Biography of Matthew H. Emerson
Kalamazoo County, MI Biographies



Kalamazoo County

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Also see [Railway Officials in America 1906]

The pioneers who settled in Cass County were noted for their honesty and integrity, and none more so than Matthew H. Emerson, in whose veins flowed the commingled blood of the honest, high-minded Scotchmen and the sturdy, methodical and progressive Englishmen. He was born in Hopkinton, N. H., December 11, 1808, and was one of a family of six— the children of Joseph and Susanna (Harvey) Emerson.

In 1829, he went to Rensselaer County, N. Y., and two years later, to Albany County, where for eight years he clerked in a hardware store, and then came to Edwardsburg in 1839, his brother, Jeremiah, having preceded him. At this time, he possessed but $6.50, and was obliged to rely on his own industry and natural resources to farther his financial interests; and they brought their sure reward, for, before his demise, which occurred March 17, 1877, he had accumulated a competency.

In the spring of 1841, he purchased eighty acres of the farm in Ontwa, where his widow-now resides, to which forty acres was subsequently added. His whole attention was not given to agricultural pursuits, for five years was spent working in the store for the Sages, who ran a grist-mill at Adamsville.

In politics, Mr. Emerson was a stanch Democrat, and was by this party elevated to various township offices including that of Justice of the Peace, and held this office for twenty-eight consecutive years, which is a most fitting tribute to his ability and integrity, for, in early times, this was a most important office. So great was the confidence reposed in him that he was made the custodian of. money belonging to others, for whom he did a large amount of business.

While a resident of New Hampshire, he was a member of the State Militia and held the offices of Ensign, Lieutenant and Captain, which latter office he resigned when moving to New York. March 25, 1841, he married Aizina H., daughter of Reuben and Damarias (Cloys) Allen, who was born in Anderson County, Vt., January 29, 1823, and who came to Cass County in 1835, with her parents, who are numbered among the pioneers. Reuben Allen died February 23, 1863, and his widow is still surviving at the advanced age of eighty-four years. The Aliens are descendants of the same paternal stock as the historical Ethan Allen.

Mr. and Mrs. Emerson were blessed with two children—J. Fred, who is married to Delia A. (Thomas), and resides on the old homestead, and is at present holding the office of Justice of the Peace; and Reuben A., a resident of Buchanan, Mich.

History of Kalamazoo County, Michigan
With Illistrations and Biographical Sketches
of its Men and Pioneers.
Everts & Abbott., Philadelphia 1880
Press of J. B. Lippincott & Co., Philadelphia.