JACOB SPRINGER has been a resident of Benton county since 1852, and has always figured conspicuously in all political and other public affairs. He was born in Fayette county, Pennsylvania, January 21, 1824, and is a member of a family of Swedish descent, well known in that state. The progenitor of the family in the United States settled near Wilmington, Delaware, in 1864.
Reared in his native state, Jacob Springer remained there until after his marriage. He came west in 1852, reaching Iowa City, Iowa, July 4th; he entered forty acres of timber land and then selected one hundred and sixty acres of land in the southeast corner of St. Clair township, Benton county, where he lived until the death of his wife, in 1883, and in 1886 he sold his land. He first came to Vinton, Iowa, in 1854, and in 1886 he located in Blairstown and lived for twelve years at a hotel. In September, 1903, he removed to the home of a daughter, Mrs. M. B. Bower, near Watkins, where he now resides.
Mr. Springer has always taken a keen interest in the affairs of his adopted state, and has always been a stanch Republican. He attended the first political convention in Iowa City, in 1856, for the organization of the Republican party, and has always worked devotedly for its interests. He was appointed by the county judge of Benton county as commissioner, and organized St. Clair township, giving it its name; he called the people together, and the township, twelve miles by six, contained only enough voters to fill the offices, with one to spare. He was appointed as commissioner to organize the first school district in the southern part of Benton county, and has served all his life here in one local office or another, always interested in the cause of progress and improvement. Mr. Springer was one of the twenty-five members of the Masonic Order in the southern part of Benton county, and has taken thirty-two degrees in the order. He was elected by unanimous vote as trustee of the College for the Blind at Vinton, and served twenty-six years continuously, longer than any other person in that capacity. He has always been a prominent and influential citizen, and has enjoyed the confidence and respect of the entire community.
When he reached his majority, Mr. Springer married Eliza Jane McCormack, whose parents were from the northern part of Ireland; she died in Benton county, in 1883, at the age of fifty-seven years. They had a family of nine children, of whom four died in childhood. One son, Eugene, was a member of Company H, Second Iowa Cavalry, and died in service; Ada, Mrs. Miller, died in Missouri. Those living are: Ira, a retired farmer living in Belle Plaine, Iowa; Mrs. M. E. Bower, of St. Clair township; and Mrs. Annie Clausen, now residing in Nebraska.