From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Emery, Andrew J.

(born: 1862  -  died: 1919) Andrew J. Emery served as the librarian at Fort Davis, TX for more than a year before his discharge from the Army. It was extremely rare for there to be an African American librarian in the military; occupations available to Buffalo Soldiers were quite limited, and African Americans at that time had a high illiteracy rate. Many of the entries for soldiers from Kentucky listed in On the Trail of the Buffalo Soldier II, by I. Schubert and F. N. Schubert, are noted as "cannot read or write." Andrew Emery had enlisted in the U.S. Army in Cincinnati, OH on January 9, 1882, and according to the U.S. Army Register of Enlistments, he was born in Richmond, KY, was 21 years old, and was a plumber.

Emery served in Company H of the 10th Cavalry for five years and was discharged January 8, 1887 and settled in Otter Tail, MN. He was the husband of Dora M. Packard Emery, whom he married in 1898. According to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census and in contradiction to his Army enlistment information, Andrew J. Emery was born in Ohio in February 1866, and his father was born in Kentucky. The 1900 Census also indicates that Dora Emery was born in Iowa and that her mother was born in Kentucky. Andrew, Dora, and their first three children are listed in the 1905 Census of Minnesota.

For more about the family of Andrew and Dora Emery, see G. Claxton, "Twists and turns intriguing stories emerge when piecing together a family's past," Amherst Bulletin, 8/15/2008; and the present day Fort Davis National Historic Site.

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Emery, Andrew J.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed April 15, 2024,

Last modified: 2023-07-24 16:40:53