Biography of George Harvey Emerson

GEORGE HARVEY EMERSON. – It is ever with peculiar interest that we observe the career of one who has been a soldier of the union. It was noticed that in the England of 1670, if any man was an exceptionally industrious and sober mechanic or man of business, it usually proved that he was an old soldier of Oliver Cromwell. In much the same way the severe discipline and the exercise of elf-devotion in our great war educated the soldier and prepared him for large and difficult enterprises.

The subject of this sketch was born in Chester, New Hampshire, in 1846, but while a boy went with his parents to Chelsea, Massachusetts. He had the best of educational advantages, graduating from the High School in 1864. Though still so young, the necessities of his country led him to enlist in the army, in which he served eleven months with credit. On being mustered out, he returned home and entered Harvard College, where he remained one year. The opportunities of the great West began to prove attractive to him, however; and pushing out to Leavenworth Kansas, he joined a train of ox-teams bound for New Mexico. From that most ancient part of our domain he found his way through Arizona to California. There he secured a position with Simpson Bros, and by them was sent to North Bend, Coos county, Oregon, and later was given charge of the sawmill at Gardner, Douglas county, where he remained till 1881, excepting three years spent at San Jose, California.

A trip to Gray’s Harbor, Washington Territory, in 1875 had led Mr. Emerson to consider the region around there a wide field for enterprise; and in 1881, in partnership with his former employer, Captain A.M. Simpson, he built the Hoquiam Mills. These mills, together with the Knappton Mills and their lands and various branches of business, have since been incorporated as the Northwestern Lumber Company. Of this Mr. Emerson is manager and a large owner. The establishment of this great enterprise on Gray’s Harbor first opened that port to commerce, and first called the attention of the world to the great and varied resources of that section of the country. Since that time the growth of the region has been one of the marvels of the Pacific Northwest.

Foremost as he is in every enterprise, both public and private, Mr. Emerson well deserves the high esteem in which he is held by all who have dealings with him.



History of the Pacific Northwest Oregon and Washington. 2 v. Portland, Oregon: North Pacific History Company. 1889.

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