William Jacobs, M. D. By the activities of a long and successful career Dr. William Jacobs is identified with the great plains period of the West before railroads were built across the continent, also with business and official affairs, and had for more than forty years been a resident of Washington County and only recently retired from an active practice as a physician and surgeon. Doctor Jacobs is still active in affairs as president of the Farmers State Bank of Washington.
He was born at St. Louis, Missouri, December 19, 1844, and is now in his seventy-third year. His grand-father, Frederick Jacobs, was a native of Germany and brought his family to America in 1835, settling on a farm in Missouri. He died there in 1848. Fred Jacobs, father of Doctor Jacobs, was born in Germany in 1820 and was fifteen years of age when he came with his parents to America. They settled on the Missouri River near Washington, Missouri, where he grew up and married. He gave his active years to farming as a vocation. After his first marriage he lived in Warren County, Missouri, but in the fall of 1864 went to Nebraska as a pioneer and lived in Pawnee County, that state. On the death of his first wife in 1871 he made his home with his son Doctor William until 1876 when he married a second time and lived in Hanover, Kansas, until his death in 1887. He was a republican in politics and a member of the Lutheran Church. His first wife was Mrs. Margaret Kappleman Taylor. She was born in Germany in 1812 and died in Pawnee County, Nebraska, in 1871. They had ten children, the four youngest dying in infancy. The oldest was Benjamin, deceased, the next Henry, deceased, and the third was Doctor William. The next in age was John, also deceased, while Fred is a farmer in Dewey County, Oklahoma, and Annie lives at Dubois, Nebraska, widow of Mart Herrington, a farmer who died in 1917. The father married for his second wife Mrs. Mickleson, who died at Hanover, Kansas, leaving no children.
Doctor Jacobs was reared on his father’s farm in Warren County, Missouri, and attended the rural schools there until 1863, when, at the age of nineteen, he went out to Pawnee County, Nebraska, and in that frontier region worked for his brother Benjamin, a blacksmith, and at the same time attended school in the academy at Pawnee.
Doctor Jacobs in 1864 enlisted in the Second Nebraska Regiment of Infantry and saw some active service as a soldier until mustered out on February 28, 1865. All of this service was on the plains against the Indians. After leaving the army he engaged in the overland transportation business. In the fall of 1865 he drove six yoke of cattle drawing a wagon lose of grain from the Missouri River to Denver, Colorado. He reached Denver December 1, 1865, and his load of grain brought 11 cents a pound, a price surpassing even the high figures for grain in this modern day.
After this far western trip Doctor Jacobs began working in 1866 at the blacksmith trade with a man named MacCaflin at Pawnee, Nebraska. In 1871 he married, then served two years as postmaster of Pawnee City, and in the meantime had begun preparation by private study for a medical career. He finally entered the St. Louis Medical College, where he was graduated M. D. in 1876. Doctor Jacobs afterwards took post-graduate work to acquaint himself with modern developments in the Chicago Eclectie Medical Institute, where he specialized in X-Ray and other branches of modern therapy.
On March 1, 1876, Doctor Jacobs began practice at Hanover, Kansas. That town was his home for six years, and his removal to Washington came as a result of his election as county treasurer. He filled that office two terms, four years, and then resumed an active private practice at Washington, which he continued until 1915. He was formerly actively identified with the county and state medical societies and the American Medical Association and for a number of years served as health officer.
Doctor Jacobs had prospered in a business way, and in addition to his position as president of the Farmers State Bank at Washington owned a good home on Second Street and 320 acres of land in Colorado.
His political career had identified him with the republican party. For ten years he was member of the Washington School Board. He belongs to the Christian Church, and in 1868 became affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in Pawnee Lodge in Nebraska. He is past noble grand of that order. In Masonry he is past master of Frontier Lodge No. 104, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and a member of Tyrian Chapter No. 59, Royal Arch Masons, Hiawatha Commandery, Knights Templar, Abdnllah Temple of the Mystic Shrine at Leavenworth, and also belongs to Washington Lodge No. 119, Ancient Order of United Workmen, the Knights and Ladies of Security and the Sons and Danghters of Justice.
In 1871, in Pawnee County, Nebraska, Doctor Jacobs married Miss Gusta D. Bates. Her parents were Orin and Mary (Goodrich) Bates, her father a farmer, now deceased, and her mother living with Doctor and Mrs. Jacobs. Doctor and Mrs. Jacobs have four children: George, who is cashier of a bank in Lake City, Florida, married Avis White, and they have a child named Bernard W. Maggie is the wife of Walter E. Wilson, a prominent banker and business man of Washington, elsewhere mentioned, and they have one son, Walter William. William, Jr., is head credit man with the Emahizer & Spielman Furniture Company at Topeka. He married Mayme McCahan and had a daughter, Wilma Ernestine. Eolia O., the youngest child of Doctor Jacobs, is the wife of Ernest Baker, they live at Topeka and Mr. Baker travels for the Southwick Automobile Supplies Company.