YESTERYEAR: Mayor William Dress By Pat Sides

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Evansville Mayor William Dress is pictured here with two unidentified Boy Scouts in the late 1940s.

A native of Ohio, Dress moved to Evansville to teach at Trinity Lutheran School but soon entered politics under the mentorship of Benjamin Bosse, the first mayor in the city’s history to win election to three terms.

Beginning in 1934, Dress served two consecutive terms before being defeated in 1942, but he was the second mayor to be elected three times when he won back the seat in 1947.

During his tenure, Dress developed the riverfront plaza (later named after him), improved the airport, replaced streetcars with buses, and helped pull the city through the 1937 flood.

Like his mentor, Dress passed away during his third term, in late 1949.

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