MARX, JACOB - In reviewing a city like Springfield, located in the center of the fertile Middle States, it is astonishing how many of its most prosperous men are of German birth. Coming here when the city, and even the State, was in the throes of evolution, these frugal, industrious, well-trained Germans became excellent Americans, and to them is due much of the present prosperity. One of these representative German-Americans is Jacob Marx, now retired, residing in his own home at No. 1015 South Twelfth Street. He was born in Treis, Germany, April 22, 1832, being a son of Jacob and Gertrude (Sanger) Marx, farming people of Germany, who never left their native land. They had nine children, four of whom survive. The father served bravely as a German soldier.
Brought up in his native land Jacob Marx served for nearly a year in the German Army. His father was taken sick, and to enable him to take care of the farm and family, the king gave him an honorable discharge. He decided that there was more opportunity for him in America, so sailed on May 9, 1857, landing at Quebec, whence he came direct to Springfield and went to work in a stone quarry, where he remained for a number of years, in the employ of Blains Stone Quarry. For two years he was in the employ of Spaulding Murray as a nurseryman and following this, was a gardener for some years. Then for eighteen years he acted as janitor of the Court House. The next ten years were spent by him in the Wabash shops, but a few years ago he retired to enjoy a well-earned rest.
On November 22, 1859, Mr. Marx was united in marriage at Springfield, with Margaret Placer, born in Germany, December 26, 1840. Her parents did not leave Germany, dying there. Mrs. Marx died March 22, 1892, having had fourteen children, six of whom survive: Margaret, wife of Adam Layendecker, of Springfield, she having died March 17, 1911; Joseph, foreman of the Schnepp & Barnes Printing Company; Veronica, wife of Jacob Layendecker; Catherine, wife of Henry Schmelter, a miner of Springfield; John, in the employ of the Illinois Watch Company; Pauline, at home, her father's housekeeper; Thomas, employed in the Wabash shops. There are twenty-five grandchildren in the family. Mr. Marx owns his beautiful home, as well as other property in Springfield, and is in comfortable circumstances. He belongs to the Church of the Sacred Heart, being a devout Roman Catholic. In Politics he is a Democrat, but has never sought public honors. He is a stanch, loyal, true-hearted man, whose life has been spent in doing his duty, and he stands high in the estimation of his fellow men. Mr. Marx was personally acquainted with the great Abraham Lincoln.