EMANUEL L. PHILIPP was born on a farm near Honey Creek, Wisconsin. After learning railroad telegraphy in Madison, he became the telegrapher and agent for the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad in Lodi, and continued to work in the railroad industry for a number of years. He bought the Union Refrigerator Transit Company in St. Louis in 1903, and reorganized it as the Union Refrigerator Transit Company of Wisconsin, moving the offices to Milwaukee. He entered politics in 1900, serving with Robert La Follette as chairman of the Milwaukee County Convention, but later broke with La Follette over their conflicting views on railroad oversight. From 1909 to 1914 Philipp held the nonpartisan post of Milwaukee Police Commissioner. In 1914, when Governor Francis E. McGovern did not seek reelection, the faction-ridden progressive wing of the Republican Party produced a number of candidates who split the vote, giving the nomination to Philipp as representative of the conservative wing of the party. Philipp went on to win the general election and to win two additional terms as governor. World War I took place during his second term, and he devoted his third term toward helping procure land and educational bonuses for returning veterans. After leaving office, he resumed his business interests in Milwaukee. He also operated two model farms, was active in the Wisconsin Humane Society, and served as a regent of Marquette University.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 4. Westport, CT: Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.
The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. 19. New York: James T. White & Company.
Wisconsin Historical Society