Sangamon County ILGenWeb © 2000
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By Joseph Wallace, M. A.
of the Springfield Bar
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, IL

HENRY W. JACOBS - Henry W. Jacobs, who is living on section 29, Fancy Creek township, where he carries on general farming and stock raising, together with fruit growing, was born in Christian county, Illinois, September 27, 1844, and his father, Samuel Jacobs, was a native of Kentucky, born near Louisville, in 1776. When about fifteen years of age he entered the army for service under General William Henry Harrison. In his native state he was married and subsequently came to Illinois. Six children born of his first union lived to maturity and after the death of his first wife he was again married in Christian county, Illinois, his second union being with Mrs. Martha Stanfield, nee Locker, a native of Ohio, who came to Illinois in the memorable winter of the deep snow. Mr. Jacobs carried on farming until his death, which occurred in 1851, when the subject of this review was but seven years of age. His wife survived him for a number of years and carefully reared her ch ildren, two in number Henry W., of this review, and his twin brother, T. J. Jacobs, who is now living in Delaware county, Iowa.

In the usual manner of farmer lads of the period Henry W. Jacobs spent his youth upon the home farm in Christian county, remaining with his mother until after he had attained his majority. He had attended the district schools of the neighborhood and had become familiar with farm work in all its departments. On leaving home he rented land which he cultivated for one season, and then purchased a small tract which he engaged in farming in connection with other fields. Subsequently, however, he sold his first purchase and rented a large farm in Macon county, near Decatur, where he carried on agricultural pursuits for six years. He afterward operated another farm in that locality for two years and then returned to Christian county, where he rented land for a decade. He also bought another farm there and continued its cultivation for three years, after which he purchased one hundred acres of land near Boliver, cultivating it for a number of years. On the expiration of that period he came to Sangamon county , where he operated a rented farm for two years and then bought eighty acres of land in Cooper township, residing thereon for eleven years. Upon the expiration of that period he once more sold out and then purchased his present home on section 29, Fancy Creek township, since which time he has given his attention to general farming, to stock raising and to the production of fruit. There is a nice orchard upon his place and he is regarded as one of the successful agriculturists of the community.

On the 2d of April, 1863, in Christian county, when about twenty years of age, Henry W. Jacobs was united in marriage to Miss Mary Elizabeth Cross, a native of Wayne county, Indiana, and a daughter of B. D. Cross, whose birth occurred in Hagerstown, Maryland, where his youth was also passed. He then returned to Indiana where he wooed and won Myra Cooper, also born near Hagerstown, and in the year 1851 they came to Illinois, settling in Christian county. Mr. and Mrs. Jacobs are the parents of nine children, of whom two are living: Benjamin, who is married, and follows farming in Fancy Creek township, and Mary Lydia, the widow of James Jacobs, of Christian county, now deceased. Although the same name no relationship existed between them prior to their marriage.

In his political affiliation Mr. Jacobs is a Democrat where questions of state and national importance are involved, but at local elections be votes independently. He and his wife are members of the Christian church and are people of the highest respectability, esteemed for their many excellent traits of character. Mr. Jacobs may well be classed among the self-made men of Sangamon county, for whatever success he has won has been gained through earnest labor supplemented by close application and guided by good business judgment.

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