Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The Big Bend Country, embracing
Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties, State of Washington",
published by Western Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
ALLEN EMERSON. One of the
first settlers of Lincoln county is Allen Emerson, a thrifty fruit grower
and retired minister, who resides at Peach. Born December 12, 1847,
in White county, Illinois, son of William E. and Mary (Pyle) Emerson, his
early years were years of struggle and responsibility. When only
fourteen years of age the death of his mother left him with the care of
five younger brothers and sisters. At this time the family were practically
orphans, as the father's duty in the eighty-seventh regiment of Illinois
prevented his return to the motherless children. The father died
in 1868. He was born in White county, Illinois, of which county his
parents were early settlers. His mother was a native of Ohio.
The duties of caring for his brothers and
sisters left little time for education during his boyhood, but the schooling
he lacked then was made up in his young manhood. At twenty-six he
was ordained a Baptist minister, and at twenty-seven he was attending college
at Ewing, Illinois.
For some time after his ordination, Mr. Emerson
followed the occupations of farmer and minister. Three years prior
to his leaving Illinois, however, he devoted his entire time to the last
named calling. In the spring of 1884 he, together with his family,
came to the Big Bend country, and located in the vicinity of Brents, near
the present site of Creston. His experiences here are somewhat unique
and historical. He was the first Baptist minister west of Reardon,
he helped to organize the first Sunday school, being its first superintendent;
he aided in the organization of the first Baptist church, immersed the
first convert, and married the first white couple. After locating
land here he removed to Welsh creek. In the spring of 1898 he sold
this land and bought his present home of twenty-one acres, six acres of
which is in orchard, bearing all varieties of fruits and berries adapted
to this latitude, the culture of which is his specialty. Mr. Emerson
has been prosperous in his western home, owning besides his homestead,
one hundred and sixty acres of land on Hawk creek.
March 8, 1876, occurred the marriage of Allen
Emerson and Clara Gollihur. Mrs. Emerson was born near Knoxville,
Tennessee. Her father, Andrew C. Gollihur, a native of Tennessee,
migrated first to Iillinois, then about three years ago to Creston, Washington.
He is now seventy-three years of age. Her mother, Mary J. Gollihur,
died in Illinois. Mrs. Emerson was the second of a family of eleven
children. Mr. and Mrs. Emerson are the parents of seven children:
Clarence and William A., both attending school at a boy's college in Spokane;
Otis A., Bertha, Mary E., and Martin R., all attending school.