My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in the book, The History of Adair County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1888.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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William E. Emerson, a farmer of Clay Township, was born in Maine in 1822, and is the eldest of twelve children of John and Susan (Foster) Emerson, also natives of Maine, born about 1796 and 1806, respectively. They were married about 1820. The father was of English ancestry, a son of William Emerson, a native of New Hampshire, and a soldier in the Revolutionary War. He was a member of the first Legislature of the State of Maine. His father was a native of Massachusetts, a soldier, and served in the French and Indian War under Gen. Wolf, at Quebec. John moved to Illinois about 1833, locating near Chicago, and in 1840 moved to Dubuque County, Iowa, and afterward to Waterloo, where he died about 1885. In early life he was a farmer and also during his later years. He served two terms as county surveyor of Winnebago County, Ill., and was for some years justice of the peace in Iowa. He was deacon in the Baptist Church, and an active worker in it, possessed a fine college education, which was partly received at Boston, and for several years taught school. His wife died in 1879, and was also a member of the Baptist Church. Our subject was reared under the parental roof, his education being limited to the time he lived in his native State, as there were no schools in the west, to which he came with his parents when but twelve years old. For several years, while young, he was engaged in lead mines in Wisconsin and Illinois, and several years after contracted to grade on the railroad. When about thirty-eight years of age he returned to his native State, where he married Miss Melissa A., daughter of Jacob and Susan Huntley, a native of Maine. They have had eight children, five now living: Ada, Susie (wife of E. Rice), Mary, Hattie and Ralph Waldo. He then returned to Iowa, and soon after, in the year 1856, came to Adair County, locating in Clay Township, twelve miles northeast of Kirksville, where he has a fine farm of 200 acres, and also sixty acres in another tract, all the result of his own efforts. He was in New York City at the time of the landing of the “Great Eastern,” the first steamship of any importance that crossed the Atlantic. He has served one term as county trustee, by virtue of which he was a member of the county court of Adair County, and taught the first school in Clay Township. He was a Democrat, and cast his first presidential vote for Pierce in 1852, but since the war has been a Republican.

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This family biography is one of 150 biographies included in the Adair County, Missouri portion of the book,  The History of Adair, Sullivan, Putnam, and Schuyler Counties, Missouri published in 1888 by Goodspeed Publishing Co.  For the complete description, click here: Adair County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Adair County, Missouri family biographies here: Adair County, Missouri Biographies

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