VASCONCELLOS, EMANUEL MARTIN, who holds the position of Purchasing Agent and Superintendent of Grounds of the Illinois School for the Blind, at Jacksonville, Morgan County, Ill., was born on the Island of Madeira, March 4, 1852, a son of Joseph J. and Joanna (Martin) Vasconcellos, also natives of that island, where the father was born April 5, 1804, and the mother, in 1826. Joseph J. Vasconcellos was a prosperous farmer in his native place. He was born and reared a Catholic, but in 1848 embraced the Protestant faith. On account of religious persecutions ensuing, he and his family left their home in 1853, arriving in Jacksonville on November 25th of that year. All of his property had been confiscated or stolen. He reared a family of three daughters and six sons, all of whom are living except a daughter, Mary. Joseph J. Vasconcellos died in Jacksonville May 5, 1892, and his widow passed away September 1, 1898.
Emanuel M. Vasconcellos was but a babe when his parents brought him to Jacksonville. He received his early mental training in the public schools; attended the High School for two years; at a later period was a pupil in Whipple Academy for one year; spent two years in Illinois College, and was a student for an equal period in Hanover (Ind.) College. In 1876 he began teaching in the district schools of Morgan County, at Trinidad school, and taught the same school for eighteen consecutive years. He was engaged for the nineteenth season, but was compelled to abandon the task on account of sickness. In 1894, he accepted the office of Deputy County Clerk, and served in that capacity eight years. In May, 1903, he was appointed City Comptroller, but resigned on August 1st of the same year, in order to accept the position of Purchasing Agent, Storekeeper and Superintendent of the Grounds at the Illinois School for the Blind. In 1887 he made an extended trip abroad, visiting the place of his birth and many other interesting points.
On October 6, 1881, Mr. Vasconcellos was united in marriage with Carrie Estaque, daughter of John and Antonio Estaque, of Jacksonville. Six children have resulted from this union, namely: Lillie Pearl, born July 31, 1882; Arthur Blaine, August 8, 1884; Blanche May, December 10, 1886; Estella Belle, June 5, 1889; Flora Ethel, March 2, 1892; and Gilbert Kalley, July 22, 1896.
In politics Mr. Vasconcellos is a Republican and since reaching his majority has taken a lively interest in public affairs. In the spring of 1892 he was elected Alderman from the First Ward of Jacksonville and thus served for two years. He was Secretary of the Morgan County Republican Central Committee in 1888, and Chairman of the same committee in 1894, when Gov. Yates was chosen County Judge, at the first election which was successful for the majority of the candidates on the Republican ticket. Religiously, Mr. Vasconcellos is a member of the Portuguese Presbyterian Church, which he joined at the age of eighteen years. He was Sunday-school Superintendent from 1882 until the union of that church with the United Presbyterian Church, in October, 1900, and afterward until January 1, 1904. He was Elder and Trustee for nearly the same length of time, and was for many years Treasurer of the Board. Since the union he has been Clerk of Elders and Chairman of the Board of Trustees. Fraternally, Mr. Vasconcellos is affiliated with the A. O. U. W., Athens Lodge, No. 19, in which he officiated one term as Master Workman. He is a member of the M.W.A., and on December 3, 1889, was transferred from Duncan Camp, No. 132, to Jacksonville Camp, No. 912, of which he was Clerk for many years. He is affiliated with the K.O.T., Bena Tent No. 12, and was its first Record Keeper, which position he still holds. He belongs to Urania Lodge, No. 243, I.O.O.F., in which he has served two terms as Noble Grand. He is connected with Harmony Lodge, No. 3, A.F. & A.M., and is a member of the Portuguese Philanthropic Society, in which he has served several terms both as President and Secretary and Treasurer.