History of Taylor County, Iowa: from the earliest historic times to 1910 by  Frank E. Crosson. Chicago, The S.J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1910
(biographicals transcribed by Linda Kestner: lfkestner3@msn.com)
Page 361
The enterprising city of Lenox, Iowa, numbers among its representative business men J. L. Jacoby, who is engaged in real-estate dealings.  He has also been identified with agricultural interests of Taylor county, having owned and operated a farm in Platte township and for six years he conducted a clothing store in Lenox.  His diversified interests and activities have constituted him one of the leading business men of his locality.  He was born in Franklin county, Pennsylvania, December 20, 1847, and is a son of David Jacoby, whose birth also occurred in Franklin county.  He was reared there and after attaining his majority wedded Mary B. Wonderly, also a native of the same county.  For a number of years David Jacoby followed farming there and with one exception all of their children were born in Pennsylvania.  In the spring of 1852 they removed to Illinois, where Mr. Jacoby purchased a farm in La Salle county, making his home thereon throughout the remainder of his days, both he and his (page 362) wife passing away on the old home place.  He was seventy years of age when called to his final rest on the 5th of August, 1884, while his wife died June 13, 1874, at the age of fifty-six years.  In their family were three sons and three daughters, all of whom reached adult age, while J. L. Jacoby and his three sisters are yet living.
In the spring of 1852, the subject of this review accompanied his parents to La Salle county, Illinois, and there assisted his father in opening up a new farm near Mendota although there was no town nor railroad there at the time of their arrival.  J. L. Jacoby assisted in the arduous task of developing and cultivating new land.  He pursued his early education in the district schools and afterward attended the schools of Mendota, remaining with his father until twenty-seven years of age, during which period he assisted in carrying on the farm work.
On the 30th of September, 1874, in Mendota, Illinois, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Jacoby and Miss Sarah S. Corkins, who was born near Bennington, Vermont, and was a daughter of Henry B. and Mary (Draper) Corkins.  Her parents were also natives of Bennington county and were early settlers of La Salle county, where the father opened up a farm and reared his family of three daughters.  He afterward took up his abode in the city of Mendota, where he spent his remaining days in honorable retirement from labor.  There he died November 16, 1905, while his wife passed away August 15, 1901.  Mrs. Jacoby had been brought to Illinois by her parents in 1856 and was reared and educated in La Salle county.  In 1875, the young couple established their home in Bureau county, about three miles west of Mendota, where he owned and cultivated one hundred and twenty acres of land.  Later he purchased eighty acres near the old home farm and thus became the owner of two hundred acres, constituting two well improved and valuable farms.  He continued to carry on general agricultural pursuits from 1875 until 1892, when he had opportunity to sell to good advantage, after which he came to Iowa and made investment in one hundred and sixty acres of land in Taylor county, arriving here in 1893.  Subsequently he bought one hundred and sixty acres more.  He personally cultivated one of his farms for a year and then located in Lenox, where he purchased residence property, which he now occupies.  In 1903, he established a clothing business, which he successfully conducted for about six years.  He has also dealt to some extent in real estate, handling Texas and Kansas lands and his varied business interests have been so capably conducted as to bring to him substantial and gratifying success.
The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Jacoby has been blessed with two children: Lee D., who is now in the real estate business handling Dakota lands; and Gail L., who holds a responsible position in a mercantile house at Corpus Christi, Texas.
In his political views Mr. Jacoby has always been a stalwart democrat and while living in Bureau county, Illinois, served for seven or eight years as supervisor, after which he resigned.  He was several times elected to the position of tax collector in Bureau county, Illinois and in Lenox; served one term as justice of the peace and as a member of the town council.  He was the president of the Mutual Insurance Company in Bureau county, Illinois, having been the (page 363) incumbent in the office for some years, and for several years was treasurer of the local agricultural board.  During the sixteen years of his residence in this county he has been closely identified with its substantial and progressive development, giving his aid and influence to every movement for the public good, while his labors at all times are of a practical and, therefore, of a beneficial character.  He is numbered among the most progressive business men of the town and along various lines in which he has operated he has won the success which always follows persistent and earnest effort.