Rudolph Blankenburg Edit Profile
Educated private tutelage and Real Gymnasium. Came to America, 1865.
He came to the United States in 1865 and began working as a salesman and then as a textile manufacturer. He also began associating with the Society of Friends. He became wealthy and retired from his business concerns in 1909.
He became a naturalized U.S. citizen. He began taking an interest in civic improvement and reform politics in Philadelphia in 1877. He was elected county commissioner for Philadelphia in 1905, serving 1906-1909.
He was then elected mayor of Philadelphia in 1911 on the Keystone-Democratic ticket. The coalition was organized to fight Republican corruption in the state and city. He was reelected mayor in 1913, and served as mayor 1912-1915.
Because of his commitment to progressive reform, he was known as “The Old War Horse of Reform” and “The Dutch Cleanser.” He ended assessments by ward leaders of policemen, reorganized the civil service system to have it based on merit, gained passage by the legislature of a bill to enable the city to lease development of subway and transit lines, and worked for reform for 40 years as a political activist. In earlier years he was a world-wide traveler. He also became known by his numerous magazine and newspaper articles on social, economic and religious questions.
He died in the Germantown section of Philadelphia. Rudolph Blankenburg Elementary School in Philadelphia is named for him.
Married Lucretia M. Longshore, April.