Portrait & Biographical Record of Tazewell & Mason Counties, Illinois, 1894, p. 336:
"JACOB STOUT. The subject of the following sketch can certainly look back upon a busy life and feel that his labors have not been in vain. When success crowns any victor in a struggle, reward is his due, and Mr. Stout receives his reward in peace and plenty which surround his declining years and the rest he can now take after the hard fight against the disadvantageous circumstances of poverty.
Born in Greene County, Pa., November 19, 1812, our subject is the son of Benjamin Stout, a native of New Jersey. The latter when a young man removed to Pennsylvania, where he married and engaged in farming pursuits. In 1814, he came farther west, locating near Zanesville, Ohio, on the Muskingum River, whence he later removed to Newark, where he followed farming pursuits until his decease, at the age of eighty-five years. The lady to whom he was married was known in her maidenhood as Elizabeth Setoria; she was born in the Keystone State and died in Newark, Ohio, when seventy-eight years of age.
Of the five sons and one daughter comprised in the parental family, Jacob is the fourth in order of birth. He was reared on his father's farm in Newark, Ohio, and received his education in the little log schoolhouse with its slab benches and other rude furnishings. When eighteen years of age he began to make his own way in the world and learned the carpenter's trade. He was a prominent contractor in that place, and when in business for himself employed from twenty-five to thirty men. He aided in the construction of aqueducts, etc., and was an expert workman in the ship yards of the above place. He also built some canal boats.
April 20, 1848, Mr. Stout came to Pekin, making the journey overland with wagons. His family, however, came to their new home by way of boats, in company with William Strausbery. At that time there were only a few hundred people living in the county, and our subject began working by the day at his trade. Later, however, he removed to a farm situated three miles south of Pekin, where he made his home for a short time. In 1851 he returned to Ohio and followed his trade at Newark, where he owned some property. He had been enabled to lay by a snug sum of money, but the bank in which he was a depositor failing, he lost the entire amount and was thus compelled to begin life again at the bottom round of the ladder.
In the fall of 1853 Mr. Stout disposed of his property in Newark and returned to Pekin, making the trip by rail to Sandusky, thence by boat to Detroit, where he boarded a train which conveyed him to Chicago. From there he went to LaSalle, and by means of boat to the Illinois River, arrived in Pekin October 3 of that year. He immediately began to work for A. & J. Hains, by whom he was employed for six years., two seasons of which he spent traveling through Indiana and Ohio in the interest of the company. At the expiration of that time he engaged in the grocery business in company with a Mr. Seely. After the dissolution of the partnership Mr. Stout clerked for a time, and later opened up another store with a Mr. Morris. Some years afterward he formed a partnership with Mr. Bergstresser, and during the six years in which they carried on the grocery business our subject erected three brick stores located on Court and Fifth Streets. In 1883 he disposed of his interest in the grocery to his partner and later sold his business property. Mr. Stout has one of the most beautiful residences in the city, the substantial dwelling being surrounded by over one-half an acre of fine lawn.
It is located at the junction of Broadway and Court and Seventh Streets and was purchased in 1864 from Jacob Thorpe, who was one of the first settlers here. He owned a quarter-section of land, which is the present site of Pekin.
In 1833 while residing in Newark, Ohio, our subject was married to Miss Julia Langley, who was born in Virginia and who departed this life July 9, 1__0. Although always a busy man, Mr. Stout has yet found time to serve the public as Township Assessor for two terms; he was also Overseer of the Poor for the same length of time. He has been a life-long Democrat in politics, and as a kind friend, adviser and public-spirited citizen he is widely known."
Submitted by Betty Doremus