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Jacob L. Neff

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Jacob L. Neff

Posted: 21 Sep 2002 10:17PM GMT
Classification: Biography
Edited: 5 Oct 2002 5:32PM GMT
"History of Huntington County, Indiana"1914 By Frank S. Bash pg. 574-75

Jacob L. Neff. There are many ways in which Jacob L. Neff stands closely related with the life and activities of Huntington county. Since 1908 he has been known as trustee of Jefferson township, and is probably known by name at least to every person in that civic community. Mr. Neff is a man who has been successful in his private affairs, has performed with honesty and competence every public trust given him, and is a citizen whose usefulness to the community increases every year. He long since won prosperity as a farmer, and is the owner of a nice homestead of ninety-seven acres in Section 13 of Jefferson township.

Jacob L. Neff was born in Salamonie township of Huntington county June 24, 1856, a son of John and Martha (McFarren) Neff. His father was from Virginia and his mother from Pennsylvania, and each went with their respective families into Ohio, where they met and married, and from there they moved to Wells county, Indiana, establishing a home in Jackson township, and subsequently settling in Salamonie township of Huntington county. The father finally returned to Jackson township in Wells county, and spent the rest of his life there. The mother is still living, and has spent several years in the home of her daughter, Mrs. Emanuel Hart. Of the twelve children seven are living in 1914: Sarah, wife of A.J. Foust; Martha, widow of Samuel Jackson of Warren; Rachel, wife of Daniel Carpenter of Jackson township in Wells county; Anna, wife of A.J. Stephens of Jackson township in Wells county; Adam, who is deceased; Wilson, of Illinois; John, of Warren; Hannah, wife of E.M. Hart of Salamonie township; Jacob L.; and Jonathan, who married Mary Unrue of Jackson township.

While Jacob L. Neff was born in Salamonie township of Huntington county, he spent most of his early youth in Wells county, and attended the schools of both counties. His early training acquired through the district schools, and his experiences were only slightly different from those of other boys in his day and generation. When the duties of home were not too insistent, he attended school, but his education came as much from practical doing as from text books. In that way he passed the alternate summers and winters of his life until ready to take up the battle of existence for himself, and then continued as a farmer, a vocation which has afforded the basis of a comfortable prosperity.

On November 9, 1884, Mr. Neff married Bertie Freck, who represents one of the oldest and most prominent families of Huntington county. Her father, John Freck, was born in Ohio and married Anna M. Goss. From here in 1840, long before the wilderness had been subdued and when primitive conditions were to be seen in every township. John Freck became a prominent man in the early days of Huntington county, and was elected and served three years as county commissioner. Mrs. Neff grew up in this county, and acquired her education in the same way as her husband, by attending the district schools. To their marriage have been born nine children, mentioned briefly as follows: Nellie M., who is the wife of Roy D. Shideler; Russell C., who is a graduate of the common schools and was also a student in high school, and is unmarried; Schuyler R., who finished the course in common school and the Warren high school; Silas L., who took his diploma in the grade schools and is now a student in the Warren high school; three children who died in infancy; John H., still attending the common schools, and Pauline M., who is the youngest of the family. The family worship in the Christian church at Belleville, and Mr. Neff has long taken an active part in the affairs of that church and is serving as a trustee. Fraternally he is also active, and believes in the beneficence of fraternal organization, and is a member of Salamonie Lodge, No. 392, I.O.O.F., and of the Encampment, No. 410, being past grand and a member of the Grand Lodge of Odd Fellows. It was his record in business and as a citizen that gave him the preference among the local democrats for the office of trustee in the fall of 1908, and his service since then has been exceptionally fortunate for the public schools of Jefferson township. Mr. Neff believes in progressive methods in school affairs and in the administration of all the duties which come under his administration, and his record has been such that his successor, when a successor is chosen, will find it extremely difficult to improve upon the standards set by Mr. Neff.

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