Richard Dumont Emerson was born in Fairfax County, Virginia, near the city of Alexandria, August 14, 1794. His mother was a highly educated French lady, whose maiden name was Louis, a branch of the royal family, and his father also of French birth.
A brother of his mother accompanied General Lafayette to this country, and fell in the battle of Brandywine, during the Revolutionary war. In his youth, Mr. Emerson attended school near Alexandria, and acquired a fair English education.When about eighteen years of age he entered the army of the war of 1812 as a volunteer, and was at the battle Crany Island, where he was honorably mentioned for his conduct on the field, and promoted to Captain. At the close of the war he returned to Alexandria, and engaged in business as a manufacturer and dearer in shoes and boots.
In 1824-5, when General Lafayette visited Alexandria and Mt. Vernon, Captain Emerson was one of the marshals who commanded the guard that received and conducted the General to that “Mecca of American freemen,” the tomb of George Washington. He was a fine horseman, and was highly complimented by General Lafayette for his fine military bearing on that occasion. While a young man he became an active member of and local minister in the Methodist church. In 1840 he removed to Guernsey County, Ohio, and became a Lutheran minister. He subsequently removed to Ashland, county, and preached for Lutheran congregations at Rowsburg, Hayesville, Mifflin, and Orange. He was regarded as a forcible and fluent speaker, and made a fine appearance in the pulpit. In 1852 he was elected a member of the Ohio legislature from Ashland County, and served one term, declining to be a candidate for re-election. In 1854 he was appointed postmaster at Hayesville, and retained the position to the close of the administration of Franklin Pierce. In 1860 he removed to Missouri, but subsequently located and took charge of a Lutheran congregation at Bardstown, Kentucky, where he remained until May 1876, when he removed to Clark county Missouri, where he deceased after a lingering illness, September 10, 1876, at the advanced age of eighty two years and twenty seven days. Mr. Emerson had served his church, as minister, about forty-six years, and was regarded as an able and influential exponent of the creed and teachings of Martin Luther, the great German reformer.
He was enrolled among those who drew pensions for services in the war of 1812, and it may be truly said, “he served his country as a patriot, and his church as a Christian.”Mr. Emerson was above medium in size, very erect, had black hair, large gray eyes, and was impressive and dignified in his bearing. He was exceedingly fond of fine horses, and rode with all the grace of a marshal of France. His tastes were largely military, and if he had been reared in a country like France, he would have risen to distinction in military life. He was married three times. His family consisted of Rev. William A.G. Emerson, of Kentucky; Colonel Richard D. Emerson, of Iowa; John Emerson, deceased; Mrs. Martha White, of Kansas; Mrs. Elizabeth Davis, of Canal Dover, Ohio; Mrs. Virginia Crellen, of Missouri; and Mrs. Caroline Ewing, of Illinois.
contributed and transcibed by Russ Shopbell email@example.com