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Mayors of Rensselaer

In 1896, Rensselaer officially became a City and our first Mayor, Thomas McCoy was officially sworn to uphold the interests and concerns of our community. Since that memorable day, this ceremony has been repeated nineteen times, for eighteen other people. McCoy, a Republican was succeeded by John Eger, owner of a local grocery store. Mr. Eger was the City's first Democrat Mayor. John Eger was the Great Uncle of our eleventh Mayor, Emmett W. Eger, who served the community with two separate terms 1964-68 and 1972-80, a total of twelve years service. To date, Rensselaer has elected twelve Republican and seven Democrat affiliated Chief Executives.

In Comparison, Rensselaer's Mayor in 1925, George W. Hopkins was a Great Uncle to Emil W. Hanley, who took office in 1950. They were partners in a downtown pharmacy, Hopkins & Hanley Drug Store, both being pharmacists. Emil Hanley served our community for thirteen and a half years, the longest lineage of our eighteen. Mr. Hanley was given the honor of introducing the Honorable Charles A. Halleck, who in turn presented past President and General of the Armies, Dwight D. Eisenhower to our community in 1962, on Charley Halleck Day. Mr. Halleck, although never a Mayor of Rensselaer, was probably one of our most famous citizens to date, serving in the United States Congress for over 35 years.

When asked why he accepted the position of Mayor, due to such small compensation, Emmett W. 'Tim' Eger, stated "I feel I must give something back to the community that has been so kind to me". This noble statement has been restated many times by other Chief Executives of our City.

Not all our Chief Executives were able to complete full four year terms. Mayor William Bahler died in office mid-term and Malcom Roth was forced to resign due to ill health. Mayor Roger Merriman resigned with several months remaining, and was succeeded by Stephen Wood. Mayor Wood was later elected to a full term.

The Honorable Susan Smith served the community as City Clerk-Treasurer for several terms before being elected as our First Lady Chief Executive. Following her mayoral term, Mrs. Smith was elected to our City Council representing the City's Second Ward.
The Honorable Herbert H. Arihood was elected Mayor in the year of 2000. He served the community for twelve years.
Our current Mayor, Stephen A. Wood, (who had previously held the Office of Mayor in 1992), was elected a second time by our citizens to serve and lead our City. In January of 2012, Mayor Wood took his oath of office and continues to serve Rensselaer today.  


1. Thomas J. McCoy, Republican, 1896, four years

2. John Eger, Democrat, 1900, two years

3. J.H.S. Ellis, Republican, 1902, eight years

4. George F. Meyers, Republican, 1910, four years

5. Charles G. Spitler, Republican, 1914 eight years

6. J.W. Stockton, Democrat, 1922, four years

7. George W. Hopkins, Republican, 1926, 13 years

8. Conrad Kellner, Democrat, 1939, 9 years

9. William Bahler, Republican, 1948, two years

10. Emil Hanley, Republican, 1950, 13.5 years

11. Emmett W. "Tim" Eger, Democrat, 1964, 12 years

12. Malcom Roth, Republican, 1976, four years

13. Daryl Ford, Republican, 1980, two years

14. Roger Merriman, Democrat, 1983, three years

15. Robert D. Wilcox, Republican, 1984, 8 years

16. Stephen A. Wood, Democrat, 1992, 4.25 years

17. Susan M. Smith, Republican, 1996, 4 years
18. Herbert H. Arihood, Republican, 2000, 12 years 
19. Stephen A. Wood, Democrat, 2012 to present