Pingree and his Reform


Having elected someone into office, whether it be the mayor, president, congress, etc. you would want the person to fight for the good of the people and serve them well right? Hazen S. Pingree was the man for that. Pingree was a wealthy businessman with no prior political experience before 1889, but in 1890 that changed for him. He was elected mayor of Detroit in that year and served for 7 years. Unlike many politicians at the time Pingree “constantly battled for the common man against all vested interests”. (Rubenstein & Ziewacz, p. 126)

Through his dedication for the people he earned much love and respect from them. Pingree had many reform programs that he put into motion during his mayorship. Some call him “Our First Progressive Governor” (French, Week 6 video) Among his many programs he implemented was Pingree’s Potato patches, the city’s assessments of homes and the gas company’s high rates. After learning about Pingree’s potato patches I was very impressed. Pingree sold his prized forest and used that money to allow Detroiters to grow potatoes in various places. He used his own money to assist people who were starving and would not survive. Pingree also found out that the City’s wealthy home corporations were charging much more for homes then they should have been. His outlook was that the business owners should be paying the same amount for the home as the homeowners.

There are many more reform programs that Pingree instituted for the city of Detroit that helped the city as well as the people. Pingree was not in office for money or for personal gain, overall he genuinely wanted to help his people and make Detroit strive.

 

12 thoughts on “Pingree and his Reform

  1. Pingree was very outgoing for the people of Detroit in his era. He really didn’t work his job for the salary, he wanted everyone to live comfortably. I found it surprising that he had Business owners pay the same as the home owners, after finding out they were over charged. Allowing people who were less fortunate to grow potatoes was only one thing he did as mayor. He also helped fixing the rail way system, and it just goes to show he was a people person. He wanted what was best for everyone and not just himself.

  2. Pingree is an example of a politician trying to make a movement for change. By creating equality in housing he was striving to keep the gaps small between classes. The potato patch program and ideas behind it are the types of programs and insight that we should and could use today to serve our people. Pingree set the stage for an amazing city and was part of the stepping stones that made it the might “D”.

  3. Pingree was a selflessness man. He looked out for his people and fought for their rights. He sold his prize forest to buy potatoes to give to those in need to plant and harvest the food. If I’m not mistaken till this day his legacy carries on. Some of the open lots in Detroit, harvest gardens are still planted for the low income people to harvest and collect the food. His generosity still carries on. There were many more programs he implemented for the city of Detroit like attacking the gas companies for their high tax. Pingree watched out for the poor and unfortunately we do not see Mayors or political groups that are like Pingree. It seems they are always having a power struggle among themselves. Pengree wanted the best for his peoples and his city even if it was giving up his own personal property for those who were less fortunate.

  4. Pingree was an exceptional mayor and governor. His example would be one to follow in these modern times. He gave the people of Detroit and Michigan something and someone to believe in and trust. I was very impressed when I read about all the good things that he achieved and he never gave up. He had no other motives behind his actions, other than taking great care of people. I was especially impressed when he sold his valuable horse at auction, and donated the money to a relief program during the Depression of 1893.

  5. Hazen Pingree was probably responsible for Michigan’s success in the 20th century. His reforms, even those that were blocked, helped to set the stage for Michigan’s rapid rise as an industrial power. It must have been difficult for him to lose his status in nearly every facet of his life. The loss of his club memberships, his standing in the church, and even his prized horse must have been difficult to handle. His family must have been very strong to support him through that time. The nickname “Potato Patch Pingree” made him more popular with the people in Detroit and across the state when he ran for governor. His leadership was instrumental for Michigan’s success.

  6. Hazen Pingree left a refreshing legacy for future politicians and social activists. He used his wealth and political power to effect change for the citizens of Detroit and Michigan, and had to fight his fellow political colleagues to enact social reforms to help them. I was especially impressed with his innovative project to buy seed for economically depressed Detroit citizens so they could grow crops on the city’s vacant land.

  7. Prior to this reading, I had never heard of Hazen S. Pingree, so I was pleasantly surprised to read about all of his accomplishments while in office. In a turbulent time in Michigan’s history, Hazen S. Pingree was living proof that people in power could use their position for the benefit of everyone. Although Hazen himself was considerably wealthy, he managed to use his wealth for the benefit of everyone: he sold some of his own property to allow poorer citizen to grow crops of their own.

  8. Prior to when I read this I had also not heard of Hazen Pingree. It was cool to me to see that he was such a devoted leader not only to push his city of Detroit forward, but to also help the citizens of the city as well. I thought it was very cool to see that he gave up some of his own land to help the economy of Detroit with the Potato Patches. People who called him a progressive Governor were absolutely right.

  9. Finding a man to be in office like Pingree was would be hard to do today. Finding someone who isn’t going to do the thing that will make them the most money is hard to even come by. Pingree being a man from wealth in the business world you wouldn’t have expected him to be so honeslty caring for the city and it’s people. Giving up land for his people was awesome, I’m sure from others he may have gotten some dislike for his dedication to helping the common people but he followed though. Which makes him an extremely respected man in history.

  10. Pingree is an example of a politician for the people and how much good that can do for a state. The fact that he worked the office just for the benefit of others and not the salary and political gain. Of course it would be great for a governor to be like that today, it just doesn’t seem plausible. However, it is a very inspiring story for Michigan to show how a man could be so selfless to help the state that he loves.

  11. Before I read this I had absolutely no idea who Pingree even was. I am pleased to have learned as much as I have about him and what he did in office for the city of Detroit and the state of Michigan. I personally feel that if we are going to progress as a society we need to elect more officials like him who have a desire to help his people do whats best for the greater good.

  12. Pingree was a man of great integrity and character. He built his career in law from the ground up and due to this he remembered the people’s struggle because he had to struggle too. I believe that men who start from scratch and use their own hands to build up are the men that should lead.

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