James S. Acker, proprietor of the general mercantile cash store, at Mountain Home, is one of the successful businessmen of the town, and his enterprise and energy have given him rank among the leading representatives of commercial interests in Elmore county. A native of Alabama, he was born near Birmingham, on the 6th of August 1865. His ancestors were natives of Holland and at an early day joined a Dutch colony that settled in South Carolina. His father, Dr. J. W. Acker, engaged in the practice of medicine throughout his business career and became a very prominent and successful physician, being for many years numbered among the distinguished representatives of the profession in Shelby County. William Acker had removed at an early day from South Carolina, in which state the Ackers were well known planters and owned many slaves. Dr. Acker married Miss Sarah Caffee, a native of Alabama, and a descendant of one of the old southern families. Her people were connected with the Baptist church, while the Ackers were Methodists in religious faith.
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James S. Acker is one of a family of six children, four of whom are yet living. He spent his boyhood days in the state of his nativity, attended school there and was later graduated in the commercial department of the Kentucky State University. He entered upon his business career in the capacity of a journalist, writing for the Evening Chronicle and the Birmingham Age-Herald; but circumstances caused him to enter other fields of labor and he began merchandising, for which work he is well adapted. He is a man of keen foresight, of pleasant and agreeable manner and unimpeachable integrity, essential qualifications in those who would win success in commercial fines. His whole career has been permeated by the idea that debt is one of the curses of the world, and that a nice, clean cash business, such as is conducted by the railroads, is best for the buyer as well as for the seller; it does away with the expense of bookkeeping, of litigation and with the animosities that arise from an attempt to force payment. The goods can be sold cheaper and the honest customer is not annoyed by the debt or the merchant by the credit. There would be no failures and no suicides as the result of financial embarrassment, and the real result would be a much healthier condition in business life. Such has been the principle upon which Mr. Acker has conducted his business, and he has found it to be a practical one.
In 1888 he went to California for rest and in order to see the country, and after spending some time in the Golden state, made his way to Salt Lake City, Utah, where he engaged in the produce business for a short time. Subsequently he became a traveling salesman, learned much concerning the first cost of the goods and of the conditions of the retail trade. This led him to engage in business on his own account, and in 1895 he opened his cash store on a corner lot in Mountain Home, where his building is not exposed to fire, and where he keeps a very carefully selected stock of general merchandise. By his promptness and honorable dealing, combined with his earnest efforts to please his patrons, he has secured a good trade and won the good will and confidence of the better class of customers, both in the town and surrounding country. He is numbered among the leading merchants at Mountain Home and occupies a prominent place in commercial circles.
Mr. Acker was married in 1893, the lady of his choice being Miss Allie S. Smithson, a native of Salt Lake City, Utah. Their marriage has been blessed with a daughter, Nydia Marie. Mr. Acker exercises his right of franchise in support of the men and measures of the Republican party. His name is on the membership rolls of the Odd Fellows society, the Ancient Order of United Workmen, the Woodmen of the World and the Home Forum, and in his religious views he is liberal. He has, however, the strictest regard for the ethics of life, and he and his wife enjoy the high regard of many friends and receive the hospitality of the best homes in this section of Idaho.