JOSEPH MARTIN EMMERT, M. D.
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JOSEPH MARTIN EMMERT, M. D., is a prominent physician of Atlantic, Iowa, and has resided here since 1874. For twenty years he has been examining surgeon for the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railway, and one of the old physicians in the employ of that company. He was born in Washington county, Maryland, June 13, 1846. His father, Joshua Emmert, was also a native of Maryland, as was his grandfather, Joseph Emmert. They were each born in Washington county, of that State. The latter was a German Baptist (Dunkard) preacher, and moved to Lee county, Illinois, about 1845, where he built the first Dunkard church in the county, using his own money for that purpose. He was a large landholder, a Christian, whose word was as good as his bond.
Joshua Emmert, the father of our subject, grew to manhood in his native State and married Ann G. Funk, a daughter of Hon. Henry G. Funk, of Franklin county, Pennsylvania. Her father was a member of the Legislature of Pennsylvania when Thaddeus Stevens introduced the first free-school bill ever introduced in any legislative body in the United States. She was of German descent, the first of the name Funk locating in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, about 1744. When about thirty-three years of age Joshua Emmert rode from Maryland to Shelbyille, Illinois, three times on horseback. He finally located in Shelbyville, where he engaged in the mercantile business, but later returned to Maryland, where he died at the age of seventy-five years.
The subject of this sketch is the oldest son and second child of a family of nine children born to Joshua and Ann G. Emmert. He was reared in his native State and received his primary education in the common schools. He later attended the Cumberland Valley Institute, at Mechanicsville, Pennsylvania, and from there went to Milllersville, Pennsylvania, and finished his course in the Normal School at that place. On leaving school he commenced reading medicine with Dr. I. H. Sniveley, of Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, after which he entered Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at which he was graduated in 1872.
On receiving his degree, Dr. Emmert removed to Hamburg, Fremont county, Iowa, where he engaged in the practice of his profession and remained until March, 1874, when he moved to Atlantic, Iowa, where he has since been actively engaged with great success. Returning to his old home in Washington county, Maryland, he was there married, October 28, 1873, to Miss Ida Washabaugh, of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, a native of Franklin county, in that State, and a daughter of Upton and Anna (Hostetter) Washabaugh, who were also natives of Franklin county, Pennsylvania. To Dr. and Mrs. Emmert six children have been born, Max being the only one now living. In his profession Dr. Emmert takes rank with the best in southern Iowa. He is well read and is always abreast of the times. He is a member of the American Medical Association; of the Iowa State Medical Society, of which he was elected president in 1889; of the Missouri Valley Medical Association, of which he was the first vice-president and the second president. He was also a member of the Western Gynecological Association and of the Botna Valley Medical Society, of which he was the first president. For some years he was a member of the Railway Surgical Association, and as already stated has been the local surgeon for the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railway for twenty years. He is a member of th Iowa State Board of Health, receiving his appointment from Governor Boies, in 1892.
Fraternally Dr. Emmert is a member of Pymosa Lodge, No. 172, A. F. & A. M.; of Ophir Chapter, No. 84, R. A. M.; of Kedron Commandery, No. 42, K. T., all of Atlantic, Iowa, and of Tangier Temple of the Mystic Shrine, at Omaha, Nebraska. In politics he is a Democrat and was a delegate to the national convention in 1884, at Chicago, which nominated Cleveland for the first term. In 1875, he was elected City Recorder and re-elected in 1876. He was president of the School Board in 1882 and also in 1883.
Religiously he is a Presbyterian, and is an Elder in the church at Atlantic. Since coming to Atlantic, the Doctor has been quite successful financially and is at present the owner of several blocks of buildings in the city, together with much other property. A man of sterling worth, a good physician, and enterprising citizen, he is greatly esteemed by his many friends not only in Atlantic but throughout the State of Iowa.
From A Memorial and Biographical Record of Iowa, Volume I, Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1896, pp. 169-170. Transcribed July, 2015 by Cheryl Siebrass.