EBY, Jacob Rupley, the son of Ephraim C. Eby (1783-1838) and Susanna Rupley (1784-1844), was born November 18, 1816, at Columbia, Lancaster County, Pa. His father, born near Lancaster, was a miller by occupation, and belonged to the Mennonites—"never went to law and never voted." He had seven children. Ephraim C. Eby died at Middletown, owning at the time the mill at Highspire. Jacob R. was brought up to the business of his father until the age of fifteen, in the meantime enjoying the advantages of the education afforded by the pay-schools of that day. He learned the trade of a carpenter. After serving his apprenticeship he took a trip South, working at his trade, returning, however, at the end of ten months, when he entered mercantile life. While thus engaged, Messrs. Cameron, Lauman & Clark, who were building the improvements at Wrightsville, known as the Tide-water canal and Columbia dam, offered him a position which he accepted. This gave him an insight into the building of public works, when his industry, integrity and capacity attracted the favorable notice of a prominent lumber merchant of Middletown, who gave him an interest in his business simply on account of his superior qualifications and without requiring the investment of capital. He retained this valuable position for six years, when he disposed of his interest to advantage, and with his brother E. C. Eby purchased the stock and good-will of the grocery and forwarding business of John H. Brant, on one of the best sites in that city. The business subsequently was conducted by himself and sons. A fixed, indestructible purpose, a determination to excel, were the active agencies which led to his prosperous career. He was eminently the architect of his own fortune—a self-made man. Mr. Eby was largely interested in many of the industrial establishments of the city, being a stockholder and director of the Harrisburg car and machine and foundry works. He was president for several years of the First National Bank and likewise of the State Agricultural Society. He was warmly devoted to the interest of the young, and among them was a particular favorite for his pleasing manners and kindness of heart. For thirty years he had been connected with the First Lutheran Sunday-school, either as teacher or superintendent, at the time of his death being in charge of the third department. During all those years his walk in life was eminently consistent. He was at the time of his death a prison inspector, which position he held for many years. He died February 11, 1883, at Harrisburg, in his sixty-seventh year. Mr. Eby was married in 1843 to Elizabeth Gross, who survived him. They had three children, Maurice, William Howard, and Fannie.
Historical Review of Dauphin County
Transcribed by Becky Tuszynski email@example.com for The Dauphin County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Transcription Project - http://maley.net/transcription.
Date of Transcription: 11 Nov 2000
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