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The Early Career of Mayor Frank Hague

Chapter 1 - Early Days With Boss Davis
Part 8

By Mark S. Foster

Copyright 1967

Web version, edited by GET NJ.
Copyright 2002

Hague impatiently awaited his turn to be acknowledged as leader of the democracy in the second ward. In 1906, he reorganized the Democratic club in the south end of the ward into an efficient and closely-knit organization, apparently with the blessing of Davis. At the same time, he found that because of his loss of the post as Deputy Sheriff he had excess time on his hands. Therefore, he took a job as a collector for a local brewery.26 This work allowed him to spend most of his time in the streets of the second ward making new friends in addition to collecting orders and money.

By the beginning of 1907, Hague’s work in the Horseshow earned him two rewards almost simultaneously. He was promoted to Sergeant at Arms at the State Assembly and Davis officially designated him leader of the party in the second ward. Hague succeeded the frustrated and outmaneuvered William Behan.

At first glance, one might easily overlook the significance of the appointment as Sergeant at Arms. While the job itself was menial, it presented an opportunity to hobnob with influential men in the state government and curry their favor by performing helpful errands. Hague made the most of his opportunity. Even the Jersey Journal noted his diligence:

He is obliging to all and very attentive to his duties and is a hard worker. Everything is done on the dot of time and there is no confusion of disorder about his work. Although the session had advanced but a few weeks, Hague is already spoken of as the “best sergeant of arms the Assembly ever had.”27

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