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1947-1951 Hugh Wasson

Hugh Wasson 1947(Lived April 26, 1889 – January 10, 1958)

Hugh Wasson moved to Chattanooga in 1929 to open the Colonial Baking Company and became a successful businessman active in the community.  Passing the company to his son in 1946, Wasson retired as President of Colonial Baking.  Upon the urging of a group of local businessmen, Hugh Wasson announced his candidacy for mayor on February 11, 1947, just one month prior to the 1947 Mayoral election.  In what the local newspaper called “one of the closest elections in the city’s history,” Wasson won the Mayoral seat. 

Stating that he believed in sound planning and fiscal policies, Mayor Wasson said that he would run the city like he ran his successful business.  Mayor Wasson instituted the policy that the city would produce monthly financial statements for public perusal instead of the yearly financial statements that had been the city’s norm.  He also pushed for the collection of back taxes, and during his term, the city collected $600,000 in overdue taxes. 

Elected in the post World War II era, Mayor Wasson came into office facing “streets without surfaces, students without schools and districts without police.”  To solve part of these problems, Mayor Wasson oversaw a bond issue for $1,200,000 in 1947.  Plans for this money included city street work, sewer extension, and a new Second District school.

Photo by Phillip Stevens and Matt Lea