In Nochern Province, Nassau, Germany, many years ago, were born Henry Jacoby and Katherine Peiter, his wife. Imbued with the spirit of the new world, which was then beckoning the toilers of the old to go West, subdue the wilderness and prosper, they left their native land, set sail for the country that fifty years hence was destined to be the foremost of all nations. Landing at New Orleans, the trip was continued by sail-boat up the Mississippi River. At Cairo, with their boat frozen in the ice, Christmas day, 1855, found them far from home and friends. Here, with bitter winds of winter sweeping down over the vast ice fields that engulfed their vessel, Casper J. Jacoby, the senior member of Jacoby Bros., was born, cheering their lonely hearts.
As the warm breezes of the Southland melted the winter’s snow and ice, Henry Jacoby and his family pursued their way northward and settled near Brighton, Macoupin County, Illinois. Here, with hearts courageous, they settled upon a farm and began to live that life all new and marvelous to them. Here other children came to bless their home, and here they lived for many years, happy in the fear of God, and reaping the fruits of honest efforts and endeavor.
On October 23, 1883, Casper J. Jacoby moved to Bunker Hill, Illinois, and embarked in the furniture and undertaking business, several years later adding carpets, wallpaper, pianos, organs and sewing machines – a business that was destined to grow until it established for him a reputation known and respected throughout the surrounding country. Starting with little capital and practically a stranger, young Jacoby, by that honesty and fair dealing that always characterized the business methods of the firm, soon established himself as a successful business man.
In March, 1891, Casper Jacoby, in order to get suitable employment for the two younger brothers, Wm. C. and Louis C. Jacoby, founded a corporation with his brothers, and began business in Jerseyville, Illinois, under the corporation name of Jacoby Brothers. The corporation consisted of Philipp W., Henry C., Casper J., Louis C. and William C. Jacoby.
Rev. Philipp Jacoby, the oldest of the brothers, died in St. Louis in 1899, loved and honored by a host of friends, and was buried at Brighton, Ill., near the home of his childhood.
On April 10, 1899, Casper J. Jacoby purchased the furniture and undertaking business of Bauer & Co. and August Miller, and located at Alton, Illinois. Business as now conducted in Alton is carried on under the name of C. J. Jacoby & Co. On Casper J. Jacoby‘s removal to Alton, Ill., he sold the Bunker Hill store to Jacoby Bros., Jerseyville, Ill., as a branch of same, and William C. Jacoby was made manager and Louis C. Jacoby the manager of the Jerseyville store. About five years later C. J. Jacoby & Co. moved to the new three story building especially erected for them at 627-629 East Second street.
For honesty of purpose and business integrity, Jacoby Bros. are known. Starting with little or nothing, they have today a business that is satisfactory and extending throughout the whole section of the country covered by their three large stores at Bunker Hill, Jerseyville and Alton, Ill., which bear silent tribute of the regard and esteem to which they are held by their many patrons and myself.
D. Newton Blodget, Pres., Blodget Bros. & Co. Bankers, Brighton, Ill.
Photos are from a book printed by the Melling & Gaskins Ptg. Co., Alton, Il and presented as a souvenir by Jacoby Bros. to their customers in the year of 1908 and after. I happened across several copies while working for Jacoby’s in the early 70’s and was given one.
Contributed by Joe McKennon