Charles E. Bowles

Charles E. Bowles

Yale, St. Clair County, Michigan, USA
Death 30 Jul 1957 (aged 73)
Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan, USA
Burial Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan, USA
Plot Corridor: D, Crypt: 144
Memorial ID 7007479 · View Source
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Mayor. He is remembered as the 58th mayor of Detroit, Michigan, though serving for only six months. In 1925 he ran, as a Republican candidate, for the office of Detroit's mayor when it was vacated after the resignation of Frank Ellsworth Doremus. Though he was eliminated in the primary election, he continued campaigning as a write-in candidate and nearly won. After losing the election, he became the judge of the records court. He was re-elected in this position, but resigned in 1929 to be candidate for mayor again. He defeated John C. Lodge in the primary election and John W. Smith in the general election. Being intimidated, Lodge said he was too ill to be mayor, and Smith had crosses burnt on the front of his lawn. Bowles took the oath of office as mayor on January 14, 1930. While Bowles was at the Kentucky Derby, 276 people were arrested by Police Commissioner Harold Emmons in raids of saloons, gambling houses and underworld crime dens. Most were swiftly convicted and sentenced for illegal gambling, vice crimes, or racketeering. After six months in office, he fired Emmons and soon some of these establishments were reopened for business. Jerry Buckley, an outspoken radio talk-show host, called for the mayor's resignation while rallying a large support system. The citizens of Detroit accused Mayor Bowles of “tolerating lawlessness,” thus causing vice and corruption to flourish, commiserating with gangsters and the Ku Klux Klan supporting his election. An election for the recall was held. Later, that evening after the election returns had been broadcast, Buckley, while sitting in a chair in the lobby at the LaSalle Hotel, was shot eleven times and died by the time he reached the hospital. Eventually, a special election was held and Bowles was ousted by Fred Murphy. The son of Alfred and Mary Lutz Bowles, he graduated from what is now known as Ferris State University in 1904, received a law degree from University of Michigan in 1908 and was admitted to the bar in 1909. He married Ruth Davis, and the couple had a daughter. Bowles also took several more stabs at different elected offices including mayor of Detroit. He ran for the United States House of Representatives in 1932, but lost. After that, he lowered his goal to state government, making a bids for circuit court judge in 1941 and the state house of representatives in 1950 and 1952. He was never elected to another office.

Bio by: Linda Davis

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Miss Morgan
  • Added: 11 Dec 2002
  • Find A Grave Memorial 7007479
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Charles E. Bowles (24 Mar 1884–30 Jul 1957), Find A Grave Memorial no. 7007479, citing Evergreen Cemetery, Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .