Robert S. Oakman Papers,   1882-1949, and undated
full text File Size: 23 K bytes | Add this to my bookbag

History

Biography:

Robert S. Oakman (August 21, 1860-October 1942) was born, worked, and died in Detroit, Michigan. He married Mamie Rose Moross, of the famous northeast Detroit family, in August 1887. He was a real estate agent, dealer, broker, and seller in Detroit.

An active and powerful Republican, from 1890 to 1896 he worked as secretary for Hazen S. Pingree (1840-1901), Mayor of Detroit, while Pingree considered running as governor of Michigan. Pingree served as Governor of Michigan, 1897-1898. Oakman then advanced from city assessor to membership in the state’s first State Tax Commission. He later resigned from this position to work as a tax expert for Detroit United Railway, which to an interest in buildings and real estate. His political influence secured Detroit’s first filtration plant and the first separate Michigan women’s prison at Northville.

Believing Detroit would soon expand into the suburbs, he bought extensive real estate holdings to the northeast side of Detroit prior to 1893. He then became a wealthy man, in the first year earning over $9,000 in profits. In 1917, he donated property he owned to connect Woodward and Michigan avenues, which was named Oakman Boulevard. He planned and laid out modern residential areas of Detroit, particularly on the northeast side of the city.

Oakman was a member of many organizations including the Masons, Grosse Pointe Yacht Club with his yacht the “Mamie O.”, and the Humane Society. He was also a member of the Detroit Board of Commerce and a director of the Union Trust Company in Detroit. (This information is from the collection.)