The following is an edited version of the Henry Emmel entry in the History of Stearns County by William Bell Mitchell, 1915, Page 922
Henry Joseph Emmel, a leading citizen of Melrose, was born in Cumberland, Maryland, March 17, 1844. Henry is the son of Joseph and Kunigunda (Fischer) Emmel, natives of Germany. His father was a painter and decorator and came from Germany to Cumberland, Maryland, and was there married.
On May 6, 1856, the Emmel family moved to Minnesota. They reached St. Cloud on a steamboat, and found here a few scattering log houses and shanties. Joseph Emmel erected a crude dwelling, and took up work at his trade.
Joseph Emmel's work was always good, and some of his more notable contracts included the decoration of several of the early churches of St. Cloud. Joseph Emmel was born March 31, 1812, and died in 1887. His wife, Kunigunda Emmel, was born October 14, 1820, and died in 1898.
In 1856 when Henry J. Emmel came to St. Cloud with his parents, he was twelve years old. The following year, on November 10, 1857, he was one of the first six boys who entered St. John's Seminary, then located a mile below St. Cloud on the river. Today this institution is known as St. John's University at Collegeville, Stearns County, Minnesota. His teacher was the Benedictine, Rev. Father Cornelius Wittman.
After Henry Emmel had finished his schooling, he became a clerk for the J. C. Burbank Co., which operated a series of stage routes through the Northwest. Later he became assistant to J. E. West, at that time the postmaster at St. Cloud.
Subsequently he taught school for two years, one year at Richmond and one year at St. Augusta. At the completion of this time he became a clerk in the general store of J. Schoenborn, at Spring Hill. Mr. Schoenborn was killed by lightning, and Mr. Emmel married the widow, Apollonia Schoenborn [on January 7, 1874]. He took over the management of the store, and conducted it for many years. In addition to this business, the Emmels also engaged in farming in a small way...with just eighty acres of land.
So prosperous did Henry Emmel in time become that at one time he owned and operated 1,100 acres of good land. (see the map in the PHOTO section) He was a very prominent man [in western Stearns County]. His services as postmaster at Spring Hill, and at various times as notary public, town clerk and justice of the peace of Spring Hill Township were greatly appreciated.
In 1877 he was elected [by the voters of Minn District 31 to the House of Representatives of the Minnesota] legislature. [He was listed as a Democrat on the list of members posted after the 1877 election and served in the 1878-1879 session]. This was during the grasshopper raids and Mr. Emmel was successful in getting an act passed by the legislature, authorizing the residents of Lake Henry, Lake George and Spring Hill townships to raise money to buy their own seed wheat. The plan was so admirable that it was finally applied to all the devastated districts.
For many years Mr & Mrs Emmel lived in Spring Hill. In 1907 they retired and moved to Melrose, Stearns, Minn.
In 1908 Emmel was again elected to the House of Representatives for Minn District 54. His term in office was from 1909 to 1911. The St. Paul newspapers referred to him as Rip Van Winkle, for, after thirty years absence, he returned and was still strong and vigorous, and still ready to take an active part in the state's affairs.
Henry and Apollonia Emmel are the parents of seven children: Henry (deceased 1881), Elizabeth (deceased 1895), Joseph, John H., Gertrude, Margaret and Mary.
[Henry J Emmel died on September 8, 1927 and was buried in St. Michael's Cemetery in Spring Hill, Minn.]
The above information on the Emmels is an edited version from page 922 of William Bell Mitchell's 1915 book titled The History of Stearns County, Minnesota.
The brackets [ ] indicated information from another source added to the copy.
Apollonia Miesen Emmel
1840–1923 (m. 1874)
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