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Small, Lennington (1862-1936) | Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

Name: Small, Lennington (1862-1936)
Variant Name: Len. Small

Historical Note:

Lennington Small was born in Kankakee, Illinois on June 16, 1862 to Dr. Abram Lennington and Calista Currier Small and died May 17, 1936; educated in public schools, Northern Indiana Normal School, and a local business college; taught school briefly; took an early interest in farming and developed a modern farm in Kankakee County; elected supervisor of Kankakee, 1895; clerk of circuit court, 1896; state senator, 1901-1905; state treasurer, 1905-1907; assistant treasurer in charge of the United States sub-treasury in Chicago, 1910-1913; re-elected state treasurer, 1917-1919; Governor, 1921-1929; trustee of Kankakee State Hospital; bank president; newspaper publisher.

He was the downstate Republican partner of William Hale “Big Bill” Thompson, the notorious Republican mayor of Chicago.  In 1921 he was indicted on charges that he ran a money laundering scheme during his days as treasurer; he was acquitted but may have tampered with the jury (After the trial, four jurors received state jobs).  During his time as Governor, Small gave Illinois one of the nation’s best hard road systems of 7,000 miles of 18 foot wide pavement.

In 1883 he married Ida Moore, a school teacher and the daughter of a neighboring farmer.  She died in 1921.  They had 2 sons, B.L. and Leslie, and a daughter, May.

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