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Francis Adams Cherry, Sr. is Born

Today in Masonic History Francis Adams Cherry, Sr. is born in 1908.

Francis Adams Cherry, Sr. was an American politician.

Cherry was born on September 5th, 1908 in Fort Worth, Texas. He grew up in El Reno and Enid, Oaklahoma where he graduated from High School in 1926. He went on to attend Oklahoma State University where he graduated in 1930. In 1932 he moved to Fayetteville, Arkansas to attend the University of Arkansas Law School, receiving his law degree in 1936. Shortly after graduating with his law degree he moved to Jonesville where he established a legal practice.

In 1936, Cherry was appointed the United States Commissioner for the Jonesboro division of the Eastern district. In 1940 he was named referee to the Workers’ Compensation Commission by the Governor of Arkansas. In 1942 he was elected the chancellor and probate judge of the 12th Judicial District. This allowed Cherry to get judicial immunity so he did not have to serve during World War II. Cherry waived that right and sought a commission in the United States Navy. He served during the last two years during World War II.

In 1952, Cherry was elected Governor of Arkansas. He won the Democratic primary defeating the incumbant Governor. He went on to devastate the Republican candidate in the general election. Cherry won more than 87% of the vote. Unfortunately Cherry would only get one term as Governor. In the next election he was the incumbant who lost in the primary, his Democratic opponent would go on to serve six terms as Governor. Cherry was one of only two people up to that point who only served one term as Governor.

After leaving the Governor's Office, Cherry was appointed in 1955 to the Subversive Activities Control Board (SACB) by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. This despite the fact that Cherry was a Democrat and Eisenhower a Republican. Cherry was a staunch anti-Communist and the Board's purpose was to investigate Communist infiltration of American Society. Cherry remained on the board until the time of his passing, having been reappointed by Presidnets John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. The SACB was disbanded three years after Cherry's passing due to the United States Supreme Court calling many of the boards powers unconstituational. It wasn't until 1993 that the Supreme Court made it's final declaration that the SACB was unconstituational.

Cherry had heart surgery in 1963. He was never able to fully resume his duties, although he went into the office several days a week. Cherry passed away on July 15th, 1965.

Cherry was a member of Jonesboro Lodge No. 129 in Jonesboro, Arkansas. He was a member of Union Chapter No. 2, Royal Arch Masons, Occidental Council No. 1 and Hugh de Payens Commandery No. 1 Knights Templar. He was also a member of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern Masonic Jurisdiction in the Valley of Little Rock. He was a member Sahara Shrine Temple in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, a member of O.E.S. and Amaranth

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