Miles Brown Kitts
Born on April 24, 1880, Summit Township, Erie County, Miles Brown Kitts was the son of Debian and Elnora Kitts; he attended public schools; the Waterford Academy; and graduated from Edinboro State Normal School, 1902. Kitts taught at Erie’s Glenwood School, studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1907. He served in the state House of Representatives, 1913 to 1916, and was elected Mayor of Erie, February 1916, serving through 1920 – remarkably seizing victory as a Republican selected by the local Democratic Committee, while his opponent ran on the Republican ticket as a Democrat. As mayor, Miles constructed the “Mill Creek Tube” (a major flood control project in Erie); initiated the construction of the Perry Monument; and revamped the police department. During Prohibition, Mayor Kitts assumed a pro-liquor stance, infuriating a powerful group of Republican reformers, who sought a citywide investigation and a grand jury deliberation over liquor corruption. Kitts avoided indictment, but did not seek reelection in 1924. In 1926, the mayor was elected to the state Senate, filling a vacancy left by Marvin Griswold, decd.; then, reelected to full term, serving in total, 1927-1932. He returned to Erie and practiced law, later becoming president judge of Erie County. The aging Kitts however was removed from the bench by petition citing “mental incapacity.” He died shortly thereafter on May 27, 1947. His wife’s name was Nettie.