For nearly twenty-five years past Philip Jacobi has been connected with farming in Western Mound township and, as the head of a large family and an industrious and patriotic citizen, he has won honorable standing among his fellowmen. He is a native of Germany and was born in the province of Nassau, April 19, 1844, being a son of Caspar and Elizabeth Catherine (Colonius) Jacobi. The parents were booth born in Nassau and were of good old German stock. The father served for six years and two months in the German army, enlisting in 1835 and being discharged in 1841. In 1853 he emigrated with his family to America, locating on a farm south of Brighton in Macoupin county, Illinois. Here he continued until his death on the 6th of November, 1889, being then seventy-four years of age. His wife was called away nineteen days after the departure of her husband, at the age of seventy-one. They were the parents of seven children, namely: Philip, the subject of this review; Peter, who served for the Union in the Civil war and was living on a farm near Bunker Hill at the time of his death July 27, 1911; Fred, a farmer of Greene county, Illinois; Louis, of Denver, Colorado, who is employed in the factory of the Pullman Car Company; Mary Catharine, who became the wife of Henry Kramer, a farmer living near Brighton; Elizabeth, who died five years ago and was the wife of Arnold Tendick, a storekeeper of Rockbridge, Illinois; and Annie, who married Henry Tendick, a tinsmith of Jacksonville, Illinois.
Philip Jacobi came to Illinois with his parents at the age of nine years and has since made his home in this state. His early education was limited to attendance of three years and five months at the public schools of Germany. At the age of thirteen he began working for Henry Apel, one of the old settlers of the neighborhood, and while with him was given the opportunity of attending school in the winter time. About 1860 he went to Alton, Illinois, and was employed for two years by a gardener but, not being especially attracted to this industry, he learned the blacksmith's trade under Jake Hartman, spending four years in his shop. He then went to Carrollton, Greene county, Illinois, and later opened a shop at North Alton, which he conducted for three years. His next place of residence was Rockbridge, Greene county, where he bought out a shop, and he was for seventeen years a resident of that place, gaining a wide reputation for skill in his business. At the end of the time named he rented his shop and in 1887 came to Western Mound township, Macoupin county, and for three years cultivated rented land. Having acquired the necessary capital, he purchased one hundred and seventy acres of timber. He still owns a valuable place of one hundred and sixty acres, which yields goodly returns each year.
On the 10th of May, 1868, Mr. Jacobi was married to Miss Annie Marie Emmons, a daughter of John and Catharine (Deitz) Emmons. The father was born in Wurtemberg, Germany, and the mother in Bavaria. They emigrated to Pennsylvania and were married in that state, removing to St. Louis in 1850. Mr. Emmons engaged in that city as a lumber and river man but four years later moved to Alton, Illinois, where he secured employment as a teamster. Subsequently he took up his residence with his family at Brighton, Macoupin county. After becoming established in this county he went south and was never heard from again. The mother died at Brighton on April 30, 1881. In the family of Mr. and Mrs. Emmons were six daughters: Annie Marie, now Mrs. Philip Jacobi; Elizabeth, who became the wife of Lawrence Hellrung, who operates a brick yard near Alton, Illinois; Catharine the wife of Peter Hellrung, who is also engaged in the manufacture of brick; Mary, the widow of Henry Niehaus, who conducts a boarding house at Alton; Emma, the widow of Fred Schleuter, formerly a merchant of Alton, where she now lives, being still owner of the store; and Christina, who married William Poor, of Roodhouse, Illinois, a barber.
Mr. and Mrs. Jacobi are the parents of eleven children. Philip Jr. of Granite City, is engaged in the plumbing and steamfitting business. Louis married Nellie McPherson, of Virden, and engaged in business as a furniture dealer at that place. He died November 30, 1910, leaving three children, Raymond, Harry and Merle. William, a painter of Mattoon, Illinois, wedded Ida Scutt, of Chesterfield, and has one child, Freida. Annie married Louis Ohler, of Chicago, who is employed as engineer on the Chicago & Alton Railroad, and became the mother of four children; Lavilla, who died at the age of eleven years; Florence, who died when nine months old; Philip; and Benjamin. Henry married Lillian Williams, of Chicago, and is a boiler maker of the Chicago & Alton Railroad, making his home in Chicago. At the time of the Spanish-American war he enlisted at Alton and served in the navy on board the battleship Cincinnati, later being transferred to other ships. Benjamin, engaged in the furniture business at Virden, married Dora Fisher, of that place, and has one child, Morrell. Ida became the wife of John Wilkinson, of Alton, who is employed by the Beall Manufacturing Company, and also has one child, Le Roy. Elizabeth makes her home with her parents. Albert is associated with his brother Ben at Virden. Fred, who also makes his home in Chicago, is a fireman on the Santa Fe Railroad. Chester, the youngest of the children of Mr. and Mrs. Jacobi, resides at home.
Mr. Jacobi is a stanch supporter of the republican party and an active worker in its behalf. He has been twice elected assessor of the township and is now serving in his second term. He has also effectively performed his duty as member of the school board for ten years and as school trustee for twelve years. His religious belief is indicated by membership in the Methodist Episcopal church of Chesterfield, his wife being identified with the Roman Catholic Church of Hagaman. He has through life maintained a high sense of honor and by his upright and useful spirit has set an example whose beneficial effects will be felt for many years to come. He is loyal in all matters of citizenship and his sterling qualities commend him to all he meets in business or social relations.