Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens
EDGAR T. EMERY. A large percent of the men in railroad service have come from the farms. There has ever been a certain fascination in this life for the farmer boy and while yet scarcely old enough to hold steadily the plow handles they began dreaming and planning of a career "on the road." This class is peculiarly fitted for railroad work, which requires men of strong physique steady nerve and grit. One of this number is Edgar T. Emery, of Springfield, a Frisco engineer, who has had a successful career from the start as railroader. Mr. Emery was born on a farm in Clark county, Iowa, October 31, 1855. He is a son of James H. and Sarah Elizabeth (Dufur) Emery. The father was born in Ohio, October 27, 1830, and his death occurred in Whitewater, Wisconsin, May 7, 1904. The mother of our subject was born in Washington county, Ohio, May 4, 1834, and although past her eightieth birthday, is hale and hearty and makes her home with the subject of this sketch. These parents grew to maturity in their native state and there received limited educations, and were married in Henry county, Illinois. From there they removed to Iowa in pioneer times, making the overland journey with an ox team, entering land from the government in Clark county, where they established the family home by hard work and perseverance. James H. Emery was a carpenter by trade, which he followed in his earlier years, but later devoted his attention to farming and stock raising. He moved back to Illinois when our subject was a small child but did not remain there long, and in 1887 the family moved to Whitewater, Wisconsin, where the elder Emery followed contracting and building and where his death, occurred. Politically, he was a Republican, and fraternally was a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. His family consisted of three children, namely: Edgar T., of this sketch; Eva L., born October 1, 1858, married a Mr. Storm and they make their home in California; William, born March 28,1863, died April 1, 1866.
Edgar T. Emery grew to manhood on the farm in Iowa and there attended the common schools. After leaving school he began working for the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company, April i5, 1874, at Creston, Iowa, as an "oil boy," his duties being to look after the "oil house." On September 1, 1875 he was put to firing a switch engine, on which he worked for six months, then worked as fireman from Creston to Ottumwa. He continued in the employ of that road as fireman until October 17, 1880, when he was promoted to locomotive engineer on the same run which he retained until the big strike on that road, February 27, 1888, In June, 1889, he came to Kansas City, Missouri, and secured a position on the old Kansas City, Ft. Scott & Memphis road, as engineer, out of that city on the Ozark division. On June 15, 1893, he was injured in a wreck, breaking a leg, which necessitated his giving up the road for some time. Later he took a position running a stationary engine in the Springfield south side shops, which position he has continued to hold since May, 1894, giving his usual satisfactory service.
Mr. Emery was married May 4, 1880, in Creston, Iowa, to Ada Alice Reynolds, who was born in Macon county, West Virginia, March 29, 1862, where she grew to womanhood and attended school. She is a daughter of Edward and Laura (Turner) Reynolds, the father dying when Mrs. Reynolds was quite small and when she was eleven years old her mother died. They both were natives of West Virginia. Mr. Reynolds served four years in the Confederate army, having enlisted at Mason City, West Virginia, at about the beginning of the war.
Three children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Emery, namely: Ray W., born July 2, 1881, is a jeweler by trade and lives in Texas; the other two children died in infancy unnamed.
Mr. Emery belongs to the Masonic Order, including the Chapter and Commandery. He is a member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers. He also belongs to the Modern Woodmen and the Knights of Pythias, is a member of the Grand Lodge of the state of Missouri. Politically, he is a Republican. His wife is a member of No. 1, White Shrine, and the Eastern Star.
Mr. Emery has a good home on Broad street, Springfield. He often recalls the fact that he fired engine No. 308, with Engineer John Francis, in 1879, that pulled the train on which rode General Grant when he made his trip around the world.
Springfield-Greene County Library