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Ardolph L. Kline

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ardolph Loges Kline
Ardolph Loges Kline circa 1914.png
Kline circa 1914
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 5th district
In office
March 4, 1921 – March 3, 1923
Preceded byJohn B. Johnston
Succeeded byLoring M. Black, Jr.
Acting Mayor of New York City
In office
September 10, 1913 – December 31, 1913
Preceded byWilliam Jay Gaynor
Succeeded byJohn Purroy Mitchel
President of the Board of Aldermen
In office
Preceded byJohn Purroy Mitchel
Succeeded byGeorge McAneny
Vice-Chairman of the Board of Aldermen
In office
New York City Alderman
In office
1904 – 1907, 1912–1913, and January 1–6, 1914
Constituency51st District (Brooklyn)
Personal details
Born(1858-02-21)February 21, 1858
Newton, New Jersey, U.S.
DiedOctober 13, 1930(1930-10-13) (aged 72)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Frances A. Phalon (m. November 25, 1886)
Alma materPhillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts
Professionmerchant, military officer, government official

Ardolph Loges Kline (February 21, 1858 – October 13, 1930), was a senior officer of the New York National Guard and a Republican politician who became acting Mayor of New York City on September 10, 1913, upon the death of Mayor William Jay Gaynor,[1] serving for the rest of the year. He was later a United States Representative from Brooklyn (1921–1923).[2]


Kline was born near Newton, New Jersey, in 1858 and studied at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, but did not attend college. In 1876 and 1877, he started working for a men's clothing company in New York City and joined the New York National Guard as a private. When the Spanish–American War of 1898 began, he was named a Lieutenant-Colonel, and in 1901 a Brevet (honorary or acting) Brigadier-General.

Political career

After losing a campaign for Sheriff of Kings County (Brooklyn), Kline was elected as an Alderman for the 51st District in Brooklyn in 1903 and 1905, but lost re-election in 1907 due to Democratic redrawing of his district. He won back his seat in 1911 and became Vice-Chairman of the Board of Aldermen in 1912, promising to enforce all rules fairly from the chair (including those against smoking).[3]

When John P. Mitchel, the elected President of the Board of Aldermen, resigned in 1912 in order to become Collector of the Port of New York, Kline succeeded Mitchel. And when Mayor Gaynor (who had never fully recovered from an attempted assassination in 1910) died at sea in September 1913, Board President Kline became mayor.

He served out the remainder of Gaynor's term, leaving office on December 31, 1913. Despite his stated intention of keeping all the department heads appointed by his predecessor for the rest of his term, Kline, in his very last days of office, dismissed Rhinelander Waldo as Commissioner of Police rather than accept a New Year's Eve resignation.[4]

Although re-elected as alderman for his old district for the 1914-1915 term, Kline resigned in early January 1914 to begin four years as the City's Tax Commissioner for Brooklyn (reviewing appeals of property tax assessments).[5]

He later served as a Republican U.S. Representative from New York (5th District in Brooklyn) from 1921 to 1923, being named to the House Committee on Naval Affairs,[6] but lost re-election in 1922 to Loring M. Black, Jr. (Democratic, 1923–1935). Kline spent all of his post-Congressional life as New York manager of the sea-service bureau of the United States Shipping Board.

Kline died October 13, 1930, at the Methodist Episcopal Hospital in Brooklyn, New York,[2] and was buried in Holy Cross Cemetery.


He is still (in early 2016) the only mayor of the consolidated (post-1897) city never to have won a citywide popular election to any office (such as those from which Joseph V. McKee and Vincent Impellitteri rose to become acting mayor). On the other hand, Kline is also the last serving or former mayor to win election to any other public office.

Congressional election returns

Here are the election returns from the Fifth Congressional District in Brooklyn for 1920-22, as reported by William Tyler Page, the Clerk of the United States House of Representatives.[7] The sitting Democratic Representative, John B. Johnston (1919–21), did not seek re-election in 1920.[8]

year candidate party vote percent
1920 Ardolph L. Kline Republican 42,129 58.2%
Edward Cassin Democratic 27,650 38.2%
Israel M. Chatcuff Socialist 2,047 2.8%
William M. Nichol Prohibition 574 0.8%
1922 Ardolph L. Kline Republican 25,917 42.1%
Loring M. Black, Jr. Democratic 33,840 54.9%
Louis Weil Socialist & Farmer-Labor 1,412 2.3%
William M. Nichol Prohibition 428 0.7%


  1. ^ "The New Mayor Of New York, Ardolph L. Kline". The New York Times. 14 September 1913. Retrieved 27 May 2008. The Man Who By a Double Turn of the Wheel of Fate Becomes the City's Chief Executive Is the Direct Opposite of Gaynor in Personality.
  2. ^ a b "Ex-Mayor Kline Dies At Age Of 72 — City's Chief Executive A Few Months Upon Death Of Mayor Gaynor In 1913 — Once Head Of Aldermen — A Brigadier General In The National Guard — Was With U.S. Shipping Board At His Death". The New York Times. October 14, 1930. Retrieved May 27, 2008. Brig. Gen. Ardolph L. Kline, who was Mayor of New York from Sept. 10 to Dec. 31, 1913, died yesterday in the Methodist Episcopal Hospital, Brooklyn, at the age of 72. He became Mayor on the death of Mayor Gaynor, being President of the Board of Aldermen at the time.
  3. ^ Tammany Gives Way To Fusion Aldermen; Dowling, the Retiring Leader, Says, However, He'll Have the Votes When Needed. The New York Times, Tuesday, January 2, 1912, page 20, retrieved on June 20, 2008. On taking office, Kline announced, "My rulings as Vice-Chairman, when I am called upon to occupy this chair in the absence of the President, will be fair, just, and equitable. I may make mistakes, but they will be mistakes of the head and not of the heart, and such mistakes may easily be rectified. I shall endeavor to maintain the dignity of this body, and I wish to state now that our rules must be enforced. There is a rule of this board that there shall be no smoking in this chamber. If you want smoking, adopt a rule to that effect; but don't put in a rule forbidding smoking and then expect the Chairman to close his eyes to that rule."
  4. ^ Kline Ousts Waldo; Calls Him Childish; Willing to Break Down Police Department to Satisfy His Pique, Mayor Writes. The New York Times, Thursday, January 1, 1914, page 1, retrieved on June 20, 2008. "Rhinelander Waldo was summarily dismissed from office as Police Commissioner yesterday by Mayor Kline. The removal came as the climax of a series of complications that had kept the department in a turmoil ever since it became definitely known that Mayor-elect Mitchel intended to let Waldo go and appoint a Police Commissioner of his own choosing."
  5. ^ Congressional Biographical Directory (see External links above) and Kline to Help Aldermen Organize. The New York Times, January 3, 1914, retrieved on June 26, 2008
  6. ^ Republicans Name House Committees, The New York Times April 10, 1921, retrieved on June 26, 2008
  7. ^ Election Information Archived 2008-07-30 at the Wayback Machine, Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives, retrieved on July 25, 2008
  8. ^ United States Congress. "Johnston, John Brown (id: J000190)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  9. ^ New York gubernatorial elections, The House Clerk's Report on 1922 Election and The World Almanac and Book of Facts for 1929, pages 889-890

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
William Jay Gaynor
Mayor of New York City (acting)
September 10, 1913 – December 31, 1913
Succeeded by
John Purroy Mitchel
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
John B. Johnston
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 5th congressional district

March 4, 1921 – March 3, 1923
Succeeded by
Loring M. Black, Jr.
This page was last edited on 31 January 2021, at 11:20
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