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Hugh Moffat (politician)

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Hugh Moffat 1810 – August 6, 1884 was a carpenter, lumberman, businessman, and mayor of Detroit, Michigan


  • 1 Early life
  • 2 Politics
  • 3 Later life
  • 4 References

Early lifeedit

Moffat Block, built in 1871 on the SW corner of Fort and Griswold

High Moffat was born in Coldstream, Scotland in 18101 He soon emigrated to America, settling first in Albany, New York, and in 1837 moving to Detroit He began work as a carpenter, and built up a successful and profitable business as a builder,1 constructing, among other things, Mariners' Church as well as the now demolished St Paul's Church, Biddle House, and the Moffat Block2 In 1852, he expanded his business into the lumber trade by purchasing a sawmill and forested land1 His lumber business was even more profitable than his carpentry had been In 1878, Moffat took on two partners: his son Addison and Florence D Eatherly, a "confidential employee and faithful friend"1


Moffat was an active member of the Fire Department, the Mechanic's Society, and president of St Andrew's Society1 In 1871, he was elected mayor of Detroit as a Republican1 Moffat served two terms as mayor, with his administration notable for his vetoes of spending initiative passed by the Detroit City Council and vetoes of multiple authorizations to allow saloons to open on Sunday afternoons in Detroit1 By the time he stepped down as mayor, Moffat had earned the appellation "Honest Hugh Moffat"1

Later lifeedit

Hugh Moffat was married three times1 The first marriage, in 1836, was to Margery McLachlan Margery died in 1856, and Moffat married her cousin, Isabella McLachlan, in 18591 Isabella died in 1869, and Moffat married Julia E Hubbard, the sister of Thomas W Palmer, in 1879; she died the next year1

Hugh Moffat himself died on August 6, 18841 He was survived by four children: Mrs George MacMillan, Mrs Edward W Bissell, Alice E Moffat, and William Moffat1 A second son, Addison Moffat, died in 1884 shortly before his father1


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Silas Farmer 1889, THE HISTORY OF DETROIT AND MICHIGAN, pp 1046–1047 
  2. ^ Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society 1886, Historical collections, Volume 13, Page 76 - Volume 30, Page 3760, The Society, pp 621–625 
Political offices
Preceded by
William W Wheaton
Mayor of Detroit
Succeeded by
Alexander Lewis

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