Biography of Benjamin F. Jacobs
Cook County, Il Biographies

JACOBS, BENJAMIN F. ó Born at Patterson, N. J., Sept. 18, 1834. His family on his fatherís side came originally from England, and his mother was of French extraction, being a descendant of the Huguenots. After receiving a liberal education he clerked for a time in his fatherís store, but in April, 1854, he came to Chicago. During the fire of 1871 he and his brothers were engaged in business on South Water street and practically lost all they possessed. The subject of this sketch had, however, been dealing to some extent in real estate, and after the fire he devoted himself almost exclusively to the work in that field. He extended his operations, and was engaged in building one of the suburbs of the city when he was overtaken by the panic of 1873. Though somewhat crippled financially his energy and determination pulled him through, and he is to-day among the highly successful real estate dealers of Chicago. He has, however, by no means devoted his life to the accumulation of wealth. He has been an educator, a manager and a tireless worker in the field of Christianity. When twenty years old he became a member of the First Baptist church, and in 1856 was elected superintendent of the first mission Sunday school under the care of the Baptists, and the third one established in the city of Chicago. He was the organizer of a down town mission which has now become the Waifs' mission. In 1881, in conjunction with others, he organized the Immanuel Baptist church and became superintendent of the Sunday school, a position which he still retains. He was one of the organizers of the Y. M. C. A. in 1858, has been its president and is one of the life trustees. During the war he was one of the army committee, and was secretary of the Northwestern branch of the United States Christian Commission. He was often on the field of battle, and traveled over the country constantly, holding meetings and raising money and supplies for the troops. He has, in fact, been connected with every important work in the country tending toward the advancement of the Sunday school system. He is an earnest talker, and atways makes himself equally interesting whether his audience be one of children or adults. Mr.Jacobs was married April i6, 1854, to Miss Frances M. Eddy, daughter of Dr. John M. Eddy of Naperville, Ill.

The Handbook of Chicago Biography
Edited by John J Flinn.
The Standard Guide Company
Chicago 1893


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