JAMES EMERY, an engineer in the service of the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway Company, has been a resident of Kansas since 1875. He was born in Lancastershire, England, February 22, 1857, and is a son of James and Mary (Vaughn) Emery.
James Emery, Sr., who was a native of England, in the early part of 1857 sailed for America, and landed at New York City. His family joined him in May of the same year, and for twelve years they made their home in Schenectady, New York, where Mr. Emery carried on farming. In 1867 they moved to Illinois, and located 12 miles north of Aurora, on the Fox river. Mr. Emery was engaged in farming there until May, 1869, when he moved to Kansas, making the journey by wagon, overland. En route he became acquainted with some friends of the Clark family, and was induced to look over the land in Labette county. Mr. Emery bought a claim 12 miles west of Oswego, on Hackberry creek. He subsequently sold this, and bought a farm on the edge of Neosho township, which, also, he disposed of afterward. He moved to Webb City, Missouri, where he and his wife died. They had five children, namely: Mary, the wife of Jerry Robinette, a farmer near Parsons; James, the subject of this sketch; Alfred, who is mining near Webb City, Missouri, and has three children; Charles; and Sarah (Harker), of Topeka, Kansas.
The subject of this sketch moved to Parsons, where he worked on Charles W. Bennett's farm, and later was engaged with V. J. Knapp at like work. He then entered the service of the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway Company, being employed in the roundhouse. This was in the spring of 1880; after working in the roundhouse for nine months, he was given a position as fireman, which he filled for fourteen months. Mr. Emery was then promoted to be an engineer, August 5, 1882, and ran a work and coal train on the Choctaw division until August, 1886. After being transferred to Parsons, he was placed on construction work for ten days, and pulled extra freight for two years. Then he was assigned to a regular run, on engine No. 305. He ran No. 124 for nine years, and in May, 1899, he took charge of a regular passenger run from Parsons to Muskogee, on trains Nos. 1 and 2. Mr. Emery has had a very successful railroad career, having escaped injury and having lost no time on account of accidents.
Mr. Emery married Belle O'Hara, in the Indian Territory. She was born in Kentucky, in 1862, and is a daughter of C. W. and Nannie O'Hara, who were both natives of Kentucky. She was one of five children, the others being: Maggie (Blackmore); Mrs. E. A. Berry, who lives in South McAlester, Indian Territory; Mrs. E. W. Berry, of Kansas City, Missouri; and Charles A., deceased. Mrs. O'Hara is now sixty-five years old, and lives with Mr. Emery and his wife. Mr. and Mrs. Emery have no children of their own, but have reared two daughters of Mrs. Blackmore.
Mr. Emery is a member of the Republican party. He joined the Masonic order at Savanna, Indian Territory, and was made a Knight Templar at Parsons. He and his wife are members of the Order of the Eastern Star and of the Fraternal Aid Association. Mr. Emery is a member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, Division No. 179, of Parsons. He is at present chairman of the local board of adjustment. Mrs. Emery is a member of the Grand International Auxiliary to the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers. The subject of this sketch and his wife attend the Methodist church.
Transcribed from History of Labette County, Kansas and its Representative Citizens, ed. & comp. by Hon. Nelson Case. Pub. by Biographical Publishing Co., Chicago, Ill. 1901
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