Lee County Biography



Charles F. Emerson of the well-known and enterprising firm of the C. F. Emerson Lumber Co., of Dixon, dealers in all kinds of dressed and undressed lumber, house building supplies and sewer pipes, established his present business in 1867. The following year, in February, Mr. Anderson was admitted to partnership but the present firm title was not assumed until the 1st of January, 1891. Business is carried on on Water Street between First and Second Streets and the firn has an extensive trade.

Mr. Emerson was born in the old historical town of Castine ME on the Penobscot River, August 28, 1828, and comes of an old Scotch family of the same clan from which the late Ralph W. Emerson was descended. His father, Henry Emerson, a native of York ME learned the trade of a blacksmith in the Navy Yards at Kittery, where he was employed between the ages of fourteen and twenty­one year's, during the time the War of 1812 was fought. He afterward established a smithy in Castine, where he spent his entire business life and died at the age of seventy-six years. Two of his sisters, both of whom are Mrs. Thompson, are widow ladies residing in Ypsilanti, Mich. and both have passed their ninetieth birthdays. The mother of our subject was in her maidenhood Nancy Hutching, a native of Kennebunk, Me. She survived her husband some fifteen years and died in her ninetieth year. Both Mr. and Mrs. Emerson were strong believers in the Universalist faith and in early life he was a Democrat in polities. On that ticket he was elected to the State legislature of Maine, but when the Republican party sprang into existence, as the outcome of the slavery question, he joined its ranks, being a stanch advocate of abolition principles. Hamilton Hampton, late United States i Senator, was one of the warm personal friends of Henry Emerson.

C. F. Emerson, whose name heads this sketch, was the third in a family of fivc children, four of whom are yet living, although he is the only one residing in the West. He grew up as did most of the boys of his day in the Pine Tree State and with his father learned the b1acksmith's trade. After he had attained his majority, he shipped before the mast and became engaged in the coasting service from Bangor, ME to the south coast of Florida, He a1so made trips to the West Indies and fished from the smacks off the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. For seven years he followed a seafaring life and then turned his attention to other pursnits. He sought a home in the West in 1855, and since that time has been a resident of Dixon.

Ere locating in Illinois, however, Mr. Emerson was married in Boston, on the 4th of December, 1855, to Hannah E, Avery, who was born and reared in Castine, ME but when a maiden went to Boston where she lived until her marriage. Her parents and grandparents were both natives of thc Pine Tree State, and the home of the latter was occupied by th British durin the War of 1812. Her father, John A. Avery, was a sea-faring man and merchant and died in Castine, ME at an advanced age, having survived his wife some fifteen years. They were parents of eleven children, six of whom are now living.

Mr. Emerson brought his bride to Dixon where they have since formed a wide acquaintance and won many friends. Their social status is high, and in religious belief both Mr. Emerson and his wife are Universalists. He embarked in the lumber business in 1867, and carried it on until 1876, whcn he retired but five years later he again resumed operations in that line and has since continued to be one of the leading lumber merchants of this city. By his fair and honest dealing he has won unlimited confidence and the liberal patronage accorded him is but the just reward of his labors. Mr. Emerson is a public spirited and enterprising citizen and for four years he served as Alderman. He is also one of the Nachusa House directors,and in politics supports the Republican party by his ballot. Socially, he is a member of the Odd Fellows Lodge, belonging both to tbe subordinate lodge and encampment.

Lee County Portraits & Biographical Pg 280

Lee Co Bios

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