BROOKSVILLE – The City of Brooksville honored John Emerson, a 20th century developer responsible for building many local landmarks, in a ceremony on Thursday evening.
John C. Emerson, who lived from 1892 to 1951, was named the 2013 Great Brooksvillian by Brooksville City Council earlier in the year. He is the 12th influential person to be named a Great Brooksvillian since the practice started in 2001.
“Every institution a proper town should have was built by an Emerson,” Mayor Lara Bradburn said during the ceremony. “Emerson was trying to establish modern construction in a town that didn’t even have a stoplight.”
Born in North Dakota, Emerson settled in Brooksville in the early 1900s. After serving in World War I, Emerson began building homes and other properties in the city, including the two-story high school and apartments on Bell Avenue, the Moline Street houses and the Hernando Park bandshell, as well as donating materials for community development projects.
“He laid the foundation for Brooksville, in a lot of ways,” Councilman Joe Johnston III said.
Those in attendance included Hernando County Property Appraiser John C. Emerson, the Great Brooksvillian’s grandson, and other Emerson family descendants, residents and members of the city and county government.