JACOB W. DIETRICH.
Jacob William Dietrich has reached the eightieth milestone on life's journey, but possesses the vigor of a much
younger man and in spirit and interests seems yet in his prime. He was formerly connected with the milling industry
in Carthage, but is now living retired, his indefatigable labor and perseverance in former years having brought
to him capital sufficient to supply him with all the comforts of life.
Mr. Dietrich was born in Northampton county, Pennsylvania, near Bethlehem, September 23, 1821, and is a son of
Joseph and Sarah (Miller) Dietrich, both of whom were also natives of the Keystone state. The father was a son
of Jacob and Mary (Hoar) Dietrich, who were early settlers of Northampton county and were of German descent. The
father of our subject was a miller by trade and through that means provided for the support of his family, numbering
six children, four sons and two daughters, three of whom are yet living. Jacob W. Dietrich acquired a good common
schobl education and for a time attended the Moravian College, at Bethlehem. After he left college the family moved
to a point about midway between Easton and Bethlehem. There he remained until the early part of 188, when he went
to Easton and learned the apothecary business, remaining in that city for four years. In 1842 he entered the laboratory
of Professor Robert Hare, of Philadelphia, where he remained two years, when, in 1844, he engaged in the apothecary
business as a clerk, remaining in that position until 1849. June I of that year, he went to Dayton, Ohio, where
he opened for himself an apothecary business, which he conducted with success until 1861. At the earnest solicitation
of his friends he then became a candidate on the Republican ticket for the office of county auditor, and, being
elected to that position, he then sold out his business. He held the office for five years, and on the expiration
of his term of service he engaged in the wholesale drug business, and, although continuing in that line of trade,
he assisted, in 1867, in the organization of the Merchants National Bank of Dayton, becoming one of its directors.
About 1871 he sold his interest in the drug business and for a time thereafter lived retired. In 1881 he came west
to Carthage, Missouri, purchasing an interest in a flouring mill in Galesburg, Jasper county, the property being
situated on the Spring river. For a time he was associated in the enterprise with Walter Putnam and later with
Alexander Mason, formerly from Iowa. Subsequently he formed a partnership with S. E. Wetzel, under the firm name
of Dietrich & Wetzel, and the firm built up a large and profitable business, the mill having a capacity of
one hundred and fifty barrels per day. That partnership was continued from 1888 until 1898 with mutual pleasure
and profit, and Mr. Dietrich then disposed of his interest and again retired from active business. His life has
been one of industry and enterprise, and these qualities, supplemented by sound business judgment and sagacity,
have enabled him to win a handsome competence. He takes great Interests in electricity and its workings, an interest
which was awakened during his early life. During the time when the investigations and experiments were being carried
on concerning the Morse system, he had charge of the batteries and their operation, and from that time he has watched
the progress that has been made in electrical circles, the subject being one which engrosses his earnest attention.
In 1852 occurred the marriage of Mr. Dietrich and Miss Susan Y. Oblinger, of Dayton, Ohio. She was born and reared
in that city, and after traveling life's journey by her husband's side for forty three years was called to her
final rest. She died leaving one son, Clark McDermot, a graduate of the Cincinnati Medical College and also of
the New York Medical College. He became prominent in his profession, but his career was terminated in death December
10, 1898. In that year Mr. Dietrich erected his fine residence in Carthage. He is nearing the eightieth anniversary
of his birth, but is hale and hearty and is a familiar figure on:the streets of the city. He is remarkably well
preserved, being strong and active and with good eyesight and hearing, and it is the wish of his many friends that
he may long be spared. There is in his life record much that is worthy of emulation and in his upright career he
has won that good name which is rather to be chosen than great riches.
The Biographical History of Jasper County, Missouri
By Hon. Malcolm G. McGregor
The Lewis Publishing Co.
Jasper County, MO
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