Sample Ballot from 1942

Yesterday, I posting a close-up Amendment 1 people voted upon in 1942.

Here’s the whole sample ballot, complete with Prohibitation Party candidates:

Note that straight party voting was allowed. This was ended when Lee Daniels was House Speaker in 1995-6.
The names of Henry Nulle, the father of the Sheriff who ran in the 1970’s, and Henry Cowlin, grandfather of the the James Cowlin on the ballot this year, are on the ballot.

I met two of the men on this ballot–Bill Stratton and Lester Edinger.

And I believe Judge Henry Cowlin swore me in as McHenry County Treasurer in 1966. The ceremony certaInly took place in his second floor courtroom in the Old Courthouse.

Stratton came to my hospital room at Oberlin College when he visited the campus to talk about Illinois politics during the Republican Mock Convention which I chaired.

Edinger found me on the Woodstock Square at some event and told me how World War I Veterans came home and decided it was time for the next generation to take over the courthouse.

He ran for Sheriff and won, but (and here my memory may be skipping some offices) since Sheriff’s could not run for re-election under the 1870 State Constitution, he ran for Circuit Clerk, where he served until his Chief Deputy Margaret O’Neill (who always wore brightly-colored dresses that even my red-green color-blind eyes could appreciate).

At some point those Veterans (and I know nothing about any role, if any Edinger may have played) became corrupted, allowing gambling and drinking during Prohibition and even allowing third floor of the County Poor Farm building to be used to treat those injured in Chicagoland gangland wars.

The corruption continued until at least the 1950’s. According to the slot machine repairman Sam Smunk, whom my father met somehow and introduced me to in our driveway, he paid each judge at the courthouse $1,000 a week to allow the gambling to continue unfettered.


Sample Ballot from 1942 — 2 Comments

  1. So Henry Cowlin got a grand a week to look the other way on gambling?

    He one of those judges?

    How about his sons/grandsons, they look the other way too on stuff?


    Say it aint so Cowlin Family.

  2. Cowlin family some of the biggest crooks in the county.

    Pitluck and Floeter told me so.

    Pribla even said he had photographic evidence.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.