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Samuel Emley

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Samuel Emley

Huntington County Volunteer (View posts)
Posted: 3 Sep 2000 6:00AM GMT
Classification: Biography
Edited: 23 Jun 2001 9:50AM GMT
Surnames: Emley, Cook, Efft
From History of Huntington County, 1887, pages 577-578

Samuel Emley, the second child born to John R. and Mary (Cook) Emley, and one of the old and honored residents of Clear Creek Township, was born in Schoharie County, New York, May 14, 1810. He was a young child, but a year old, when his parents returned to Burlington County, New Jersey; about two years old when they removed to Middlesex County; four years old when they entered Monmouth County, and about twelve years of age when they settled iin Salem County, New Jersey. In this latter county he spent his youth working upon a farm, and in that county his marriage to Anna Efft occurred, March 7, 1833. She was born in Salem County, New Jersey, February 1, 1814. About April 20, 1834, Mr. and Mrs. Emley set out for the far west. They sailed from Salem County to Philadelphia on a steamboat. From Philadelphia to Pittsburg they were conveyed on a canal boat, excepting a distance of thirty-seven miles over the Alleghaney Mountains, which was made by rail, the rude coaches being propelled up and down the inclined planes by a stationary engine. At Pittsburg the family secured passage upon an Ohio steamer for Cincinnati, whither they arrived on the 11th day of May, 1834. On the 14th day of the month--his birthday--he arrived with his family at the home of his uncle, Anthony Cook, in Warren County, Ohio. In that vicinity Mr. Emley found a log cabin in which to place his family and being entirely void of means he worked out at clearing, and upon a farm, by the month and day for over three years. His wages during the first month was but $9. The best wages he commanded at any time was $13 per month. Some idea may be had of his economy when it is learned that at the end of three years he had nearly $400 in his pocket. With this he determined to come on further west where land was cheaper and buy a home of his own. Accordingly, about the 20th of January, 1838, he placed his family and household furniture in a wagon and started for Huntington County, whither his father, mother, three brothers and six sisters had come a few years previous, and whither he and his family arrived early in February. With $240 of his money he purchased an eighty-acre tract of land in Section 20, Clear Creek Township, paying for it $3 per acre. Upon that he built a cabin, moved into it his family and immediately set about clearing a portion of his land. This occasioned for him an abundance of hard work; but of that he was not afraid and, with his willing wife by his side, attending to the household duties, assisting occasionally in the clearing and administering to his wants as only a devoted wife can, he toiled on and in a few years the wilderness home was converted into a good farm. Nor did the arduous labors of Mr. Emley end here. After a few years he was able to purchase other tracts of land in the vicinity of his home. They, likewise, were chiefly placed in a state of cultivation through his own exertions. About 260 acres of land was fitted for the plow by his own hands. The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Emley resulted in the birth of six children--two sons and four daughters--all of whom are living. Their names are: John W., Catharine, Charlotte, Mary A., Elizabeth and Fletcher J. Politically, Mr. Emley is a staunch Democrat. He recalls with pleasure his first presidential vote which was deposited for Andrew Jackson. He has always possessed the confidence of the public and very frequently he has been called upon to fill offices of trust. In 1858 he was elected a member of the Board of County Commissioners and served three years. He was a candidate in 1861 for re-election but was defeated. He was elected again in 1864 and again in 1867, serving altogether nine years, which is three years longer than the united terms of any other commissioner the county has ever had. In former years he served as one of the township trustees in his township a number of years. Although a poor man when he entered the county Mr. Emley has amassed considerable wealth. Besides a fine farm of 160 acres where he now lives he is the owner of property in the City of Huntington that gives him an income of over $400 a year. He has made about $30,000 in this county, all of which is the product of his industry, frugality and economy. About half of this amount has been used in providing comfortable homes for his children. He and wife are among our time-honored pioneers and most worthy and esteemed citizens.

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