SHOPE, DR. JACOB, Hummelstown, was born in Lower Paxton township, Dauphin county, Pa., September 6, 1819. He is a son of Abraham and Elizabeth (Wasser) Shope. Abraham Shope was born in the same township. He is a son of Jacob Shope, also a native of Lower Paxton township, and of German descent. Abraham Shope was a weaver and farmer, a Whig in politics and a member of the Church of God, and subsequently of the Evangelical church. He died in Lower Paxton township in 1854. His wife was born in Lower Paxton and was a daughter of John Wasser, a surgeon in the Swiss army. Their children were: John, Abraham, Jacob, David, Elizabeth, and one who died in infancy. Elizabeth (Wasser) Shope died in 1826. Abraham Shope's second marriage was with Elizabeth McFadden, born in Dauphin county, and of Scotch-Irish descent. They had eight children: Elisha, George, Mary, Cornelius, Priscilla, Adam, Susanna, and one other who died young. The second Mrs. Shope died in Oberlin, Pa.
Jacob Shope attended the district and subscription schools of his township until he was fourteen years old. He then went to Harrisburg, and learned printing with the Gospel Publishing Company, at the head of which was John Winebrenner. He was with this company for three years. Having learned his trade he went to Philadelphia, and was employed for six months on the Morning Star, a newspaper edited by John Bausman. He then returned to Harrisburg and worked for one year on the Telegraph.
At the earnest request of his uncle, Dr. David Shope, a prominent and successful physican, he removed to Hummelstown in 1840, and began to study medicine with is uncle as preceptor. After two and a half years of hard study, under the able instructions of his uncle, he was prepared to begin practice; he then went to Middletown and opened an office. His uncle having died, he was earnestly solicited by that physican's patrons to return to Hummelstown and take his uncle's practice. To this request he acceded and has been continuously in practice there for thirty years. He has been eminently successful and has gathered around him a host of warmly attached friends. In 1860 he determined to enter the army and went to Harrisburg to enlist, but the citizens of Hummelstown so urgently entreated him not to abandon his practice, that he reluctantly gave up his intention and returned. In 1861 he engaged in the drug and hardware business, which he has since carried on with a fair share of success. He has also been interested in agriculture, having bought two farms which, after cultivating and improving them, he sold again.
Dr. Shope was one of the founders of the National Bank of Hummelstown, is a director and has been its president for the past five years. He was the originator and for a number of years president of the fire department. He was the organizer and is president of the Hummelstown Cemetery Association. The Doctor was one of the foremost promoters of the grading of the streets of Hummelstown, and also one of the promoters of the incorporation of the borough. He was treasurer of Derry township in the putting in of substitutes for the army during the late Rebellion. For twelve years he served as school director and has always been active in matters pertaining to the welfare of the county, and during his early years was an active politican.
He was married, in Hummelstown, in 1843, to Esther Mann, a native of Hummelstown, and a daughter of Charles E. Mann, a butcher and a native of Germany. They had eight children: Charles D., killed in the war of 1861-65, a sergeant major in the One Hundred and Seventh regiment, Pennsylvania volunteers; Elizabeth, widow of Samuel Bear; Ernest, a quarryman, living in Hummelstown; Addie E., living at home; Agnes M., wife of C. Nissley Mumma, hardware merchant of Steelton; Carrie M., wife of Robert J. Walton, a sketch of whom appears on another page; Sophia M., and Alice, who died in infancy.
Dr. Shope has been for half a century a resident in his present home. He has seen vast improvements in the town and much advancement in the elements of refinement and civilization. Of this progress he has been not only an observer but an active promoter. He is both prominent and popular, being a man of kind, genial manners. In politics he is Republican. He is a member of the Lutheran church.