A Biography of George Pingree
If you’ve ever read a biography of George Pingree, then you are likely aware of his remarkable personality. As Mayor of Detroit, he was among the first Americans to take an aggressive approach towards social reform and strive for structural changes that would improve local government operations. His impact can still be felt today.
As mayor, he spearheaded several important reforms that made Detroit more efficient and less corrupt. Through new city charters and improved auditing and accounting procedures, he secured numerous victories that benefitted residents of Detroit today.
Early Life and Education
George Pingree was an eccentric character from the early 1800s who lived in a cabin near Rustic in Poudre Canyon. As both hunter and trapper, his livelihood depended on hunting and trapping game for food.
He also cut trees for railroad ties in Northern Colorado. He established a tie camp near his hometown of Cache la Poudre Valley, and spent three seasons crafting railroad ties along its banks.
Decades ago, Colorado State University acquired the property known as Pingree Park Mountain Campus. However, after learning of Pingree’s role in the Sand Creek Massacre of 2015, CSU renamed it to Colorado State University Mountain Campus.
Pingree’s career as a politician marked an important milestone in his transition from businessman to social activist. Drawing upon his insight on urban problems and solutions, he created an inspiring social reform ideology.
Pingree was elected mayor of Detroit in 1889 and served a total of four terms in office.
As mayor, he spearheaded municipal ownership of utilities and street railways. He reduced rates for river ferries and introduced competitive bidding for street cars.
He created policies to assist Detroit’s tens of thousands of poor residents. He rallied manufacturing leaders, city aldermen and representatives of the labor movement to craft a variety of social programs.
Achievements and Honors
Pingree earned a reputation for being an advocate for social justice throughout his career. He used his medical skills to bring healing, hope and comfort to people both near and far.
He made a name for himself as an activist and political leader who stood up to monopolistic corporations. Elected mayor of Detroit in 1889, he served three terms.
In addition to his remarkable accomplishments, he was an enthusiastic student. A member of the school’s honors program and active participant in the academic community, he made a name for himself among peers and professors alike.
He earned numerous awards during his college years and is widely regarded as a distinguished scholar. After graduation, he plans to study mechanical engineering at Michigan Technological University.
George Pingree made a lasting impact during his tenure as mayor of Detroit. He improved city streets, reduced natural gas and telephone prices, and introduced public transit.
He also revamped the sewer system and established free public baths and parks. Furthermore, he exposed corruption and bribery at both the city’s school board and private lighting company.
In 1890, Detroit’s streets were some of the worst in America. Miles of decaying cedar block lined these streets.
Pingree implemented a series of reforms that would transform the city’s course. He held advisory elections to gauge public reaction to his policies and use them as leverage over the Common Council to take action.
The average congressional representative’s net worth is five times that of the average household in America, due largely to the money they make from their political positions.
The study takes into account other factors not directly connected to their job as a member of Congress, such as inheritances, changes in family estates and trusts or the sale of family businesses.
The top 20 congressmen experienced an average increase in their net worth of 422% annually. Only three members experienced a decrease during this time, including Rep. Chellie Pingree who has seen her net worth skyrocket since being elected to Congress.