Edmund S. Muskie Oral History Collection

Document Type

Oral History

Publication Date


Interview Number

MOH 110


Emile Jacques was born on February 2, 1925 in Lewiston, Maine to Florestine (Hemond) and Ovid Jacques, two Canadian immigrants from Plessisville, PQ. He served in the Marine Corps for two years beginning around 1943. After the war, he owned a motorcycle shop and raced motorcycles competitively around New England and Canada for 11 years, sometimes racing as “Bill Peterson.” He later owned Twin City Cigarette, which was a Lewiston cigarette shop. He went to the New York Institute of Criminology for two years, and then became active in Lewiston politics. He served as Ward 3 Alderman from 1954 to 1958, as a Legislator from 1955-1961, as Mayor from 1960-1962, and as State Senator from 1961-1967. While serving as State Senator on the 100th Maine legislature he was a member of the Industrial and Recreational Committee and the Development and Congressional Redistricting Committee. He was also chosen Senate Minority Leader in 1963 and served two terms as Ward 7 Alderman from 1962 to 1964.

Scope and Content Note

Interview includes discussions of: connection between Lewiston and Quebec in the 1930s-1940s; Robert Wiseman; bootlegging; “Wiseman Gang” of Paul Couture, Al Lessard, Jere Clifford, Robert Caron, Roland Tanguay, and Louis Jalbert; Lewiston political cliques; Muskie as a legislator; Ernest Malenfant; legislative issues of the 1950s; Frank Coffin; Le Messager; Richard Sampson; running for Senate President; determining Lewiston political line-ups; television; Ed Muskie story: convention 1960; lobbying for Kennedy at the 1960 convention; run-ins between Louis Jalbert and Bill Jacques; urban renewal; difference between Lewiston and the St. John Valley; airport politics; Kennedy visit to Lewiston; Clay-Liston fight in Lewiston; Ed Muskie’s impact on Maine; and Androscoggin County jail reconstruction.

Use Restrictions

Copyright Bates College. This transcript is provided for individual Research Purposes Only; for all other uses, including publication, reproduction and quotation beyond fair use, permission must be obtained in writing from: The Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library, Bates College, 70 Campus Avenue, Lewiston, Maine 04240-6018.