Born in 1830 in Penobscot, Maine, Emery graduated from Dartmouth, studied law in Albany, New York, and was a federal tax collector in the South before Ulysses S. Grant named him governor of Utah Territory in 1875. Despite the bitter Mormon-Gentile feud of the late nineteenth century, Emery accomplished election reforms and expanded government services for a fast-growing population. When President Grant visited Utah in October 1875 he was amazed at his friendly reception and reportedly told Emery he had been deceived about the Mormons. In February 1880, after Emery’s term had ended, the legislature named a new county in central Utah after him. He died in 1909 in Marshfield, Massachusetts.