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Louis Lincoln Emmerson Passes Away

Today in Masonic History Louis Lincoln Emmerson passes away in 1941.

Louis Lincoln Emmerson was an American politician.

Emmerson was born on December 27th, 1863 in Albion, Illinois. He attended and graduated from local schools in Albion before moving to Mount Vernon, Illinois. In Mount Vernon he entered the mercantile business. He was also instrumental in organizing the Mount Vernon Third National Bank in 1901.

In 1912, Emmerson first entered politics by running for State Treasurer, he was unsuccessful. In 1916 he ran for public office again, this time Secretary of State. He was successful, serving as the Illinois Secretary of State for 12 years.

In 1928, Emmerson ran for Governor of Illinois starting in the Republican primary. He went up against the incumbent governor, Len Small. Small gained a reputation for being corrupt. He pardoned many known criminals, in excess of 100, during his time in office. The crimes of those pardoned ranged from the leaders of crime families, bootleggers and, as it was called at the time, white slavery. The kidnapping of young girls and selling them as sex slaves. Because of Small's criminal connection the primary became violent and was nicknamed the "Pineapple Primary." This was due to the repeated bombings of various polling stations and other facilities in and around Cook County. The name "Pineapple" came from the slang term used to describe hand grenades. Emmerson won the primary 63% to 37%.

Once in office, Emmerson faced an up hill battle in the midst of the Great Depression. During his tenure taxpayers were offered some relief and emergency bonds were issued. A motor-fuel tax was also implemented to help fund improvements to the highway system. Emmerson did not seek reelection and left office on January 9th, 1933.

Emmerson passed away on February 4th, 1941.

Emmerson was a member of Mt. Vernon Lodge No. 31 in Mount Vernon, Illinois. In 1929, Emmerson served as the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Illinois. He was a member of the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite and received his 33°. He also served as the Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Illinois and Right Eminent Grand Commander of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of Illinois.

This article provided by Brother Eric C. Steele.