CAPTAIN EMANUEL CROSS. - Captain Emanuel Cross, who owns and operates a farm of over four hundred acres on section 25, Mechanicsburg township, pleasantly located within a mile and a quarter of the village of Mechanicsburg, came to Illinois from Ohio in October, 1849. His birth occurred in Fairfield county of the latter state, August 20, 1837, and he is descended from good old Revolutionary ancestry. His grandfather, Abel Cross, a native of Virginia, fought for American independence in the war of the Revolution and afterward removed to Ohio, becoming one of the pioneer residents of Fairfield county. Abraham Cross, the father of our subject, was born in Virginia in 1808 and with the family went to Fairfield county, Ohio, where he was married to Ruth Dunnuck, whose birth occurred in that county. Following his marriage Mr. Cross began farming there and later removed to Ross county, making his home in the two counties for twenty-one years. In 1849 he came with his family to Sangamon county, Illinois, and spent the year 1850 near Mechanicsburg. In 1851 he purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land, constituting the part of the farm on which his son, Captain Cross, now resides. He at once began to cultivate and improve this land and added to it in later years until his property comprises three hundred and twenty acres, upon which he placed many excellent improvements. He spent his last years on the old homestead farm and died in 1889 at the ripe old age of eighty-one years. His wife passed away in 1885.
Captain Emanuel Cross is the only survivor of the three children of Mr. and Mrs. Abraham Cross who reached mature years. He was a lad of twelve years at the time of the removal to Sangamon county and upon the homestead farm his boyhood days were passed. He early became familiar with the work of field and meadow and he gained a knowledge of the branches of English learning that are usually taught in the public schools by attendance through the mid-winter months. In August, 1862, he offered his services to his country as a defender of the Union cause, enlisting as a private in Company A, Seventy-third Illinois Infantry. He was first promoted to the rank of sergeant, later became second and then first lieutenant and was made captain in the field. His command was with the Army of the Cumberland and the first battle in which he engaged was at Perryville, Kentucky - one of the most hotly contested battles in the long and sanguinary conflict. He was also in the battles of Stone River, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge and the Atlanta campaign, including the siege of the city of Atlanta. He was afterward in the engagement at Lovejoy Station, where he received a gunshot wound in the leg, which so disabled him that he was sent to the hospital on Lookout Mountain, where he remained for thirty days. He was then granted a thirty days’ furlough, and when he returned south he was ordered back to the hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio, but afterward he rejoined his regiment at Nashville, and was in the last fought battle that occurred in that vicinity. He was also hit by a ball at Rockyface, and was wounded by a piece of shell at Resaca, but remained with his company at that time. After the battle of Nashville the command was sent to Huntsville, Alabama, thence went to Knoxville, and afterward returned to Nashville, where Captain Cross was mustered out. He was a very brave and intrepid officer, and inspired his men with much of his own courage and zeal for the cause. Returning northward he was honorably discharged at Camp Butler in Springfield in June, 1865.
Following the close of the war Captain Cross resumed his labors upon the old home farm and assisted his father until the latter’s death, after which he took charge of the property and carried on the old homestead. He was married in Virden, Illinois, May 31, 1876, to Miss Laura I. Davidson, who was born and reared in this state, a daughter of Squire Davidson, one of the early settlers of Illinois, who came from Ohio. In 1880 Captain Cross went to Sheridan county, Wyoming, where he engaged in the stock business for fifteen years. He was very successful in his work in the west, and he there organized a stock company, but subsequently sold his interest and resumed his farming operations in Sangamon county, Illinois. Here, too, his efforts have been attended with prosperity, and he is now successfully engaged in the raising and feeding of stock, which he fattens for the market, annually selling from five to ten carloads of cattle, and two carloads of hogs. He thoroughly understands his business, and his capable management and marked enterprise have been the foundation upon which he has built his success. He is likewise a stockholder in the Illinois National Bank. He was one of the incorporators and organizers of the Central Illinois Assembly, and now is one of its directors.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Cross have been born two children: Eva, the wife of Dr. John H. Prince, of Springfield, and Abraham, who is living on the home farm. Politically Mr. Cross is a stalwart Republican, and his first ballot was given to Abraham Lincoln, then a candidate for state senator, while later he supported him for the presidency and has voted for each presidential nominee of the Republican party since that time. His wife is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and he attends its services and contributes liberally to its support. He belongs to Stephenson Post, No. 30, G.A.R., of Springfield, and is deeply interested in matters pertaining to public progress and welfare. His residence in this county covers fifty-four years, and he is, therefore, numbered among its honored pioneer settlers, his mind bearing the impress of the early historic annals of central Illinois. His life has been honorable, and in all its relations has been characterized by the same loyalty to duty that he manifested by the same loyalty to duty that he manifested when he wore the blue uniform of the nation and fought to crush out the secession movement in the south. He and his estimable wife are greatly respected throughout the county, and well deserve honorable mention in its history.