November 14, 1901: Mayor Hugo says he won’t run for re-election

On this day in Duluth in 1901, Mayor Trevanion Hugo, a Republican, said he would not run for reelection in December. (Back then, the mayor’s office was held for terms of two years; primary elections were held in December and elections were held the following February; the winner took office in March.) He had defeated Mayor Henry “Typhoid” Truelsen, a Democrat first elected in 1896, by just six votes. Despite his wish to bow out of the 1902 election, Hugo’s supporters began a petition drive that convinced him to run again. In December he beat fellow Republican Darwin Stevens in the primary. On February 4, 1902, he went up against Truelsen once again, this time winning by eight votes. Hugo joked that he congratulated himself that he “made two new friends” between elections. The recount went back and forth, and in the end, Hugo had a plurality of six votes. It wasn’t until July of 1902 that a Minnesota Supreme Court decision officially placed Hugo back in the mayor’s office. Hugo was so popular as mayor that in 1920 he was called upon by his fellow citizens to act as interim mayor after Mayor Clarence Magney resigned so he could run for Sixth District Court Judge. Hugo maintained that office before the election of Samuel F. Snively, who held the office until 1937. Learn more about Hugo here.

Trevanion Hugo. (Duluth Public Library)

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