RIFE, JACOB , a prosperous carpenter and contractor of Jacksonville, Morgan County, Ill., was born in Cumberland County, Pa., October 26, 1826, a son of Jacob and Susan (Wharton) Rife, natives of Pennsylvania. The father died in 1865, and the mother, in 1863. Mr. Rife's ancestors on the paternal side were of German origin, while his maternal ancestry was of Irish derivation. In early youth Jacob Rife attended the district schools in the vicinity of his home in Pennsylvania, and afterward learned the carpenter's trade, which he followed in that State until 1849. In October of that year he came to Illinois, and a year later settled in Winchester, whence he subsequently moved to Jacksonville. There, in 1856, he was married to Ann Eliza Towning, who was born and schooled in England. Two children, Samuel and Mary Elizabeth, resulted from this union. Mary graduated from the High School, and Samuel also pursued his studies there. Both are employed in Russel & Lyon's jewelry store - Samuel as a jeweler, and Mary as bookkeeper.
Politically, Mr. Rife is an independent Democrat. Religiously, he is connected with the Lutheran Church, and his wife is a member of the Lutheran Church, and his wife is a member of the Christian Church. Fraternally, Mr. Rife is affiliated with the A.F. & A.M. and the I.O.O. F. He is one of the oldest residents of Jacksonville, and many of its residences and mercantile buildings attest his skill as a builder. He has been a busy and important factor in the growth of the city, and is regarded everywhere as a most worthy and upright man.