Hon. Jacob Peter

by Edmund Starling, 1886


HON. JACOB PETER was born at Wachenheim, Palatinate, on the River Rhine, May 22d, 1842. In 1854, at the age of twelve years, he immigrated to America with his parents and settled in this city. His education was limited, yet his quick, discerning mind eagerly grasped every opportunity to learn, and, as a result, he left school better up in his studies perhaps than very many of those who had superior advantages afforded them. He learned the English language rapidly and soon became as ready in conversation as any of the native born. Mr. Peter was of an imperious temperament, more of a leader than otherwise, and this, coupled with his most excellent judgment and sound information upon all matters of moment, gave to his opinions an attention worthy of the man and subject. On the seventeenth day of November, 1866, he married Miss Louisa Held, eldest daughter of Hon. Jacob Held, and unto them were born five sons, William J., Carl H., George, Harry D. and Edward W. The two eldest sons, William J. and Carl H., are young men of much promise and great assistance to their widowed mother. The other children the writer is not acquainted with, but is informed that they too are quite promising. In early life Mr. Peter learned the jeweler's trade with his brother-in-law, Jacob Reutlinger, and subsequently became, by purchase, the sole owner He built the handsome brick on Main street, and up to the day of his death conducted the jewelry business on a large scale. For a short time he was enlisted on the Federal service during the war, but was never regularly mustered in. Mr. Peter was a devoted Mason, and rose to the sublime degree of Knight Templar. He served the Blue Lodge and Chapter as presiding officer and in several subordinate capacities. He served as Councilman in 1873, '74, and as Trustee of the Public and High School during the years 1875, '76, '77, '78, '79 and '83. He was elected Mayor in 1881, and served one term of two years, and could have been re-elected, but declined the honor. Mr. Peter was elected Mayor to succeed Hon. F. M. English, whose reign had about paralyzed the city. The race was an exciting one and bitterly fought from end to end. Upon his inauguration Mayor Peter delivered an address to the Council worthy of the man. It was full of wise, conservative counsel, and, before his term of office expired, a very marked change in affairs was peculiarly noticeable. The city had regained its former activity, and confidence was fully restored. The delinquent list became smaller, and, in fact, every department was bright and cheerful. Mr. Peter left the office, having accomplished much good and received the plaudits of the people. His health having become impaired, he started to the Arkansas Hot Springs, hoping to be benefited, but died enroute, suddenly, on the twenty-ninth day of April, 1884. His remains were brought to Henderson and interred in April, 1884. His remains were brought to Henderson and interred in Fernwood. Mrs. Peter, a lady of excellent judgment and business capacity, still carries on the jewelry business at the old stand on Main street, assisted by her two eldest sons.

The History of Henderson County, Kentucky by Starling 1887 page 755-56;

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