Encyclopedia Of Detroit

Bowles, Charles

Detroit mayor Charles Bowles was born in Yale, Michigan March 24, 1884. He graduated from what is now known as Ferris State University in 1904, received a law degree from the University of Michigan in 1908 and he was admitted to the bar in 1909.

In 1925, Bowles ran for Detroit mayor when it was vacated after the resignation of Frank Ellsworth Doremus. While he was eliminated in the primary election, Bowles continued as a write-in candidate and he nearly won. After losing the election, he became the judge on the recorder’s court. He was re-elected in this position, but resigned in 1929 to run for mayor once more. Bowles defeated John C. Lodge in the primary election and John W. Smith in the general election and was sworn in as Detroit’s 58th mayor in 1930.

After six months in office, Bowles was recalled after he fired the police commissioner. Detroit citizens accused him of “tolerating lawlessness.” In the subsequent election, he lost to Frank Murphy.



Charles Bowles Report, 1930

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