WILLIAM EMMERSON. We are gratified to find in Macoupin County, a number of British-American citizens, who have brought with them from their native island the stanch and sturdy character of the industrious Englishman and have grated upon their original capabilities the breadth and liberality characteristic of the Prairie State. Among such is the gentleman whose name appears at the head of this sketch, and who was born in Yorkshire, England, May 21, 1822.
John Emmerson, who is the father of William, died when forty-six years old in his native home in Yorkshire, in the year 1835, and was followed to the other world two years later by his faithful wife who bore the maiden name of Elizabeth Oliver and who was a native of the same shire. Farm duties engaged the attention of the subject of this sketch during his first fourteen years and he was then apprenticed to the trade of a wagon and cabinet maker. Being then an orphan by the death of his father he was bound out for seven years to his master, and after the expiration of that time he worked at his trade for about six years at Hull.
While living in Hull the young man, who was now doing well at his trade, decided to establish a home of his own and took to himself a wife in the person of Miss Elizabeth Hill. Their wedding day was March 17, 1844, and the father of the bride was Robert Hill, a Yorkshire man, who spent his days in his native home. Mrs. Emmerson, who was born in Norton, Yorkshire, England, March 9, 1822, lost her mother at an early age.
In May, 1850 Mr. Emmerson, then having a wife and two children, came with them to America, landing in Quebec. He did not remain long in Canada, but came on at once to the Prairie State, settling in Greene County, where for seven years he was useful in the community, by following the trade of wagon-maker and carpenter. In those early days a man with such acquisitions as his found abundant opportunity for work and was greatly in demand. After a residence of seven years in Greene County he came in 1857 to Macoupin County, making his home in Virden, where for seventeen years he carried on the business of wagon-making and blacksmithing.
The year after his settlement in Virden he purchased forty acres in Virden Township, which he has carried on in connection with his work in the village and finally gave up his trade and devoted himself entirely to his land. He owns one hundred and sixty acres of rich and arable land, upon which he has placed first-class improvements, among which are a pleasant home, commodious barns and convenient outbuildings, such as are necessary to the successful prosecution of farming. A view of the homestead is shown elsewhere in this volume.
Mr. and Mrs. Emmerson are the parents of two children, namely: John who married Miss Martha Utt, and resides in Virden Township, and Mary Ann, who is the wife of John J. Cox, and makes her home in Virden. The parents are both earnest and consistent members of the Wesleyan Methodist Church with which the father has been connected since he was a young man of seventeen years. He takes an intelligent view of American politics, in which he is deeply interested, and to his mind the declarations of the Republican party announce the doctrines which must be for the benefit and progress of the nation and for the best good of the citizens as a whole. He is a well-read man and one who keeps himself in touch with the popular movements of the day.