Few recognize the name and face of the man who once controlled crime and vice in San Bernardino. Background information on Emerson is sketchy with his place of birth listed as both Sacramento and Illinois. He arrived in San Bernardino in 1902 and became a fixture in the local underworld. Emerson met and married Mrs. Lillie Marshall one of the soiled doves working Hells Half acre. Mr. Emerson's engaged in gambling "the most prominent games were held at the Stewart and Westminster Hotels," prostitution, boxing promotion and politics.
Mr. Emerson was also a member of the Gatecity cortet which often performed at local political functions. Mr. Emerson was appointed to the San Bernardino Police Department in May 1905 and participated in several raids of his own establishments. His death in October 1914 came at the hand of a political rival who was later acquitted at trial.
More Emerson information can be found in a series of articals I have written under the title "the Gatecity Project."
Buried Next to his wife Lillie Marshall (Effie Emerson Kelly).
Effie Emerson Kelly
1881–1936 (m. 1910)
Martha Emerson Russell
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