It's one of the great small South Dakota town's the state is known for. A few dozen less than 500 friendly folks, you should take one of those fun South Dakota road trips and discover this jewel on the prairie.


One of the towns that is the pride of Hanson County, Emery was originally called Farmington. The town that we now call Emery was the birthplace of a man who wanted to become Vice President of the United States of America.


Yes, really.

Thomas Werdel was born in Emery more than a few years ago, back in 1905. Thomas called Emery home for the first 10 years of his life before moving off to California in 1915. And it was there that little Thomas, now grown up and a Lawyer, became of member of the U.S. Congress in 1949.

In 1952 Dwight Eisenhower became President and while it may be debatable how good of a President he was, there is no doubt about his incredible popularity. But no matter how popular a President is, there are still people who think they can do better. And so it was with the States' Right's political party in 1956.

I suppose virtually everyone knew that Eisenhower would be re-elected. Many historians look at that 1956 Presidential election as pretty much positioning for the 1960 election. In other words, 1956 was politically a 'done-deal'. Adlai Stevenson ran on the Democrat ticket, but lost in a landslide.

But not as much of a landslide that Werdel was on. His States' Right's ticket (headed by T. Coleman Andrews, a former Commissioner of Internal Revenue) garnered just 0.17% of the vote. Just a blip on the election map? Perhaps, but still...

Emery, South Dakota was the birth place of a Congressman and a candidate for the Vice Presidency of the United states of America.

Thomas Werdel passed away in Bakersfield, California in 1966 at the age of 61.

KXRB logo
Enter your number to get our free mobile app


More From KXRB