Black Hills Knowledge Netowork

Mayoral History of Rapid City

Since its founding, Rapid City has had four forms of government. It started with an aldermanic form in which the mayor is elected as the city's chief executive and administrative officer, and a city council holds legislative power. In 1910, a commission form was adopted. In this form, commissioners are elected to head an aspect of government, and the mayor is chosen from among the commissioners to preside over their meetings. In 1922, the city switched to a city manager form. In Rapid City's version, the commissioners continued in their role and appointed a mayor among their number, but also appointed a city manager to manage the day to day operations of the city. The city reverted to the aldermanic form in 1957. These forms are further explained on the Black Hills Knowledge Knowledge Network's Types of Government resource page.
Rapid City has a strong mayor; the mayor has the veto over city council decisions and appoints department heads. The mayor is elected to serve two-year terms.

Aldermanic Form of Government from 1882-1910

1882-1883 Brennan John Richard Brennan


Stearns Fred E. Stearns
1884-1886 Halley James Halley II
1886-1887 Simmons Andrew Jackson Simmons
1887-1888 Schrader John F. Schrader
1888-1890 Clark David H. Clark
1890-1894 Woods James Moses Woods




Wood Chauncey Lynch Wood
1896-1898 McGillycuddy Valentine Trant McGillycuddy
1898-1899 Mansfield George B. Mansfield
1900-1902 Brown Charles Wellington Brown
1902-1908 Emrick Ferdinand N. Emrick


Commission Form of Government from 1910-1922

1910-1912 Jackson Robert J. Jackson
1912-1914 Rugg Fred H. Rugg
1914-1918 Robinson William E. Robinson
1919-1920 Burke John L. Burke
1920-1922 Gray Claude E. Gray


City Manager Form of Government from 1922-1957

1922-1924 Wentzy Harry Wentzy
1924-1925 Boland John Abrahm Boland
1925-1926 Tittle Charles Peter Tittle Jr.
1926-1927 Lampert Arthur Arno Lampert
1927-1928 Jepson Victor Theodore Jepson
1928-1929 Bangs Eugene L. Bangs
1929-1930 Werner Theodore B. (Dates) Werner
1930-1931 Morrill Winfield Scott Morrill
1931-1932 Babington Melville C. Babington
1933-1934 Merritt Fred W. (Fritz) Merritt
1934-1936 Doherty Charles Leroy (Roy) Doherty
1937-1938 DeKerchove Norbert DeKerchove
1938-1943 Hill Robert S. Hill
1943-1944 Burrington Therlo Edson Burrington
1944-1946 Neil Stanton W. Neil
1946-1948 Dusek Fred Dusek
1948-1949 Brockelsby Earl John Brockelsby
1949-1951 Chase Isaac Henry (Ike) Chase
1951-1953 Haines Augustus (Gus) Haines
1953-1954 Wasser Montford Oris (Bud) Wasser
1954-1955 Johnson Harry R. Johnson
1955-1956 L'Esperance Don A. L'Esperance
1956-1957 Baker Henry J. Baker


Aldermanic Form of Government from 1957-Present

1957-1961 Dusek Fred Dusek
1961-1963 Raff Willis H. (Bill) Raff
1963-1965 Schroeder Phil G. Schroeder
1965-1969 Baker Henry Jay Baker
1969-1970 Allmon Jack P. Allmon
1970-1971 Barnes John Barnes
1971-1975 Barnett Donald V. Barnett
1975-1987 LaCroix Arthur P. LaCroix
1987-1991 Carlyle Keith T. Carlyle
1991-1997 McLaughlin Edward Ralph McLaughlin



Shaw James E. (Jim) Shaw
2001-2003 Munson Jerome A. (Jerry) Munson
2007-2011 Hanks Alan Hanks
2011-2015 kooiker thumbnail 2 BW Sam Kooiker


Mayoral Histories Compiled by Kay Rippentrop and Sandra Malone.

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525 University Loop, Suite 202
Rapid City, SD 57701
(605) 716-0058   [email protected]