F. M. EMERSON, one of the prominent citizens of Bloomington Township, is occupying a pleasant and comfortable homestead on section 6, where he is engaged in the nursery business, and is surrounded by all the comforts of life. He is also interested in a coal mine, but which is not operated at the present time.
Mr. Emerson came to McLean County a poor man, in 1851, and his present possessions are the result of his own industry and energy. He was born in Clark County, Ky., Sept. 30, 1819, being the youngest son and sixth child of William and Polly (Tuggle) Emerson, natives of Virginia. William Emerson was born Aug. 11, 1787, and when a young man removed to Kentucky, where he was married, in Clark County. The mother was born April 25, 1790. After their marriage the parents located on a farm in Clark County, Ky., where the father was killed by a colored man in his employ. The mother afterward married a brother of her first husband, and of this union there were born five children. The second husband died in about 1865; the mother survived him several years, and remained in Clark County until her death, in the eightieth year of her age.
Young Emerson lived with his mother and stepfather most of the time until his marriage, which took place in Clark County, Ky., July 21, 1840, the maiden of his choice being Miss Elizabeth M. Bybee, a native of Clark County, Ky., her parents also being born in that State. Two years after their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Emerson removed to Missouri and located on a farm in Jackson County, on the old Santa Fe road, near Independence. After three years they returned to Kentucky, where they remained until 1851, living in Clark County on a farm, and then, in company with three other families, came to the Prairie State and all located near Bloomington City. All started out with little means and all have been prospered. The present home of our subject and his wife is the same upon which they located on first coming here. He is now the owner of 100 acres of land which is underlaid with three veins of a good quality of coal. Mrs. Elizabeth Emerson died at the home of her husband in Bloomington Township, on the 4th of June, 1874. She was essentially a good woman in all that the term implies, and was held in the highest esteem by her husband and a large circle of acquaintances. Of this marriage there were born two children, who lived only a short time.
Mr. Emerson was married the second time, at Gibson City, Ill., to Miss Eliza D. McFarland, who was born and reared upon a farm in Stark County, Ohio. Her mother died when she was but two weeks old. She was, before her marriage, Miss Eliza Davis. The father, Abel McFarland, departed this life when his daughter, Mrs. E., was only eleven years of age. A year afterward she went to Missouri with her elder sister, Sarah, who was a teacher, and they lived at Paris, Monroe County, for two years. Then both went to Kentucky and located in Christian County, where Mrs. Emerson grew to womanhood and received a common-school education. In 1874 she came to Illinois and located in Ford County, where she was married to our subject Feb. 10, 1875. Of this union there were born six children, of whom one, an infant, is deceased. The living are Minerva B., Clara, Gracie, Mary W. and F. M., all at home. The family are members in good standing of the Christian Church, and our subject, formerly a Democrat, is now an earnest supporter of the Prohibition party.
Portrait and biographical album of McLean County, Ill. : containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Illinois, and of the presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887), 729. Transcribed by Judy Rosella Edwards.