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  • Paul Powell Collection

Paul Powell served in the Illinois House of Representatives from 1935 through 1964, representing the fifty-first and then fifty-ninth districts. During that time he held the positions of Minority Whip, Minority Leader, and Speaker of the House. In 1964, Powell won the first of two elections to the office of Illinois Secretary of State. Powell died in 1970 while serving as Secretary of State.

After Powell's death in 1970, almost $800,000 was discovered in shoeboxes in Powell's apartment leading to a ninety-three month investigation by the Internal Revenue Service. The settlement of the estate was finally negotiated in 1978. 

The finding aid for the Paul Powell and Estate Papers, 1910-1976 at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum may be found at

Photographs in this collection include images of Paul Powell speaking and attending events and meetings during his time as a state legislator and Illinois Secretary of State.

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