John James Mackenzie 1867-1920

BARRE DAILY TIMES Wednesday, February 14, 1906
Workingmen's Caucus Supports Him For Mayor
And He Decides To Run
Disapproval of calling men "Scabs" Who did not support Union Candidates was expressed and sentiment disavowed

Mr. Mckenzie's Position Mr. G. L. Gregoire. Member Nomination Committee, C.L.U Dear Sir: In accordance with my promise to you last evening in connection with allowing my name to be used by your committee as a possible candidate for your ticket, will that say that after considering all the circumstances in connection there with, I have decided to stand for your primary as one of the three to be named by your committee. I would also take the opportunity at this time to say that when I was asked by the Times representative if I was a candidate, I had fully made up my mind to retire (for a time at least), as the past seven years have been more or less busy for me, three years as president, financial secretary and chairman of the grievance committee of the Granite Cutters Union and four years in city council, but the situation is so unique that I feel as if I would be deserting the labor movement by making a blank refusal to at least stand for the primary. If my candidacy should be successful I should endeavor to fulfil the duties of the office satisfactorily. If, on the other hand, someone else be chosen, I shall feel just as cheerful about it and shall consider it my duty to and certainly shall support him. Trusting the campaign to be successful, yours to serve if called upon. John J. Mackenzie Barre, Feb. 7, 1906

Mayor Barclay was a stone manufacturer and was quite wealthy. He had been mayor for four years. He was popular in the community. Mayor Barclay had been in Bermuda since December. He sent updates and detailed accounts of his escapades that were published in the Barre Times. It was getting to be near the city caucuses and the mayor had yet to return, so with unfinished business to attend to they sent the telegram signed by the alderman. The workman's party would choose John James Mckenzie as their candidate for mayor. He had been involved in the workings of the city government for four years. Barclay returned to Barre the same week that the caucuses were held. Mayor Barclay easily won the city caucus and election by a wide margin.

BARRE DAILY TIMES Thursday, February 8, 1906


Mayor Barclay Cabled From Bermuda Last Night
Acting Mayor Mckenzie Right to Sign Call for Spring Election and Orders on Treasury is in Question
Pay is Held Up

A cablegram was received last evening from Mayor Barclay who has been in Bermuda for some weeks that he would sail for home today, and will probably reach Barre Monday. This cablegram was in reply to one sent to the mayor by the aldermen on Wednesday evening. The aldermen's cablegram read: "Come at once, or send resignation." The reason for this sudden demand on Mayor Barclay to return to Barre on resign his office was the question of right on the part of Acting Mayor Mckenzie to sign the call for the annual spring election. This question was asked and the city attorney was consulted. The substance of his reply was that under the city charter Mckenzie either was or wasn't mayor, and if he was Mr. Barclay was not. If Mr. Barclay was, Mr. Mckenzie wasn't and taking this view of the matter the aldermen decided it wasn't best to take any chances on a contested city election called on a warning signed by Alderman Mckenzie. City Employees Pay Held Up. For this same reason no city warrants have been paid this month and all city employees are awaiting the return of Mayor Barclay before receiving their wages. As the mayor will reach Barre by Monday, the 12th, the delay will be only a week. Could Not Negotiate Temporary Loan. The question of Alderman Mckenzie's authority was first raised when it came to executing a note for a temporary loan in anticipation of taxes. The matter was then referred to the city attorney. He referred to the charter, which says: "In case of a vacancy in the office of mayor, occasioned by death, resignation, removal from the city or permanent inability to serve, the president of the board of alderman shall act as mayor for the remainder of the mayor's official term." As Mayor Barclay is neither resigned or removed from the city, and is very much alive when it comes to his ability to serve, there was no chance to make President Mckenzie of the board of aldermen mayor of the city, and in order that the duties of mayor might be performed the aldermen sent the hurried telegram. This section of the charter has been the same since the city was organized, but no occasion has arisen before to bring out the fact there was no provision for the mayor going away for a brief period and delegating someone else to do his duties. In fact, at the time Mayor Barclay went away it was supposed ample provision was made in the charter for such absences.

BARRE DAILY TIMES February 26, 1906

Canadidates Interrogated George Cassie Wants to Know About a Stone Crusher.

Editor Barre Daily Times: Election next week and the question of better streets in the foreground. I was pleased to read the recommendation of Superintendent Bruce that the city should buy a stonecrusher. The stones could be crushed and separated, the finer material put on top of our clay hill roads would make a smooth and durable road for light traffic, and the coarser put on our busier streets, outside of Main street. The crusher and the steam roller make a fine combination. Three years ago while riding in the north of Scotland and England. I found men breaking stones by hand into pieces two inches or less and from my notebook I find they were paid from 42 to 50 cents per cubic yard. I understand the crusher did it for less money and with the assistance of the heavy steam rollers they had no trouble in making fine, smooth durable roads, ........
With Mayor Barclay up for a third term and J. J. Mackenzie, chairman of the board of Alderman and street committee, candidates for mayor, I think we are fortunate. They are both personal friends of mine and I believe both thoroughly competent to hold the position and I may refrain from voting against either, but in a friendly spirit would ask them to toe the mark and to hear from them in regard to supporting the recommendation of Superintendent Bruce that the city buy a stone crusher. George Cassie.

BARRE DAILY TIMES Monday, February 19, 1906


Editor Barre Daily Times: ........The power of the mayor are fully set forth in the charter and ordinanes and are very limited without the approval and co-operation of the city council. As a matter of fact, he is only one seventh. His principle duties are signing official papers, city warrants, etc., presiding at meetings of the city council, having the right to veto, exclusive right to nominate, and a general supervision of the work of the different departments. If we should be elected we would familiarize ourselves with the working of all the different departments, which by the way, we are familiar with from the beginning of the year, rather than wait until the end of the term and then make known our dissatisfaction. We would also exercise judicious care in the expenditure of the public money, advocate public improvements where they would do the greatest good to the greatest number. We now have our water system, our schools, and fire station. The three principal items in our policy would be: The lowest possible tax consistent with good business, reduction of the city's indebtedness, and improvement of our public streets and highways whereever needed......Yours respectfully, John J. Mackenzie. President of the Board of Aldermen.

BARRE DAILY TIMES February 13, 1906


Workingmen Urged to Nominate Him for Mayor

Editor, Barre Daily Times:....It is time that the workingmen should look after their own intersts as a body. We have all got a vote and we are all chargeable with a poll tax, which indicates that we have interests and have a right to be presented in our own affairs and if we don't take any interest in our own affairs we can hardly expect that the business men will. We have a workingman named for nomination as mayor. He has filled different positions both in the labor movement and in the city council. He has filled these offices with credit to himself and to his supporters. He has filled the highest office on the board and given satisfaction to everyone. He has even filled, the mayor's chair during the absence of the mayor and would have ? the bill there in our city charter had been gotten up by a committee from some of our labor unions, for their constitutions make provisions for all emergencies. That is one point in favor of labor candidates. But there would not be any likelihood of a case of that kind occurring with a labor man in the chair, as he has not got any other business affairs to take up his time nor cause him to leave the city for a month or two, as has very often been the case with our business representatives. A labor man can devote more of his time to his office than can a business man, as he has no business affairs to attend to. I think if the voters of Barre place J. J. Mackenzie as the caucus nominee for mayor and then follow it up by going to the ballot box and giving him a rousing majority, they will find that they will have as good: an administration as ever they have had, if not better, for he certainly has more experience in the affairs of our city, and that experience tap to date, and he has proven himself to be a man of progressive ideas and that is what is wanted, both by business men and workingmen. "One of the Workers"