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Mayor Willard E. Fraser

Biographical Sketch

He was Mayor from 1963-1969 and 1971-1972.

Willard E. Fraser was mayor of Billings for six terms.  He was one of the most popular and most colorful mayors Billings has ever had.  He died in office of a heart attack on September 21, 1972. 

Fraser was described as a “dreamer, clown and politician extraordinary,” a man who biked to work wearing a Panama hat and white suit, sometimes presided over city council meetings in a sweatshirt, and loved sirens and flashing lights. 

Fraser was also a visionary who loved Billings and its people – and the people returned that affection.  Among his dreams: a tunnel through the Rims to ease traffic problems in the Heights; a large manmade lake where Billings residents could fish, sail and swim, and a tram car from the airport to downtown hotels. 

In 1999, a bridge on the bike path near Two Moon Park in the Heights was named the Willard Fraser Memorial Bridge in his honor.  (Stevens, K.D. & Redman, D.A. (2000). Billings A to Z. Montana: Fenske Companies.)

  Willard E. Fraser homepage

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