John Wesley Emerson
John Wesley Emerson
John Wesley Emerson was a Lawyer, Civil War Major, Company Founder, and Author/ Historian.
|Born||July 26, 1832|
|Died||June 20, 1899|
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Years of service||3|
|Unit||47th Missouri Volunteer Infantry|
|Commands held||47th Missouri Volunteer Infantry|
|Battles/wars||Battle of Pilot Knob|
|Awards||Purple Heart (2)|
|Other work||Lawyer, Company Founder, Historian|
John Wesley Emerson (also known as J. W. Emerson) was an American lawyer, American Civil War commander, Missouri Circuit Court judge, and the founder and principal investor of the Emerson Electric Company.
Emerson was born to William and Rosannah Ellen (Young) Emerson on July 26, 1832 in Pepperell, Massachusetts.
He attended Iron City College in Pennsylvania, and later graduated from the University of Michigan, at Ann Arbor, Michigan. He studied law under William M. Moffatt, a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania attorney, and was admitted to the Bar association in Missouri in 1857. He practiced law in Ironton, Missouri for the remainder of his life.
Detachments of the 47th Missouri were involved in the Battle of Pilot Knob in September 1864. In October, he was tasked by General Rosecrans to reopen the Iron Mountain Railroad from St. Louis, Missouri to Pilot Knob. In this mission he was again wounded in battle.
in 1865 Emerson's Regiment was ordered to assist General Thomas Welsh, at Nashville, Tennessee. His regiment pursued General Hood as far as Alabama, capturing more than 1000 prisoners. Emerson was in command of the regiment through the end of the war.
After the war
Emerson resumed his law practice at Ironton, and was appointed to the Judgeship of the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit Court, which he eventually resigned. After leaving the bench, he was appointed by President Grover Cleveland to the United States Marshall for the Eastern District of Missouri. He served in this capacity for four years.
Emerson Electric Company
In 1890, Emerson met two Scottish orphans, Alexander and Charles Meston, who wanted to manufacture electrical and mechanical devices. He provided $50,000 start-up capital and lent his name to a new corporation creating the "Emerson Electric Manufacturing Company", and served as the company's first President from 1890 to 1892.
In 1892, Emerson retired, selling his interest in Emerson Electric to Herbert L. Parker, a former railroad executive.
Emerson became a Civil War historian. He joined the Missouri Commandery of Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States and wrote a history of General Grant's campaign in the Mississippi Valley.
Emerson died on June 20, 1899 in Ironton, Missouri. His gravesite is in Star of the West Masonic Cemetery on Russellville Road in Ironton, Missouri.
- Missouri Commandery of the MOLLUS, Circular No. 195, November 4, 1899.
- Encyclopedia of the History of Missouri by Conard Vol.3, c1901, p. 377–378.
- Emerson Electric Co., A Century of Manufacturing, 1890–1990, c1990, P.6.
- Membership Records of the Missouri Commandery of the MOLLUS.
- Loyal Legion Vignettes
- Emerson Electric Company Webpage