New Orleans Public Library
|Administrations of the Mayors of New Orleans|
Andrew J. McShane (1865-1936)
Andrew J. McShane was born in New Orleans, January 2, 1865, the son of Bernard McShane and Rose Fitzpatrick. His early education was very limited and the learning he acquired in later years was in the school of experience and by hard work and study.|
Being left fatherless at an early age, he was thrown on his own resources. When nine years old he entered the hide business of Fitzpatrick and Hall, who was succeeded by H. F. Hall & Co. At the age of fourteen he was promoted to the position of traveling salesman, probably the youngest traveling salesman ever on the road. When nineteen he was taken in as a partner and at the age of twenty-one he was the sole owner of the business, under the title of Andrew J. McShane, dealer and exporter of hides, wool, tallow, furs, pelts and leather, with offices in New York and New Orleans. He was a successful business man. A fact frequently referred to when he became candidate for mayor was, that in all his business experiences which required extended capital or credit, he never borrowed money for his transactions, but kept all operations within the margin of his capital. It was along these same principles he managed the city’s finances and at the end of his term, there was a surplus in the treasury. He served the city faithfully, his honesty and sincerity were never questioned.
Andrew J. McShane was nominated as candidate for Mayor by the Orleans Democratic Association in July 1920 and took office December, 1920 serving until May 1925. He proved his courage during the exciting campaign which followed his candidacy and in which he won the mayoralty. This victory made possible a sweeping reorganization of the city government and its methods. These new methods caused political friction which annoyed the new administration throughout its entire term. Although he disagreed with some of his team-mates on certain policies, his regime accomplished much good for the city and its people.
It furnished us, for example, with a reorganized and efficient garbage collection system, it initiated the system of one-way streets which today is recognized as the salvation of our traffic problems. It re-equipped and reorganized on a much more efficient basis, our public works department. It set the city’s finances in order and by mailing out the tax bills, made payment of city taxes much easier and convenient. It brought marked and welcome improvements in the conditions of the city’s streets.
On April 4, 1918 he married Agnes S. Bruns and from this union a daughter, Rosemary, was born.
He died April 17, 1936, at the age of 71 years and lies buried in Metairie Cemetery.
Mayor McShane was an honest God-fearing citizen whose love of duty and obligation to his fellowmen came first. He served the city faithfully and accomplished much good. Those who remember him, honor him and mourn his passing.
|Members of the McShane Administration|
December 6, 1920-May 4, 1925
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