Louis L. Emmerson, Governor

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Louis Emmerson

Death: Died
Immediate Family:

Son of Jesse Emmerson and Samantha Sperry
Husband of Onnie Matthews
Father of Aline Emmerson and Dorothy Emmerson
Brother of Morris Emmerson; Charles Emmerson and Louise Emmerson
Half brother of Louis Lincoln Emmerson and Louise Emmerson

Occupation: merchant and banker
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Louis L. Emmerson, Governor


Louis Lincoln Emmerson (December 27, 1863 – February 4, 1941) was a Republican and the twenty-ninth governor of Illinois. He was born in Albion, Illinois on December 27, 1863. After completing his education in the Albion public school system, Emmerson moved to Mount Vernon, Illinois in 1883, and established a career in the mercantile business. He also was influential in the organization of the Mount Vernon Third National Bank, which occurred in 1901. Emmerson entered politics in 1912, as an unsuccessful candidate for state treasurer. However, four years later, he was victorious in his election for secretary of state, an office he held for twelve years. Emmerson won the 1928 Republican gubernatorial nomination by a margin of 63% to 37% over the incumbent governor, the corrupt Len Small, and was sworn into the governorship on January 14, 1929. During his tenure, he faced mounting difficulties resulting from the Great Depression. Taxpayers were granted some relief when legislation was adopted that eased penalties on overdue taxes and allowed for the issuance of emergency bonds. Also, a motor fuel-tax was instituted and used for improvements in the highway system, the first unemployment commission was initiated, and federal grants were sanctioned for the completion of the Lakes-to-the-Gulf Waterway. Emmerson did not seek reelection and left office on January 9, 1933, retiring from politics. Governor Louis L. Emmerson died on February 4, 1941, and was buried at the Oakwood Cemetery in Mt. Vernon, Illinois.

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