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Mayor’s death brought a whirlwind

For The Madera Tribune

The sudden death of Madera Mayor John McNally set in motion a whirlwind of political activity in 1951.


All of Madera was shocked on Wednesday morning, April 25, 1951, when they learned that their 39-year-old mayor, John McNally, was dead. A sudden heart attack had taken his life late in the night. 

McNally, one of Madera’s leading businessmen and its mayor for just one year, was found dead in his bed. He had attended a special meeting of the city council that night and seemed to be all right when he left at about 11 p.m.

McNally’s death presented the remainder of the council with a couple of serious problems. First, they would have to name a new mayor, and then they would have to fill the vacant council seat.


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