(Nov. 12, 1892-Nov. 12, 1950). Albert G. Feeney attended St. John’s School (see St. John Catholic Church) and Manual High School in Indianapolis, then went to the University of Notre Dame where he played football (as a teammate of future coach Knute Rockne) and basketball. Following graduation in 1914, he played both sports professionally. Feeney retired from pro football in 1926 but continued coaching at Notre Dame, serving his former teammate as an advisory line coach until Rockne’s death in 1931. He also directed Cathedral High School’s football team in Indianapolis, where he lost only one game in three years.

Indianapolis mayor Albert G. Feeney demolishes the first house to clear Indianapolis slums on July 20, 1948, at 856 W. 11th Street. Credit: Indiana Historical Society View Source

In 1933, Feeney organized the State Board of Public Safety and became its first director. This appointment also made him superintendent of the Indiana State Police, director of the State Fire Marshal’s Office, and in charge of the Department of Criminal Identification and Investigation. Although honored as Indiana’s outstanding law enforcement officer, Governor Paul V. McNutt dismissed him in 1935 after a long battle between Feeney and the governor’s patronage secretary, who used state policemen for political work despite Feeney’s repeated prohibitions of such activity.

Feeney was elected Marion County Sheriff in 1938 and 1940. As sheriff, he reduced juvenile delinquency, had all deputies study first aid, equipped department cars with two-way radios, improved conditions at the county jail, and required school bus inspections. Later in the 1940s, he was the safety director for P. R. Mallory And Company and a member of the Marion County Welfare Board.

Democrat Albert G. Feeney being sworn in as the 36th Mayor of Indianapolis on Jan. 1, 1948. Credit: Indiana Historical Society View Source

Elected mayor of Indianapolis for the term beginning January 1, 1948, Feeney sought to improve the city’s shaky financial situation. He directed that parking tickets and fines were to be paid rather than being “fixed” by friends. He also sold the mayor’s car and fired his chauffeur to save money. He died unexpectedly before completing his term of office.

Revised February 2021

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