Memorial and Biographical Record of Iowa - 1896 - E

1896 Index

A Memorial and Biographical Record of Iowa
Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1896


Unless otherwise noted, biographies submitted by Dick Barton.

JOSEPH MARTIN EMMERT, M. D., is a prominent physician of Atlantic, Iowa, and has resided here since 1874. For twenty years he has been examining surgeon for the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railway, and one of the old physicians in the employ of that company. He was born in Washington county, Maryland, June 13, 1846. His father, Joshua Emmert, was also a native of Maryland, as was his grandfather, Joseph Emmert. They were each born in Washington county, of that State. The latter was a German Baptist (Dunkard) preacher, and moved to Lee county, Illinois, about 1845, where he built the first Dunkard church in the county, using his own money for the purpose. He was a large landholder, a Christian, whose word was as good as his bond.

Joshua Emmert, the father of our subject, grew to manhood in his native State and married Ann G. Funk, a daughter of Hon. Henry G. Funk, of Franklin county, Pennsylvania. Her father was a member of the Legislature of Pennsylvania when Thaddeus Stevens introduced the first free-school bill ever introduced in any legislative body in the United States. She was of German descent, the first of the name Funk locating in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, about 1744. When about thirty-three years of age Joshua Emmert rode from Maryland to Shelbyville, Illinois, three times on horseback. He finally located in Shelbyville, where he engaged in the mercantile business, but later returned to Maryland, where he died at the age of seventy-five years.

The subject of this sketch is the oldest son and second child of a family of nine children born to Joshua and Ann G. Emmert. He was reared in his native State and received his primary education in the common schools. He later attended the Cumberland Valley Institute, at Mechanicsville, Pennsylvania, and from there went to Millersville, Pennsylvania, and finished his course in the Normal School at that place. On leaving school he commenced reading medicine with Dr. I. H. Sniveley, of Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, after which he entered Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at which he was graduated in 1872.

On receiving his degree, Dr. Emmert removed to Hamburg, Fremont county, Iowa, where he engaged in the practice of his profession and remained until March, 1874, when he moved to Atlantic, Iowa, where he has since been actively engaged with great success. Returning to his old home in Washington county, Maryland, he was there married, October 28, 1873, to Miss Ida Washabaugh, of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, a native of Franklin county, in that State, and a daughter of Upton and Anna (Hostetter) Washabaugh, who were also natives of Franklin county, Pennsylvania. To Dr. and Mrs. Emmert six children have been born, Max being the only one now living. In his profession Dr. Emmert takes rank with the best in southern Iowa. He is well read and is always abreast of the times. He is a member of the American Medical Association; of the Iowa State Medical Society, of which he was elected president in 1889; of the Missouri Valley Medical Association, of which he was the first vice-president and the second president. He was also a member of the Western Gynecological Association and of the Botna Valley Medical Society, of which he was the first president. For some years he was a member of the Railway Surgical Association, and as already stated has been the local surgeon for the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railway for twenty years. He is a member of the Iowa State Board of Health, receiving his appointment from Governor Boies, in 1892.

Fraternally Dr. Emmert is a member of Pymosa Lodge, No. 172, A. F. & A. M.; of Ophir Chapter, No. 84, R. A. M.; of Kedron Commandery, No. 42, K. T., all of Atlantic, Iowa, and of Tangier Temple of the Mystic Shrine, at Omaha, Nebraska. In politics he is a Democrat and was a delegate to the national convention in 1884, at Chicago, which nominated Cleveland for the first term. In 1875, he was elected City Recorder and re-elected in 1876. He was president of the School Board in 1882 and also in 1883.

Religiously he is a Presbyterian, and is an Elder in the church at Atlantic. Since coming to Atlantic, the Doctor has been quite successful financially and is at present the owner of several blocks of buildings in the city, together with much other property. A man of sterling worth, a good physician, and enterprising citizen, he is greatly esteemed by his many friends not only in Atlantic but throughout the State of Iowa.

JOHN Z. EVANS submitted by Dick Barton

There can be nothing better calculated to stimulate the best endeavors of the young of future generations than a perusal of the life history of the self-made men of the nineteenth century. An analysis of their careers will illustrate most forcibly to intelligent readers that success in life is attained only through the possession and cultivation of fundamentally good principles, among which honesty, perseverance, firmness of purpose and ambition to rise must be foremost, and co- existent with them good judgment of human nature and a ready faculty for grasping the opportunities of the present and of looking intelligently toward those of the future. Such characteristics are possessed by the gentleman whose name begins this review, and have brought to him a well merited prosperity.

Mr. Evans, now a coal-mine operator and merchant of Avery, was born August 24, 1854, in southern Wales, and is a son of Christmas and Emily (Edwards) Evans. His father was born December 25, 1829, in southern Wales, where he followed coal-mining until his emigration to America in 1863. He located in Pomeroy, Ohio, where he followed coal-mining until 1866, when he became a resident of Mahaska county, Iowa. A few years later he located in Avery, where his death occurred, February 6, 1895. His wife, who was born in England, March 27, 1833, is still living, in Avery. They had a large family of children, namely: William M.; John Z.; Henry, who died in childhood; Enoch H.; Christmas, who died in infancy; Thomas L.; Mary A.; Emily, who died in childhood; Charlotte; and one who died in infancy.

When a child of nine years John Z. Evans accompanied his parents on their emigration to America, and began to earn his own living by working in the coal mines of Pomeroy, Ohio. All that he has, has been acquired through his own efforts. He continued his residence in the Buckeye State until October, 1866, when he came to Iowa. In 1886 he became part owner of the Smoky Hollow Coal Mine, two miles southeast of Avery, and since 1887 has been sole proprietor. Its yield is about 1,000 tons of lump coal each day, and he is therefore doing an immense business, supplying various railroad companies with coal through Iowa and Nebraska. He has also entered other fields of labor, and now owns considerable property in Monroe county, including two stores, one in Avery and one at the coal mines. He has accumulated considerable property, and is a thoroughgoing business man, intensely practical and energetic.

On the 30th of October, 1872, Mr. Evans married Miss Sarah E. Roberts, who was born in Chenango county, New York, August 29, 1851. Her Parents were E. E. and Mary (Bennett) Roberts, and their family numbered the following named: George F.; Sarah E.; James R.; William, who died at the age of one year; Prudence A.; one who died in infancy; and Thomas F. Our subject and his wife have had the following named children: Edward T., born January 23, 1874, married Miss Ida Montgomery, a native of Iowa, and they have one child. William J.,, who was born April 10, 1876. James E., born October 27, 1877, died April 27, 1879. Emma R., born January 4,, 1880; John G., March 5, 1881; Edna M., October 15, 1883; and Harry F., born January 27, 1884, are all at home. The next two children died at birth. Lena V., born July 12, 1892, completes the family.

Mr. Evans is a wide-awake and enterprising citizen, devoted to the welfare and best interests of the community in which he resides. He withholds his aid and co-operation from no worthy enterprises, and brings to bear upon public affairs the same practical and enterprising spirit which has gained him his success in his business.