Biography of Edgar C. Emerson


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EDGAR C. EMERSON was born in Brownville, January 27, 1850, a son of Alfred and Marjory (Luther) Emerson. His father was a substantial farmer and Judge Emerson’s earlier years were spent on the Brow nyule farm. He acquired a good common school and academic education and at the age of seventeen sought and obtained a position as teacher in one of the common schools of the neighborhood. He early evinced a decided fondness for legal study and when nineteen began to earnestly prepare himself for the law. He was in the habit of borrowing books in Watertown and carrying them home to read, and being a close student and possessed of a good measure of natural ability, he was enabled to make good headway, although lacking in the advantages of advice and instruction. In 1870 he entered the Albany Law School, and by reason of his previous work, completed the prescribed course and took the LL.B. degree in 1871, being admitted in the same year to the Jefferson county bar.

He did not at once take up active practice, but entered the office of Judge Dennis O’Brien, with whom he remained as clerk for a period of three years, and was then admitted to partnership, the firm name being O’Brien & Emerson, and so remaining until 1883, when by the admission of James A. Ward it became O’Brien, Emerson & Ward; this latter association continued until 1886, since which time Judge Emerson has practiced alone.

His politics are Republican and he has been active in party work, serving as chairman of the County Committee two years. In 1878 he was city attorney of the city of Watertown, and from 1880 to 1887 district attorney, filling both offices with fidelity and ability. His work as district attorney, especially in the prosecution of criminal cases, has been favorably commented upon more than once and needs no reference here. In 1892 Judge Emerson was elected county judge of Jefferson county, succeeding the late Judge J. C. McCartin; and now (1898) holds the nomination for re election.

He has long been a prominent Mason; is past master of Watertown Lodge No. 49; past high priest of Watertown Chapter No. 59; past commander of Watertown Commandery; and has served as high priest and prophet of Armedia Temple from the charter date.

Judge Emerson is, on the paternal side, a descendant of an old Puritan family. His great-grandfather, on the maternal side, was a soldier of the Revolution, a “Green Mountain boy;” and had a son (E. C. Emersoifs grandfather), who fought in the war of 1812. His maternal grandmother came of the old “Mohawk Dutch” stock. Judge Emerson married, in 1878, Miss Louise M. Wood, a daughter of John J. Wood, formerly of Rutland.

Our County and it's people
A descriptive work on Jefferson County, New York
Edited by: Edgar C. Emerson
The Boston History Co., Publishers 1898

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