John James Mackenzie 1868-1920

A picture of John James Mackenzie taken from the newepaper in March of 1904


. . . The council was then ready to proceed to business but Alderman Sowden not having put in an appearance was obliged to wait. After 15 minutes delay and he had not appeared an officer was dispatched to his home to bring him in. While waiting Alderman Mckenzie moved that the council go into executive session to instruct the mayor in his duties and as to whom he should appoint to office. City Clerk Mackay informed Alderman Mckenzie he had to take the oath of office before any business could be transacted and settled down to wait for Mr. Sowden. When he arrived the oath of office was administered to Alderman Mckenzie and Duffy, Mr. Sowden having taken the oath earlier in the day. A communication form City Engineer Allen stated that "In making a map of the city showing the location of fire alarm boxes and hydrants for the fire departments, I find several places where hydrants and fire boxes are needed. But in my opinion the first improvement should be a new hydrant at the intersection of Beckley and North Main Street and a new fire alarm box at the intersection of Tremont street and Franklin street." The report was accepted, ....
BARRE DAILY TIMES April 16, 1904

Alderman had Tilt Mckenzie and Robins the Belligerents Over St. Improvements

First Ward Man Thinks Too Much Money is Spent On Third and Fourth Ward Streets. The usual humdrum of city council meetings was disturbed at the special city meeting last evening, by a lively tilt between Alderman Mckenzie of the fourth ward and Alderman Robins of the first, over the laying out of money on streets, the latter charging that all the expenditure is made on streets in wards three and four, in which wards two members of the street committee, Alderman Mckenzie and Burke reside. Alderman Mckenzie replied with considerable heat and the other members then poured oil on the troubled waters, so that the tempest subsided, although distant rumblings were heard throughout the remainder of the meeting. The difference of opinion came up over the report of the street committee for the month of March. The report was apparently acceptable to Alderman Robins until it came to the statement of what the street committee intends to do this summer, notably the extension of pavement on North Main street and the filling and repairing of Maple Avenue from Main to Seminary street, North - Seminary street from Main to Summer, and Elm street from Washington to Summer. It didn't take the alderman from the first ward long before making objection to the further expenditure on Maple Avenue. Maple Avenue divides the third and fourth wards. He declared that there has been enough money expended on streets "down there" and that Ayers and Hill streets in his bailwick were much more in need of repairs, although on being questioned he admitted he hadn't seen Maple Avenue for some time... These and other things were said, and they were enough to stir up the chairman of the street committee who asked the first ward alderman to "step up like a man" and file his objections and not "come In here and vent your spleen in that childish manner" Alderman Sowden atempted to bring peace in the family, and Mayor Barclay provoked a laugh from the other members by saying that Circle street was still untouched by the street committee. After a lot of desultory 1. aring on the part of the two alderman ???? Burke moved that ' the street committee's report be accepted. Alderman Robins demurred but the motion was carried. A fresh eruption was started immediately after by the fourth ward alderman telling the man from the first ward he wouldn't get any improvements if he kept up his present course. "Yes, I understand that you are the people," ???? Alderman Robins. "its a good thing if you understand something" was the others parting shot. Out side the wrangling the council transacted a little business...
BARRE Evening Telegram

January 25, 1902: John J. Mckenzie is one of the leading candidates for alderman from the fourth ward.
February 4, 1902 There are two avowed candidates for ward four alderman, the friends of M B Nichols and John J Mckenzie are hustling support for these men.
February 17, 1902: The election for alderman from ward four is going to hotly contested and the caucus nominees will not have clear sailing by any means. Nomination papers were filed Saturday evening for M B Nichols for alderman for that ward. This makes the fight a three cornered one with, Wm. Scott, the caucus nominee and John J. Mckenzie and M B Nichols, independents, as the three candidates
March 3, 1902: Monday City Election ....In ward four all Is different as there are several candidates. Every vote in the ward has been carefully canvassed so that all three candidates are claiming the election. The voting will probably be so close that more than on ballot will be necessary.

All Blame Removed From the Police BY THE ALDERMAN For not giving an alarm Monday Morning "I do not see how the officers could be blamed and so I move they be exonerated from all blame" Thus said Alderman MacKenzie last evening after the board of aldermen had spent nearly an hour investigating the police force as to why no alarm was given early Monday morning on account of the high water in the river. The motion was passed unanimously and so the investigation ends in the complete exoneration of the police. All the board except Alderman Robins were present. The officers were called into the room one by one and questioned as to what they were doing that morning. All agreed in their testimony and were corroborated by several other witnesses Officer E.L. Perry the first one said that after he had gone off duty at 4:30 that morning he went and locked at the river as well as at the basements of the stores. The water was high but he thought there would be no danger because the rain had ceased and there was no ice in the river. There was no signs of water in any of the basments. The rain stopped at 4. He saw Ben Gilley on the street when he was going home. He understood the dam at South Barre went out at 4:30 and that the water came down at 5. He thought that it was part of his duty to notify the merchants of any danger, but to the best of his judgment there was no danger when he went home....

BARRE DAILY TIMES 13 February 1904

Currier, Mckenzie, and Duffy
Mckenzie in Ward Four

Currier, Mckenzie, and Duffy WIN IN THE CAUCUSES Mckenzie in Ward Four Present Alderman re nominated Over Joseph Odgers. In ward four there was a close contest for the alderman nomination between the present incumbent, John J. Mckenzie and Joseph Odgers the former winning by the vote of 71 to 62, and being declared the nominee of the caucus. The caucus was one of the most largely attended ever held in the ward. A contest developed as soon as the meeting was called to order, over the election of a chairman, Walter Emerson being the choice over James R. Anderson. A.J. Schneider was elected clerk. When nominations for candidates were called for Alex Smith presented the name of John J. Mckenzie and Bennett Julian that of Joseph Odgers. Previous to the balloting the nominees were subjected to a little questioning. Both Mr. Mckenzie and Mr. Odgers responded, and the former was asked by George Tronp, why the sidewalk on the extreme end of No. Main had not been sanded. Mr. Mckenzie replied that orders had been given by the alderman for the sanding of all the sidewalks and it was the fault of the men if it was not done. The results of the ballot was as follows: Whole number cast, 133, For Mckenzie, 71, For Odgers, 62. March 1st, 1904 Vote For Alderman John J. Mckenzie …….120 Joseph Odgers…… 98 .

BARRE Evening Telegram February 14, 1902

The Caucuses

Candidates for Alderman and Commissioners are NOMINATED, A hot fight in wards four and six ....The ward four caucus was a warm and lengthy one. Six ballots being taken before a decision was made. The meeting was called to order by ex Alderman Scott and Walter Emerson elected chairman and Bennet Julins clerk. The tellers were as follows: Geo. W. Parks, Clinton E. Thwing, William Charles, Arthur Parady and S. Casselini, The following names were presented for nomination, William Scott, J.J. Mckenzie, Preston Gale, Clinton E, Thwing, L.H. Thurston Mark Nichols. Messrs. Thurston and Thwing, however declined to serve and were excused, leaving only for candidates in the field. The caucus then proceeded to ballot with the following results:...... Third Ballot- total number cast 76. necessary for a choice 39 J.J. Mckenzie, 34; Wm Scott, 23; Mark Nichols, 18.
After this ballot the question arose as to its validity, and acting upon the suggestion of Mr. Thwing a count was taken of all the voters present. The result showed that there were more votes cast than there were voters in the hall, and the ballot was declared null and void.
Forth Ballot-Total number cast 67. necessary for a choice 34. J.J. Mckenzie, 31; Wm Scott, 26; Mark Nichols, 10. Fifth Ballot-Total number cast 68. necessary for a choice 35. Wm Scott, 20; J.J. Mckenzie, 32; Mark Nichols, 16. Sixth Ballot-Total number of votes cast 68. necessary for a choice 35. Wm Scott, 35; J.J. Mckenzie, 27; Mark Nichols, 4. Mr. Scott was declared the nominee. Mr. Scott expressed his thanks to his electors and promised to do all in his power to further the interest of his ward. The meeting then adjourned...