JACOB L. PLAIN was born in Muhlenburg county, Kentucky, on the 25th day of April 1828. He comes from English ancestry on the paternal side, and French on the maternal. His father, David Plain, was a native of Maryland, and his mother, who was a Landis, was born in Virginia. David Plain emigrated to Morgan County, Illinois, in September, 1828, and remained there until 1831, when he removed to Macoupin county, and settled eight miles northeast of Carlinville, where he remained until his death in August, 1873. Mrs. Plain died in January, 1868. There were eight children born to David and Ann Plain, six of whom have survived their parents. The subject of our sketch spent his boyhood days at work upon the farm, and attended the country schools in the winter months. He remained at home until he was twenty-one years of age, when he hired to a man in Sangamon county, to work upon a farm. In 1851 he commenced riding as deputy sheriff, under Sheriff William M. Snow. He rode three years when he was elected sheriff. He served until 1856. In 1858 he was again elected, and continued in office until the fall of 1860, and from that time until 1865, acted as deputy. In 1865 he was elected justice of the peace, and has held the office from that time to the present. In 1871 in connection with Horace Gwin, he compiled a set of indexes for Title Abstracts, and since that time has, in addition to his other duties, been industriously engaged in making Abstract of Titles.
In April, 1878, he was elected Mayor of Carlinville, and discharged the duties of that office with credit to himself and to his friends. On the 13th of March, 1856, he was married to Miss Mary A. J. Dick, who is a native of Sangamon county, Illinois. In politics Mr. Plain is an unswerving democrat. He cast his first vote for Franklin Pierce in 1852, and has remained true and steadfast to the party of his first choice ever since.
In the pioneer days of Illinois, Mr. Plain had but few opportunities for receiving even a common school education, but being of an observing nature and having a retentive mind, he, by hard work and persistent effort, has succeeded to the possession of knowledge that makes him the equal of those who make far greater pretensions. In the community where he has lived for a long number of years none are more respected for those qualities that make the man than Jacob L. Plain.