Biography of James H. Emrich
Erie County, OH Biographies





JAMES H. EMRICH. A few years ago Sandusky lost one of its veteran merchants in the death of James H. Emrich, who for more than half a century had been identified with the drug trade in the city. He was a careful business man, liberal and helpful in his attitude toward local affairs, and his name was a synonym with integrity and honor.

His birth occurred in Kusel, Rhenish Bavaria, August 13, 1829, and his death came nearly eighty years later on May 7, 1909 His father, Philip Emrich, was born in Foeckelberg, Rhenish Bavaria, February 12, 1798, and the grandfather, Jacob Emrich, was born in the same village in 1771. Jacob had his rearing and education there, served six years with the Bavarian army, and when an old man came to America, in 1840, with some of his children, and died at Piketon, Ohio. He married Elizabeth Weber, who died in Germany. The oldest of their ten children was Jacob, who was with the Bavarian troops in the army of the Emperor Napoleon, and the last heard of him was when he went away under the emperor on the fatal invasion of Russia. The other nine children all came to America, named Katherina, Philip, Christian, Peter, Karl, Heinrich, Theobald, Elizabeth, and Daniel.

Philip Emrich lived in Bavaria until 1840, having in the meantime received his education and spent six years in the army. He had served a thorough apprenticeship at the trade of wagonmaker and followed that vocation until coming to America. He embarked his little family, wife and three children, on board the sailing ship Anson, and after a voyage of sixty five days, attended with some bad weather, landed at New York City. Their destination was the State of Ohio, and their course in reaching that country was by boat up the Hudson River, by canal to Buffalo, and thence by water and overland to Piketon. There Philip became associated with his brother Theobald in the manufacture of wagons and carriages, remaining about one year, continuing the same business at Chillicothe until 1868, after which he lived retired in Sandusky until his death on March 18, 1884. Philip Emrich married Louise Engelhardt, who was born at Banniholder, Prussia, March 23, 1799. She reared three children: James H., Philipina and Philip. Philip located in Sandusky and was in business with his brother James until his death in 1876. The daughter Philipina married Charles Dick, and resides in Sandusky, which is also the home of her son, Carl Emrich Dick.

James H. Emrich was eleven years old when brought to Ohio, and the education began in the schools of his native village was continued only briefly at Chillicothe. When still a boy he was working and earning his way as clerk in a drug store of that time, and that experience gave him the permanent direction of a career. Later he was at Cincinnati and New York City, and along with experience in practical management of a drug business also acquired an expert knowledge of chemistry and pharmacy.

It was in 1856 that he came to Sandusky and bought an interest in a drug store on Water Street, and of which, within a year thereafter he became sole owner. His next location was the West House. and after purchasing ground and building a store on the east side of Columbus Avenue, he continued in business until the close of his life His store was one of the landmarks of the business district, and he practically outlived all his competitors who were in business when he came to Sandusky.

In 1880 Mr. Emrich erected the substantial home at 1006 Washington Street where he lived nearly thirty years and which is now occupied by his daughter. Mr. Emrich was married at Akron, Ohio, in November, 1856, to Henrietta S. Townsend. Her father, Alfred R. Townsend, who was born at Cazenovia, New York, February 14, 1810, after learning the trade of tailor, came to Ohio in 1834 and established himself in that line of business. Later he became a factor in the transportation business along the canal, and was also a figure in public affairs. He was the first marshal of the Village of Akron, and was also tax collector, deputy sheriff, internal revenue assessor, and director of the county infirmary. He continued to live in Akron until his death in November, 1887. In 1834 he married Evelina Blodgett, who was born in Starksboro, Vermont, and died at Akron, January 22, 1888. Of her three chlidren, Mrs. Emrich was the oldest. John A. Townsend is now a resident of Rochester, New York, while Emala G. died unmarried.

Mrs. Emrich died in April, 1861. Her only daughter, Minnie L., is now owner of the home built by her father in 1880. While Mrs. Emrich was a member of the Congregational Church, her husband was quite liberal in religious matters. Despite the exactions of his busy life, he was a student, kept in close touch with political and other topics. and is remembered by all his old friends as an entertaining and instructive conversationalist.

From:
A Standard History of Erie County, Ohio
By: Hewson L. Peeke
Assisted by a Board of Advisory Editors
The Lewis Publishing Company Chicago and New York 1916


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