John realized that the railroads were the key to the nation's transportation system and the main line between York and Harrisburg, and the state's capital ran through his property. He became the local railroad agent and profited from the growing activity that was generated by the local farmers who shipped their crops and grains to the north and craftsman that worked in the factories in nearby York.
The thriving port of Baltimore also supplied generous activity to the local rail industry. John also ran a thriving lime production business with much of the product being shipped to Baltimore for export. He also was the local post master and ran a General store. His influence was without question the most influential in the area and the local residents were moved to name the town after him, thus Emigsville was born.