Zell Gibson Roe

Young in years but old in wisdom, Zell G. Roe, Superintentent of Public Safety, upon taking up the reins of government in March, 1910, found the police department badly disorganized as a result of the Hamery administration, and at once set about a rejuvenation which resulted in bringing that department up to a standard to be classed as second to none in the entire country.

Zell Roe was born at Winterset, Madison county, Iowa, August 22, 1878, moving with his parents to Des Moines in 1880. He graduated from the public schools of the city and Drake University, entering upon the practice of law immediately thereafter.

At the age of 25 he was elected Justice of the Peace, serving in that capacity for six years. During his term of office as Justice it is said of him that not once did he ever play favorite to any one. He believed in a square deal and a just interpretation of the law and it was his characterisitic honesty and belief in fair play that caused his friends to urge him to become a candidate for a place on the city council under the Des Moines plan of government.

At the age of 32, Mr. Roe finds himself at the head of one of the most efficient and best regulated police, fire and health departments in the country.

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