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|Jacob Haish's Portrait
Jacob Haish, the son of Christian and Christina
(Layman) Haish, was born on March 9, 1826 in Cilsul Baden,
Germany. Cilsul Baden is in the southwestern region of southern Germany, now
known as the state of Baden-Wurtemburg.
into the Port of New York with his parents and siblings on September 5, 1832
after sailing across the Atlantic in a ship named "Elizabeth". Jacob's
mother, Christina, died in
Pennsylvania shortly after coming to America. Christian moved his family
to the rural area of
Bucyrus, Crawford County, Ohio near a small village called Brokensword.
Christian later remarried to Elizabeth Shoop. Jacob's father would
have seventeen children between his two marriages and outlive both his
wives. Jacob lived for several years in Ohio,
but "The Great West" was calling to him.
Jacob decided to move to DuPage County, Illinois
where he worked for an
inn keeper, named Thomas Brown. He soon fell in love with Thomas' daughter
Sophia Brown. Jacob married Sophia on May 24, 1847 in Naperville, DuPage
County, Illinois. Jacob tried his hand at farming for a short time
after his marriage in the rural Pierce Township area just north of
Hinckley, Illinois. In about 1853, Jacob and Sophia moved to
DeKalb. One of Jacob's first business ventures was a carpentry and
contracting shop in town. He became a well respected and noted
building contractor in town. There have been family stories which
imply Jacob built Joseph F. Glidden's famous brick house west of DeKalb
in 1861 and also Isaac Ellwood's earlier/more modest two story residence
on 3rd Street in DeKalb. Jacob built the first cheese factory in DeKalb around the 1871 and it operated for several years, but the building was torn down in 1882. Jacob began to tinker with the idea
of barbed wire in about 1872. This was the exact time Isaac Ellwood and
Joseph Glidden were working on their respective barbed wire ideas.
Jacob received his first patent for
barbed wire on January 20, 1874 . Jacob received his most famous
barbed wire patent on August 31, 1875 for the "S Barb" Patent.
Jacob filed an article of infringement immediately when he heard of Mr.
Glidden's patent entry at the patent office. Jacob's and Joseph
Glidden's respective patents pending were tied up in the courts for many
years. The supreme court made a ruling in favor of Glidden
and Jacob pursued his other more famous "S Barb". Jacob
patented many other barbed wire types and miscellaneous farm implements.
He amassed a large fortune in so doing. Jacob erected an Opera House in downtown DeKalb in 1876. This burned down on January 9, 1906 and was rebulit shorly there after. Here is a view of the interior of the rebuilt opera house. Jacob
built a beautiful ornate MANSION at 227 Pine Street in DeKalb in 1884,
which he designed himself both inside and out.
That same year of 1884 Jacob started the Barb City Bank.
The city of DeKalb had a grade school built in 1902 in honor of Jacob's philanthropic efforts for the city, named the
Contact: Jeff J. Marshall