BLESER, JACOB - Through the inventive genius of a few, millions are benefitted. While the majority are content to plod along, there are those who are constantly working to better existing conditions, whose names go down through the ages as the benefactors of mankind. Jacob Bleser, of Springfield, has already revolutionized methods in certain lines of manufacture, and has placed upon the market more than one invention which will preserve his name for posterity. He was born September 7, 1868, in Germany, a son of Jacob and Johanna (Augstein) Bleser, the former a mechanical engineer, from whom Jacob Jr. inherited his love of mechanics. In 1884 the father brought the family to New York City, and from there they came to Springfield. A few years later, however he died there, but his widow survives. Their children were as follows: Jacob, Katie; Mary, deceased, was a Franciscan Sister; Joseph Peter, an ordained priest, who died in Memphis, Tenn., possessed great musical genius; John, a Franciscan Father, now stationed in China; and Margaret, deceased.
Jacob Bleser Jr. was in his seventeenth year when he came to Springfield with his parents, and had attended school in Germany until the time of the family migration. Upon coming to Springfield, he obtained employment in the molder's shop of the Wabash Railroad. His father dying, Jacob was forced to take the support of his mother and the younger children upon his shoulders, and in order to do this began working for the Illinois Watch Company. So frugal and industrious was he that before long he had bought a home, in which he established his mother. In 1889, believing he could do better, he went to Chicago, engaging with the Western Electric Company. During the following four years he remained with this and other concerns of the Illinois metropolis, then returned to Springfield and opened a little book store, at the same time manufacturing artificial flowers. At first he was located at No. 911 Capitol Avenue, but later removed to No. 84 Monroe Street, and still later selected his present location, at No. 823 East Adams Street. There he carries on a general machinist business, making models and dies. Being a born inventor, he is constantly working to improve devices on the market, and among other things has patented the J. Bleser's Miner's Calcium Carbine Cap Lamp, and the Precision Bench Lathes, Nos. 4 and 5.
In June, 1897, Mr. Bleser was married to Lena Kramp, of Springfield, daughter of the late Nicholas Kramp. They have five children: Joseph, Rosa, Christine, Francisca and John. Mr. Bleser is a member of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church. In politics he is a stanch Democrat and supports the candidates of his party with loyal devotion. Coming to a new country when but seventeen years old, and being early saddled with the care of his father's family, Mr. Blesser has made wonderful progress and deserves great credit for what he has accomplished. He assisted in educating two brothers for the priesthood and helped the others to fit themselves for useful vocations. His family life is a happy one, and in business and church affairs he proves himself true to the faith in which he was reared.