It seems that nature purposes that man shall enjoy a period of rest in the evening of his days. In the morning of his life he is full of energy, hope and courage; at life's noontide his labors are guided by the sound judgment that has come to him through observation and experience and if he persists in the pursuit of an honorable purpose he can win the success that will enable him to spend the evening of life without recourse to further labor. Such has been the record of John H. Emminger, of Gibson City, now a retired tailor deriving his income largely from investments in land. He was born in the southern part of Germany, July 14, 1831, and his father, who was a linen weaver, and his mother both died in that part of the country.
Mr. Emminger continued there until twenty years of age, when he left his native land, sailing on the 14th of March, 1853, for the United States. The voyage was made in one of the old-time sailing vessels and after forty-two days spent on the Atlantic he reached New York city on the 26th of April. On that day the Odd Fellows were having a big celebration and parade and Mr. Emminger thought it the grandest sight he had ever witnessed in all his life. The city in its gala day decorations made a great impression upon him and from that time America has had a stronghold upon his affections and loyalty. In his native country Mr. Emminger had learned and followed the tailor's trade and was again employed in that way in New York city until the fall of 1853, when he made his way westward to Chicago and Milwaukee. Later he took up his abode in La Salle, Illinois, where he served as foreman in a tailor establishment until 1861. On the 9th of June of that year he removed to Davenport, Iowa, where he remained for four and a half years, or through the period of the Civil war, acting as foreman in a tailor shop there. Subsequently he spent two and a half years in Keokuk, Iowa, and in 1867 returned to La Salle, Illinois, where he resided until 1870, when he opened up a shop of his own in Wenona, Illinois, where he remained for four and a half years. He next located at Pontiac, Illinois, where he conducted business on his own account for ten and a half years, and then came to Gibson City where he also conducted a successful tailoring business for some time. He is now retired, however, and depends upon his income from his property to supply him with the necessities and comforts of life. He is the owner of two hundred acres of land in Drummer township and also had one hundred and sixty acres in McLean county, which he gave to his children. In Kansas he has invested in property, having one hundred and sixty acres in Brown county. He also owns a good residence in Gibson City and a store building, which is now rented for a meat market.
In 1854 Mr. Emminger was married to Miss Mary C. Riegs, who was born in Pennsylvania in 1831, a daughter of George and Sophia (Kugler) Riegs, the father, a truck farmer near La Salle, Illinois, where he located in 1854 and where he resided until his death. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Emminger were born four sons and four daughters, of whom two sons and two daughters are now living, and they have twelve grandchildren. Their son Albert lives upon the father's farm two miles southwest of Gibson City.
Mr. Emminger is a member of the Masonic fraternity, joining the lodge at La Salle, Illinois, in 1867, while since 1858 he has been a member of the Odd Fellows Lodge at La Salle. His political allegiance has been given to the republican party since he became a naturalized American citizen. There is no native son of the United States more loyal to her welfare and her interests, for he has enjoyed her protection and has found here the opportunities for the attainment of success. When he arrived in America he had but twenty-five cents, but gradually he has worked his way upward and his diligence and perseverance have brought him a goodly measure of prosperity and at the same time the methods which he has followed in the business world have made his an honored name.

Extracted 19 Oct 2016 by Norma Hass from History of Ford County, Illinois, From Its Earliest Settlement to 1908, author E. A. Gardner, Volume 1, pages 360-362.

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