HISTORY OF SOUTHEAST MISSOURI

Biographical Appendix

  

John W. Emerson

John W. Emerson, now United States Marshall for the Eastern District of Missouri, was born in Massachusetts in 1830, and is a descendant of the New England Emerson family, celebrated for the education and literary achievements of its members.  While an infant Mr. Emerson's parents, with a colony, removed to Canada, where his opportunities for an early education were limited. While young, he and a younger brother who subsequently became distinguished as a physician and surgeon, found their way back to New York state, where and in Pennsylvania, some of the family and ancestry on the Mother's side reside, and are distantly related to the Seymours and Conklings By his own exertions. Mr. Emerson graduated at the Iron City College, Pennsylvania, and subsequently graduated at the University of Michigan.  He studied law with William M. Moffatt while in Pittsburgh, but was not admitted to the bar until after he settled in Missouri, in 1857, since which time he has resided in Ironton, an honored member of the legal profession. In 1855, he married Miss Young, at Oswego, NY, a member of the Young-Elsworth family, of Revolutionary fame.  Mr. Emerson has filled many important offices, among, which are those of notary public, justice of the peace, United States commissioner, judge of the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit of Missouri, and is at present occupying the important office of United States marshal.  Although a man of moderate political views, he has always been a Democrat, and has been a delegate to all sorts of conventions of his part, from county to national. The Forty-seventh Regiment of Missouri United States Volunteers was largely organized by him, and he volunteered as a private in its ranks, serving as such for some time, when he was appointed major, and commanded the regiment during a portion of the Hood-Thomas campaign in Tennessee and Alabama.  He subsequently became colonel of the Sixty-eight Regiment of militia, and commanded the same until the close of the war.  His friend claim that in every position held by him, he acquitted himself with superior ability, which has left on stain upon his record. His health was greatly impaired while performing the duties of judge in a circuit embracing eight counties.  He resigned the judgeship for private life, and for the purpose of practicing his profession.  He has several times declined to become a candidate for Congress. As a lawyer he has few superiors.  He is a deep thinker and a forcible speaker.  He has written several poems, which have attracted favorable attention among literary people.  Among his poems are "Father of Waters", "Sailing Away o'er the Beautiful Bay", "My Home Afar", "My Lonely Heart", "Minnie Bell", "A May Day Intrusion", "Come Gently Tapping at My Door", "Arcadia, The Beautiful", and "Only One Flag", some of which have been published as songs. He has also written a number of essays and addresses, viz: "influences", "Mysterious Forces", "Data and Phenomena", and other subjects delivered at college commencements and on other occasions, have received the most favorable criticisms by the learned and thoughtful.  His residence is one of the most beautiful in the state. It is located in the lovely Arcadia Valley, and is surrounded by the scenery of the Ozark Mountains, and is historical being the place where Col. U.S. Grant was encamped when he received his commission as brigadier-general.  Mr. Emerson has many warm friends, who have frequently urged him to accept various offices, but for many years past he has invariably declined all, with the exception of his present office of United States marshal, which position was given him by the President without his solicitation, and only accepted after much pressure from friends.