own right. He was elected, beating a young, but rising star named John W. McIntyre. In his campaign, Brown said he deserved a term of his own for reducing the city's debt by $275,000 and keeping the tax rate down.
Brown said there were only seven other cities in the state with a lower rate.
The city's first mayor, Harold E. Sweet, endorsed Brown, who won the election with 54 percent of the vote. Two years later, McIntyre ousted Brown with 53 percent of the vote, beginning a three-term stint for the renowned city lawyer.
- George W. Rhodes