Biography of Zolo A. Emerson

Zolo A. Emerson. Through the business ability and courtesy of its owner the general merchandise store of Zolo A. Emerson in a comparatively short time has become an important source of supply to the people of Auburn and the surrounding vicinity. In addition to rendering this service to his fellow citizens, Mr. Emerson has a further claim to their esteem in the manner in which he is discharging the duties [p.1749] of postmaster, which office he has efficiently filled since his appointment in 1908.

Mr. Emerson is a native of Holmes County, Ohio, born at Millersburg, September 24, 1873, one of the eight children of Albert B. and Betsy L. (Doughty) Emerson. The father was born in Ohio, while the mother, a native of Nottinghamshire, England, came to the United States when twelve years of age with her parents, who located at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was a miller by trade. Mr. Doughty came to Kansas, in 1872, and ran a mill on the Cottonwood River, which is still dependent upon water power for its operation. Albert B. Emerson received his educational advantages in Keene, Ohio. In his youth he mastered the shoemaker and harnessmaker’s trades, which he followed until the outbreak of the Civil war, when he enlisted in Company I, Ninety-seventh Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and served bravely and faithfully through three years of the war. He participated in fourteen battles of that struggle, including Missionary Ridge and Stone River. He was wounded at Kennesaw Mountain. He endured the starvation rations and hardships of army life cheerfully and patiently. His army record was an excellent one. Mrs. Emerson, who had been partly educated in her native land, was a remarkable woman in many ways. She was a skilled penwoman and was nurse in Hospital No. 1 at Chattanooga for four months. She contributed great and helpful services to the Union cause in writing out discharge papers and by making out statements for doctors to send to Washington of gangrene cases for soldiers in hospital unable for duty, and making clothing for soldiers at Steubenville, Ohio. She was the only woman in the war to make out all her husband’s discharge papers ready for officers’ signatures.

After the close of the war Albert B. Emerson bought a star mail route between Millersburg and Coshocton, Ohio. He came to Kansas in 1878, and with his family located at Cedar Point, Chase County, where Mr. Doughty, his father-in-law, had preceded him. There for a time he worked at his trade, later operated a general store, and after he had sold it was appointed postmaster, an office in which he served for eight years. He held various township offices and became somewhat of an influence in republican politics in his locality. Mr. Emerson was an honest, God-fearing man, who, by his straightforward living commanded the respect of all who knew him. His friends were legion, and he had in particular the love of children, especially of his own, who adored him. He was always a supporter of laudable enterprises, and his hand was ever extended to help those who had been less fortunate than he. When his death occurred, March 4, 1904, his community lost one of its best citizens. Fraternally he was connected with Florence Lodge of Odd Fellows, of which he was noble grand for many years, and also with the Ancient Order of United Workmen. He was a devout Christian, did much to assist the cause of religion and contributed to the building of churches and schools, and as a member of the Presbyterian Church served as superintendent of the Sunday schools at Florence and Cedar Point for many years, and was a life elder. He was a great reader and lover of refined literature. Mrs. Emerson, who survives her husband and resides at Florence, was her husband’s constant aid and advisor. She always made the clothes for her own children, and has still found time to be a student, and for a number of years was a member of the school board at Cedar Point. Like her husband she commands the love and esteem of all who know her, and her advice is eagerly sought and freely given on many subjects. She belongs to the Literary Club and the Order of the Eastern Star. She has lived to see her children grow up about her and to assume honorable positions in life, a credit to themselves and to their careful rearing. The children are as follows: Minnie L., who is now Mrs. F. W. Byram, of Cedar Point, Kansas; Hugh W., who died in 1894; Xenia, now Mrs. W. G. Marlin, of Monee, Illinois; Albert V., district manager of the Southwest Telephone Company of Kansas, with headquarters at Great Bend; Lutie V., who is now Mrs. C. F. Ward, of Cottonwood Falls, Kansas; Zola A., of this review; William D., traffic manager of the Bell Telephone Company at Denver, Colorado; and Cadiz G., now Mrs. L. E. Cress, of Cedar Point, Kansas.

Zolo A. Emerson attended the public schools of Cedar Point and Florence High School, and, like his brothers, learned telegraphy and became an operator. He began his telegraph career with the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad and in 1896 entered the employ of the Postal Telegraph & Cable Co. at Lamar, Colorado, as manager. He was transferred to Flagstaff, Arizona; Newton, Kansas; Emporia, Kansas, and Topeka, Kansas. In 1908, desiring to be at the head of a business of his own, he bought his present establishment and started in a small way to deal in general merchandise, and since that time has built up a trade that has far exceeded his expectations. Mr. Emerson entertains a commendable interest in public affairs, is a firm believer in good schools and general civilizing agencies, and supports by his vote the republican party. In 1908 he was appointed postmaster by President Taft, and has continued to hold this office to the present time, giving his fellow-townsmen excellent mail service. As a fraternalist he has been through the chairs of Auburn Blue Lodge No. 32, Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons, and belongs to Topeka Chapter and Commandery, and is a Mason of the York Rite. He likewise holds membership in Auburn Lodge No. 556 of the Odd Fellows, in which he has been through the chairs. Mr. and Mrs. Emerson are members of the First Christian Church of Topeka, and have taken an active interest in its work.

On September 4, 1900, Mr. Emerson was married to an old schoolmate, Miss Nellie B. Williams, of Cedar Point, Kansas, and they have one child, Zonella Alice, who was born at Topeka, August 18, 1912.



Connelley, William E. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Chicago : Lewis, 1918. 5v. Biographies can be accessed from this page: Kansas and Kansans Biographies.

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