Emory James Upton, Sr

Emory James Upton, Sr

Birth
Battle Creek, Calhoun County, Michigan, USA
Death 28 Sep 1930 (aged 65)
Benton Harbor, Berrien County, Michigan, USA
Burial Benton Harbor, Berrien County, Michigan, USA
Memorial ID 126445359 · View Source
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Emory was born to Stephen and Olive (Hamilton) Upton.

Emory came to Benton Harbor in 1899 to work for the Truscott Boat Company, where he improved and patented boat motors. He later opened his own machine shop in Benton Harbor (the Emory Upton Machine Shop no longer stands, but was on West Main Street where the Saranac Machine Company - now Saranac Flats condos - stands at 376 W. Main St). After the death of his brother, his nephew, Louis C. Upton, had acquired the patent for a washing machine he believed could be transformed to operate with an electric motor. Lou brought the designs to Emory and Emory agreed with the plan and they worked in Emory's Benton Harbor shop, forming the Upton Machine Company in 1911. They were soon joined by Lou's brother Frederick. This company would later become The Nineteen Hundred Corporation, and later Whirlpool, all this time keeping the headquarters in Benton Harbor, MI (which celebrated their 100 year anniversary in 2011).

(Emory & Cora and their daughters Mary and Helen appear in the 1900 Census living at 184 Brunson Ave in Benton Harbor.)
Emory and his wife Cora lived at 489 Broadway where Broadway intersects with E. Britain Ave.

Besides being an inventor of machines, Upton loved music. He was an accomplished tuba, valve trombone and baritone player and performed with the municipal band in St. Joseph. A high point in Upton's musical life was when John Phillip Sousa took his U.S. Marine Band on a U.S. tour and, right before a concert in St. Joseph, held auditions and chose Emory Upton to play with the band in that night's concert (a story related by his grandson, Dr. Edward Atwood, to the Herald Palladium).

(Source: "He put the motor in the washing machine," June 7, 2011, The Herald Palladium, St. Joseph / Benton Harbor)

Emory Upton's uncle (also named Emory Upton) was Major General Emory Upton (8/27/1839 - 3/15/1881), the son of Daniel and Electra (Randall) Upton.

Emory and Cora's children were:

Helen Belle (Upton) Shippy
b: 6/20/1894 in Battle Creek, MI
d: 2/17/1920 in Grand Rapids, MI
(Helen was only married 4 months to Solon Shippy before she died of pneumonia. Solon remarried a woman named Kathleen in Grand Rapids and died in 1938.)

Grace Upton (born abt. 1904)
(Grace married Humphrey Chambers on 6/28/1924 in Berrien County, MI.)

Mary (Upton) Atwood (1890 - 1945)
(Mary married Orville Atwood (1888 - 1934) and was mother to Dr. Edward Atwood. Mary & Orville are buried in Crystal Springs Cemetery, Benton Harbor, MI.)

Emory James Upton (April 22, 1901 - January 1, 1986)
(Emory married Adeline Parsons. They are buried in Ellenton, Florida.)

Emory Sr. and Cora are buried by each other's side in Crystal Springs Cemetery.


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  • Created by: Ken DeWitt Thomas
  • Added: 16 Mar 2014
  • Find A Grave Memorial 126445359
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Emory James Upton, Sr (10 Jun 1865–28 Sep 1930), Find A Grave Memorial no. 126445359, citing Crystal Springs Cemetery, Benton Harbor, Berrien County, Michigan, USA ; Maintained by Ken DeWitt Thomas (contributor 47617690) .