BROOKSVILLE — The man who many say brought the concept of a residential development to the city of Brooksville and bequeathed the land on which the present-day Hernando High School was built, was named Monday night as the city's 2013 Great Brooksvillian.
City Council members selected John C. Emerson over lifelong city resident Frazier Mountain for the honor, which recognizes significant contributions to the history, culture or economy of the community.
Emerson, who died in 1951, was among the city's earliest developers, and during the 1930s he built several homes on the city's north side, off Howell Avenue. A well-known philanthropist who often donated building materials for community projects, Emerson contributed concrete blocks that were used to construct the city's first permanent public library at Howell and Fort Dade avenues in 1949.
According to his granddaughter, Leigh Steiner, Emerson was so moved by the heroics of American troops serving in frigid climates during World War II that he bought and shipped thousands of blankets overseas.
Emerson, the grandfather of Hernando County Property Appraiser John Emerson, will be formally honored on Oct. 10.