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Fayette County, Iowa
Past and Present of Fayette County Iowa, 1910
Author: G. Blessin
B. F. Bowen & Company, Indianapolis, Indiana
Vol. I, Biographical Sketches
Jacob Ellsworth Palmer
For some years a resident of California, but a native of Clinton county, Iowa, the subject of this review was born December 23, 1868, and is descended paternally from English ancestry and maternally from sterling old Quaker and Dutch stock that figured in the early history of Pennsylvania. His father, William W. Palmer, the son of an English immigrant and a shoemaker by trade, was a native of Guernsey county, Ohio, and his mother, Susan A. Palmer, whose father served as a drummer in the war of 1812, was born and reared in Virginia.
Jacob Ellsworth Palmer received preliminary education in the public schools of the city and at the age of eighteen went to Hawkeye, where an elder brother was engaged in general merchandising. He learned the business in due time and later succeeded to the management of the same during the six years his brother served as county clerk. At the expiration of that period he was appointed postmaster of Hawkeye, which position he held eight years, when he voluntarily resigned and removed to Columbia Heights, Minnesota, where he engaged in the grocery trade. Selling out after a year's experience, he embarked in the lumber business at Mondola, Illinois, finally disposing of his interests in that place and moving to San Jose, California, where after six months sojourn he was made manager of a stock company store, at Campbell, a suburb of the city, which position he still holds.
Mr. Palmer is a progressive, wide-awake business man and has proven eminently capable and trustworthy in the various positions with which from time to time he has been honored. The place he now fills is one of great responsibility, but he has discharged the duties of the trust in an able and satisfactory manner, greatly extending the business and adding continuously to the publicity and popularity of the establishment. At his various places of residence he was keenly alive to the interests of the public, took an active part in every laudable measure for the advancement of the community and exercised an influence for good upon all with whom he came in contact. While at Hawkeye he served two years as secretary of the free library of that city and since his twenty-first year he has been identified with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, in which he has passed all the chairs besides holding for seven years the position of secretary of Camp No. 3882, Modern Woodmen of America of which he is a charter member. In 1905, he was initiated into the Masonic brotherhood and since that time has made commendable progress in the work of the order, manifesting an ardent interest in all that concerns the welfare of the lodge with which he holds membership, at intervals being honored with important official trusts.
On October 29, 1891, Mr. Palmer contracted a matrimonial alliance with Myrtle E. Fitch, of West Union, Iowa, eldest living daughter of G. W. and R. A. Fitch, a lady of intelligence and varied culture, whose friends are as the number of her acquaintances. Mrs. Palmer was born in Fayette county and after being graduated from the high school of her native town engaged in teaching,, which she followed for several years, and earned an honorable reputation for the thoroughness of her work, also for her popularity with pupils and patrons. Mr. and Mrs. Palmer are the parents of four children, whose names and dates of birth are as follows: Muriel M., November 7, 1893; Redmond Vane, January 13, 1895; George Fitch, April 13, 1897, and Malcolm William, who first saw the light of day on March 11, 1903.
In his religious faith Mr. Palmer is a Methodist and an earnest and zealous worker in the church to which he belongs. His wife and daughter, also members of the same body, are likewise interested in religious and charitable movements and are highly prized in the local congregation with which identified and do all within their power to promote the varied interests of the same, being especially valuable in the choir work where their musical talents have long been recognized and appreciated."
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