McLean County, Illinois
JACOB P. EYER, one of the self-made men and successful merchants of McLean, deals extensively in dry-goods and ready-made clothing, and established business here in March, 1883. He is of that energetic and resolute character which admits of no such word as fail, and has maintained the position which he first took in the front ranks among the business men of this locality.
Mr. Eyer was born in Butler County, Ohio, Jan. 1, 1848. His father, Rudolph Eyer, was a native of Germany, and was educated and grew to manhood in his native Empire. After attaining his majority he emigrated to America, first locating in Butler County, Ohio, where he was married. In 1843 he removed to Fulton County, the same State, and purchased a farm, upon which he lived for thirteen years, and then selling out came to McLean County, Ill. He first located in White Oak Township, engaged in farming pursuits, and afterward removed to Dry Grove Township, where he spent the remainder of his days, departing this life in 1877.
The wife of Rudolph Eyer was formerly Miss Barbara Gunden, who was a native of the same country as her husband, and to whom he was married in Ohio. She accompanied him to the West, and now lives with her children in Dry Grove Township. Of these there were ten in number, seven of whom grew to mature years, the record being as follows: Mary, the wife of John Barrett, lives in Humboldt County, Iowa; Sophronia married Edward Patton, and lives in Dry Grove Township; Jacob, our subject, was the third child; Mattie, Mrs. Albert Wright, resides in Linn County, Kan.; Lizzie married Jacob Patton, and lives in Dry Grove Township; Christian and Daniel are in Humboldt County, Iowa.
The subject of this history was the eldest son of his parents. He attended the district school in winters, and assisted his father on the farm during the milder seasons. He remained under the home roof until twenty-two years of age, then farmed on rented land on his own account and purchased an interest in a corn-sheller and thrashing machine, which he operated profitably in White Oak and Dry Grove Townships. In 1874 he abandoned farming to engage in mercantile pursuits, having a capital of $600, the result of his own earnings. With this he purchased a half-interest in a store in White Oak Township, and put in a general stock of merchandise, operating there until 1882. He then sold out, and after a vacation of a few months came to the little city of McLean, as before stated. He has been successful since his first establishment here, is doing a good business and carrying an average stock of $7,000.
Mr. Eyer was married on the 6th of July, 1884, to Miss Laura, the daughter of Edward and Maria (Griest) Cadwallader, who were natives of Indiana.
Mrs. Eyer was born in that State, in Darlington, Montgomery County, in 1863. They have one child, Lloyd E., born Dec. 14, 1885. Both are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and our subject, in politics, affiliates with the Republican party.
Portrait and biographical album of McLean County, Ill. : containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Illinois, and of the presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887), 272. Transcribed by Judy Rosella Edwards.
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