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Meet historic leaders of the City of Port Jervis from 1907 roots through present: A New Series

We have put together a list of Port Jervis Common Council members and mayors, beginning with the last Port Jervis Village Board (1907) to current Port Jervis Common Council makeup (2022). We hope this series is found to be of historical interest in our community.


This is not meant to be a political post or to create political discussion in any way, but is rather a historical archive and introduction to the people who have been elected or appointed to help lead the city since its incorporation.


This will become a series of individual posts and introductions to the 27 individual mayors who have served Port Jervis since its incorporation as a city in 1907. Some of these 27 members served in split terms, and many in more than one term and with different council members. The council members and mayors will be listed by term to include Common Council makeup by term, from 1907 to present.


NOTE: The City of Port Jervis' first mayor, Mayor (Dr.) Henry Brinkerhoff Swartwout, was also the Village of Port Jervis' last President. He served from January 1, 1907-July 26,1907 as President of the Village of Port Jervis, and from July 26, 1907-December 31, 1907 as Mayor of the City of Port Jervis. Some of the board members on that last Village Board also served on the city's first Common Council in 1907. The members of that last Village of Port Jervis Board and first City of Port Jervis Common Council are included with Mayor Swartwout's terms for that reason.


We thank MVHS Executive Director Nancy Conod for her expertise and help with our research.


(Village of Port Jervis became City of Port Jervis July 26, 1907)


LAST Village of Port Jervis Board of Trustees - 1907 President of Village of Port Jervis Dr. Henry Brinkerhoff Swartwout, Trustees C.F. Van Inwegen, Benjamin Ryall, George Post, J.J. Bippins, Thomas Cavanaugh, Emmet Garriss, James A. Orr, John J. Hawkins


(Incorporated as the City of Port Jervis on July 26, 1907)


FIRST Common Council of the City of Port Jervis - July 26, 1907-12/31/1907

Mayor Dr. Henry B. Swartwout, Alderman-at-Large W.N. Tuscano, Aldermen James A. Orr, C. F. Van Inwegen, Thomas W. Cavanaugh, Benjamin Ryall, J.J. Bippus, George A. Post, S. Emmett Garriss, John J. Hawkins


FIRST ELECTED Common Council of the City of Port Jervis 1/1/1908-12/31/1909

(Tri-States Union, November 7, 1907)

Mayor Dr. Henry Swartwout, Alderman-at-Large Joseph Johnson, First Ward Aldermen James I. Delaney, James Howell, Second Ward Aldermen A.F. Brown, P.C. Rutan, Third Ward Aldermen Andrew Hensel, F.N. Mason, Fourth Ward Aldermen C.F. Van Inwegen, Thomas Mulhearn, First Ward Supervisor D. Garriss, Second Ward Supervisor R. Farnum, Third Ward Supervisor R. Toth, Fourth Ward Supervisor D. Gillen


Mayors (Since incorporation of City of Port Jervis, July 26, 1907)

1. Henry B. Swartwout 1907-1907, 1908-1909

2. Charles N. Knapp 1910-1911

3. William Nearpass 1912-1913

4. Frank Lybolt 1914-1915

5. Peter Gumaer 1916-1917

6. R. Grant Thorpe 1918-1919

7. George E. Hornbeck 1920-1921

8. Peter C. Rutan 1922-1923

9. Horace Sheldon 1924-1925, 1926-1937, 1928-1929

10. William D. McCombs Elected in 1929, but died prior to taking office.

11. Thomas J. Conmy 1930-1931

12. Wendell E. Phillips 1932-1933, 1934-1935, 1936-1937, 1938-1939

13. John J. Hawkins 1940-1941

14. Lester M. Warner *** 1942-1943, 1944-1945, 1946-1947 (and 1950-1951)

15. John F. Schoonmaker 1948-1949

14. Lester M. Warner *** 1950-1951 (and previously 1942-1943, 1944-1945, 1946-1947 )

16. James E. Cole *** 1952-1953, 1954-1955 (and 1962-1963, 1964-1965)

17. James T. Murphy 1956-1957, 1958-1959, 1960-1961

(16) James E. Cole *** 1962-1963,1964-1965 (and previously 1952-1953, 1954-1955)

18. Phillip S. Parker 1966-1967

19. Sidney Sakofsky 1968-1969, 1970-1971

20. Robert Eccleston 1972-1973, 1974-1975, 1976-1977

21. E. Arthur Gray 1978-1979, 1980-1981, 1982-1983, 1984-1985, 1986-1987, 1988

Did not serve as mayor in 1989, became NYS Senator.

22. Richard K. Roberts 1989-1989, 1990-1991

Filled E. Arthur Gray’s 1989 term, then elected,

23. R. Michael Worden 1992-1993, 1994-1995, 1996-1997, 1998-1999, 2000-2001

24. Ross B. Decker 2002-2003

25. Gary Lopriore 2004-2005, 2006-2007, 2008-2009

26. Russell Potter 2010-2011, 2012-2013

27. Kelly B. Decker 2014-2015, 2016-2017, 2018-2019, 2020-2021, 2022-2023

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