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Jacob Shoemaker

SHOEMAKER, DUNYER, SLONAKE

Posted By: Tammy (email)
Date: 11/17/2011 at 10:14:28

JACOB SHOEMAKER, now retired from the active duties of daily business, and enjoying the fruits of a successful career as an agriculturist and stock-raiser, has long been associated with the progressive interests of Iowa, and is now residing in the city of Reinbeck, whither he removed two years ago.

Mr. Shoemaker is a Pennsylvanian by birth, and was born to Jacob and Margaret (Dunyer) Shoemaker in 1835. His father was a farmer in the Keystone State, and his parents were natives of Germany. He was a man of limited education, and not being very successful in life, lived on rented land. By his union with Miss Dunyer were born four children: Polly, Jacob, Catherine and Joseph. The parents died in Pennsylvania, the father living to attain the advanced age of ninety-six years. He was very active for one of his years, and when ninety years of age was known to chop wood. During his long career he was ever a public-spirited citizen, and in politics was a Jacksonian Democrat.

Jacob Shoemaker was a lad of fifteen years when he began working out by the month, his first employment being in a sawmill. Later he hired out to do farm work, at which he worked until reaching his majority, and thus added in the support of the family. His education was received in an old log schoolhouse with its rude furnishings, which little resembled the modern buildings of to-day, where the youth of the present generation have every advantage afforded them for fitting themselves for responsible positions in life.

At the age of twenty-two years Mr. Shoemaker and Miss Maria, daughter of George and Elizabeth (Dunyer) Slonake, were united in marriage. The lady was born in Pennsylvania, of which state her parents were also natives. By her union with our subject have been born twelve children, six of whom are living: Jane, Emma, George, Hattie, Fred and Nettie. Daniel died when eighteen years of age, and Ida departed this life in her twentieth year.

At the time of establishing a home of his own, our subject did not possess the means with which to purchase a farm, and for four years rented property, and at the same time worked in a sawmill. At the expiration of that time he had accumulated a sufficient sum of money to enable him to bring his family to this state, of which he had heard so much, and in 1867 he located in Black Hawk County, and later moved into Grundy County, where he purchased eighty acres of land in Black Hawk Township, for which he paid $5 per acre. To that tract he subsequently added, until at the time of his removal into the city, two years ago, he had a valuable estate, comprising four hundred and forty acres. In addition to this property he owns considerable real estate in Reinbeck, and from the income derived from renting his farm he is enabled to live in ease and luxury.

Mr. and Mrs. Shoemaker were reared members of the Lutheran Church, and are counted among the most active members of that church in this city. In politics he votes with the Democratic party, and although a very busy man in former years, he always found time to devote to the welfare of his township, and has held many of the local offices. The adversity with which he had to contend in his early years developed a self-reliance and strength of character which have made him one of the best citizens of Reinbeck.

Source:
Portrait and Biographical Record
of Jasper, Marshall and Grundy Counties, Iowa
1894


 

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