Lee County Biography

Henry Emmert


Henry Emmert, a well-to-do farmer and respected citizen of Nachusa Township, residing on section 5, is numbered among the early settlers of the county, whither he came when a young man in 1846. With its history he has since been identified, and with the work of development lias been closely connected. Its progress he has watched with interests and has ever borne his part in the advancement of those enterprises calculated to promote the general welfare.

Mr. Emmert, a native of Beaver Creek, Washington County, Md., was born January 22, 1819, and is one of nine children, whose parents were Rev. Joseph and Catherine (Avey) Emmert, the former a native of York, Pa., and the latter born in Maryland, of German descent. Rev. Mr. Emmert was a son of a Pennsylvania citizen, whose family had settled in the Keystone Slate after emigrating to America from Germany, his native land. The father of our subject grew to manhood in the State of his nativity and turned his attention to agricultural pursuits. After his marriage be became a minister of the German Baptist Church and settled on a farm in Washington County, Md. He there continued to make his home for some years, in the meantime traveling through that State and Pennsylvania, preaching the gospel. He came to Illinois in 1846, and was the founder of the German Baptist Churches in this part of the county. His interest in the work never abated, although in his later life he could not so actively engage in ministerial label's. He was a devout Christian, consecrated to the work and was held in the highest regard by all who knew him. The poor and needy found in him a friend, and he won the love of all. He died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Christian Lehman,in Nachusa Township, when nearly eighty years of age. His wife survived him some time and also spent her last days in her daughter's home. Her death occurred at the age of seventy-five years. She was also a consistent member of the German Baptist Church, and like her husband, delighted in doing good. All of their children grew to manhood and womanhood and were married and four of the nine are yet living.

Under the parental roof Henry Emmert spent the days of his boyhood, being carefully reared by his worthy parents. He was yet a single man when he came to Illinois, where he began life as a farmer. He entered eighty acres of land from the Government, but afterward disposed of this and purchased elsewhere, His arrangements and preperations for a home were further completed by his marriage with Miss Mary Kesseler. The lady was born in Darke County, Ohio, April 1, 1831, and is a daughter of Benjamin and Sarah (Burket) Kesseler. Her parents were natives of North Carolina, but wedded in Ohio, and began their domestic life in Darke County, that State, in 1849. Joseph Kesseler, the grandfather, was descended from ancestors from Switzerland and died in North Carolina. On coming to Illinois the parents of Mrs. Emmert located on a new farm in Nachusa Township, where the mother died many years ago. The father afterward returned to Maryland, where he was joined in wedlock with Miss Catherine Cronize. They now reside in Frederick County, that State, Mr. Kesseler being eighty-five years of age. Both are members of the German Baptist Church.

Mrs. Emmert is one of a family of two sons and three daughters. Her sisters are now deceased, but her brothel's are yet living. Her union has been blessed with nine children, but they lost three: Jennie, Joseph and Lora. Sarah, is now the wife of Joseph Johnson, of Nachusa; Anna E., is at home; George R,, is now clerking in Nachusa; Ill. Hugh, F. Frederick and Jesse T., are still under the parental roof. The parents are both members of the German Baptist Church, and in his political views, Mr. Emmert is a Republican.

Whatever success our subject has attained in life, is due to his own efforts. He has worked his way upward to a position of wealth and affluence, being recognized as one of the substantial farmers and stock-raisers of his township. His farm comprising one hundred and eighty-six acres, is a valuable one, highly cultivated and well improved, and thereon he lias resided since 1852. lie also owns a timbered tract of ten acres in China Township.

Portraits and Biographical Lee County IL 1892

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