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Howard Joseph Reynolds

EMBERSON, JOHN ELDRIDGE (1798–1860). John Eldridge Emberson, early settler, soldier in the Texas Revolution, and captain in the Texas Rangers (March 16–September 16, 1839), son of Hezekiah Emberson and Elizabeth (Webb) Emberson, was born in Virginia on May 22, 1798. He left a frontier school at the age of fourteen, and on December 1, 1812, in Hawkins County, Tennessee, signed up for six months service in the War of 1812. He was discharged at Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, on June 1, 1813. He signed up again on January 10, 1814, in Capt. Jonas Lockmiller’s Tennessee Volunteers and was involved in the Creek Indian War in Alabama. He ended his service on July 29, 1814. Family tradition says that he fought in the battle of New Orleans, but no records of proof exist. The battle of New Orleans took place on January 8, 1815, and his term expired on July 29, 1814. He, Elijah Carter, and five other men went to what is Lamar County, Texas, to trap in 1816 and camped on a lake now called Emberson Lake.

On March 1, 1820, Emberson married Matilda Carter, Elijah’s daughter, and first settled in Washington County, Arkansas, and later moved to Lamar County. He and Matilda had five children. Eliza Jane, born on April 22, 1822, married William Mastin “Buckskin” Williams, who later served in the Texas legislature. Elijah was born on May 15, 1825; Eldridge was born on July 21, 1827. During the Civil War, Elijah and Eldridge raised cattle on the Wichita range and drove the cattle to where the Confederate army was fighting at the time. Rebecca Ann was born on March 1, 1832, and John, Jr., on June 25, 1835. On August 5, 1849, John Emberson’s wife Matilda died of cervical cancer. On May 9, 1850, Emberson married Mrs. Kiziah (or Kezia) Martin; the marriage ended in divorce within two or three years. In 1852 he acquired 320 acres of land in the southwest portion of Grayson County and moved there. On January 10, 1854, he married Sarah Jane House. Emberson continued to acquire land in southwest Grayson County, which formed the ranching empire of his sons, Elijah and Eldridge. He died on December 18, 1860, with a personal wealth of $10,916 and land worth of $11,000. He was buried in Sumner Cemetery in Lamar County.


Howard Joseph Reynolds, John Emberson, Texas Pioneer, Patriot and Rancher, copy in LDS Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Howard Joseph Reynolds, "EMBERSON, JOHN ELDRIDGE," accessed June 03, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fem01.

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Modified on December 3, 2013. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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