From the 1885 History of Steuben County, Indiana

pages 742-743


Avery Emerson was born in Plymoth Township, Richland Co., Ohio, in 1827.  His father, Avery Emerson, Sr., was born in New Hampshire, Sept. 22, 1788, where he was reared on a farm.  When a young man he went to Auburn, N. Y.. where he married Sophronia Allen, a native of Massachusetts, born in February, 1799.  In 1820 he moved to Richland County, Ohio.  In June, 1836, he came to Steuben County, Ind., and selected a location, then returned to Ohio and the following November came again with his family.  He settled on section 2, Salem Township, on what was known as the "Indian Fields," from the fact that the land had been cultivated by the Indians.  The corn hills could be plainly seen although it had probably been many years since their cultivation.  There were but three or four families in Salem Township at that time and the county seat had not been located.  A warm contest was then existing between Judge Gale in behalf of Angola and Glover and Seth Murray in behalf  of Steubenville.  He was the first Justice of the Peace for Salem Township, and in this capacity married the first couple, walking six miles to the house of Mr. Wright whose daughter was the bride.  He was Probate Judge of Steuben County, from 1841 till 1849.  In 1857 he sold his farm to his son Luke A. Emerson and removed to Angola.  In the spring of 1864, he removed to Kendallville, where he died the following October, aged seventy-six years.  His wife died March 17, 1877.  Judge Emerson was a man of much prominence, and was closely identified with the early history of Steuben County.  Politically he in early life was a Whig and later a Repulican.  He was a man of much general information, a great reader and especially interested in the cause of education.  Ten children were born to Judge Emerson, eight in Ohio and two in Steuben County.  Eight are living-- George, a resident of Toledo, engaged in the wholesale grocery business; John, of Kendallville; David, of California; Avery, Jr.; Emily, wife of Dr. Parsell, of Hudson; Mary, wife of William M. Kendall, of Humboldt, Kas.; Almira, wife of A. A. Chapin, of Fort Wayne, and Sophronia, of Kendallville.  Luke Allen died at the age of forty years, and Albert aged five years.  Avery Emerson, Jr., has lived in Steuben County since 1836, with the exception of three years, several years ago, spent in the lumber regions of Wisconsin.  He married Elizabeth S. Parsell, daughter of Moses S. Parsell, who came to Steuben County in 1838.  Mr. and Mrs. Emerson have nine children, seven sons and two daughters.  He owns 327 acres of land and is one of the most successful and prosperous farmers of the township.


Submitted by Kim Davoli