Attleboro Mayor

FOR ATTLEBORO CENTENNIAL PUBLICATION Attleboro Mayor Frank R. Sweet. 6th mayor. 1935-36.

Frank R. Sweet was the city's sixth mayor and took office on Jan. 1, 1935, as the Great Depression dragged on.

He beat William A. Brennan and third-time candidate Howard G. Smith. Incumbent Stephen Foley had decided not to seek re-election.

He was the only Attleboro mayor to die in office, and served 18 months of a two-year term.

Sweet, who was 54 when elected in his first try for public office, grew up on a farm in West Mansfield, but established himself in Attleboro early in the 1900s, when he came to work in the jewelry industry.

He founded Sweet Manufacturing Co., and located the factory at the corner of Dunham Street and O'Neil Boulevard, which was then known as the Raceway.

He went into office promising to address problems in the police department, and one of his first decisions as mayor was to appoint a state police officer to head up the troubled force.

He also instituted changes in the health and public works departments.

During his campaign, Sweet pledged to remove the trolly car rails downtown and to be economical in spending city money.

He was able to hold the line on taxes in his first year in office, and planned a 50 cent cut for his second year.

While in Boston on business in May 1936, he fell victim to a heart attack and died about a week later.

A news story about his death said he was a hard worker, and speculated it might have contributed to his demise.

Sweet, who was an avid hunter, fisherman and farmer, was said to be the first mayor who urged the city to conserve its natural resources. In 1958, a 10-acre wooded parcel on Rathbun Willard Drive was dedicated to his memory.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the sixth in a series of profiles of Attleboro's mayors since the city was incorporated 100 years ago in 1914. The Sun Chronicle will print a special section July 13 celebrating Attleboro's 100th anniversary as a city.

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