Seidel, George

Seidel, George (Lukas Emil)

(1864–1947) mayor; born in Ashland, Pa. At age 13 he began working as a woodworker; he became interested in trade unions, and while advancing his woodworking skill in Germany (1886–92), he became a fairly radical Socialist. On returning to Milwaukee, he joined a branch of the Social Democracy of America and served two terms on the city council. Stressing municipal reform, he was elected mayor of Milwaukee in 1910 on a Socialist ticket, the first Socialist mayor of a major U.S. city. He lost reelection in 1912 partly due to fears of the "red menace." He was also an unsuccessful vice-presidential candidate with Eugene Debs in 1912. Although he held various municipal offices in Milwaukee off and on until 1936, he failed in his attempts to be governor and U.S. senator.