Jacob A. Hanft, who for the past nine years has been engaged in the hardware business in Columbus Junction,
was born in Lehigh county, Pennsylvania on the 29th of March, 1855. He is a son of John N. and Helena (Smith) Hanft,
the father a native of Germany and the mother of Pennsylvania. They came to Louisa county in 1864, settling on
a farm in Columbus City township. The father, who had always been a farmer, upon his arrival here first purchased
only forty acres, increasing his tract at different times until he owned two hundred and sixty acres at the time
of his death. He was an extensive as well as an intensive agriculturist and at one time he was engaged in the operation
of two thousand acres, in connection with the cultivation of which he also raised cattle and hogs. Frequently he
kept as many as twenty teams at work at one time in tilling the fields and harvesting the crops. In his family
were thirteen children: William H. and John, both of whom are deceased; Milton D., who is a resident of Columbus
Junction; Jacob A., our subject; Theodore F., who is living on the old homstead; George S., of Columbus Junction;
Emma, the wife of Reuben Heindel, of Columbus Junction; Martha, who married George Wren, of Sheridan, Wyoming;
Cora, who died in infancy; John T., who is living on a farm near Columbus Junction; Sarah, the wife of A. J. Willett,
of Columbus Junction; Edward, deceased; and Louis, who died in infancy. The death of the father occurred in Columbus
Junction in July, 1888.
The school days of Jacob A. Hanft began in the Keystone state, in which he resided during the first nine years
of his life. When the family located in Louisa county he resumed his studies in the district school in the vicinity
of the homestead. He remained at home with his parents until he was of age, during which time he worked for his
father. For four years thereafter he was employed by his father, following which he cultivated rented land for
two years. At the expiration of that period he removed to Keokuk, where he remained for a year, and then went to
Van Buren county. There he engaged in the lumber business for five years, going from there to Warsaw, Illinois,
where he continued in the same business for a similar period. He subsequently went to South Dakota, where he ran
a stock ranch for two years. In 1895 he returned to Louisa county, and the following year he rented two hundred
and forty acres of land northwest of Columbus Junction, which he operated for two years, He next rented the old
Colonel Garner farm, also containing two hundred and forty acres, and after cultivating this for three and a half
years he came to Columbus Junction and embarked in the draying business. Disposing of his interest in this at the
end of three years, he has since engaged in the hardware business. This has proven to be a very successful venture
and Mr. Hanft now owns the largest and best assorted stock of the kind in the town.
Keokuk, Iowa, was the scene of the marriage, on the 3d of November, 1878, of Mr. Hanft and Miss Lucy Wetherell,
who passed away in March, 1901. Unto them were born three sons and two daughters, as follows: Jesse Edward, who
is residing in Indianapolis, Indiana; Clyde J., who is living in Columbus City township; Mary Helen, the wife of
John S. Dowson, of Wadsworth, Illinois; Bessie, who is a teacher in Columbus Junction; and Allan W., who is at
home. In June, 1903, Mr. Hanft was again married, his second wife being Miss Sadie Segafoos, who is a daughter
of Dan Segafoos.
Mr. Hanft is a member of the Presbyterian church and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, while his political
support is always given to the men and measures of the republican party. He is well and favorably known throughout
the community, being numbered among the progressive and enterprising business men of the town.
History of Louisa County, Iowa
From Its Earliest Settlement to 1912
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Decatur County, IA
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