Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Seal for Haish Memorial Hospital

From the DeKalb County History Center archives: "The [corporate seal embosser] used for official business for the Jacob Haish Memorial Hospital in DeKalb." The label reads "Jacob Haish Memorial Hospital."


Monday, February 19, 2024

Barbed-Wire Fence Inventor Succumbs

Jacob Haish died at 99 years old on February 19, 1926. On February 26, the Los Angeles Daily Times published "Barbed-Wire Fence Inventor Succumbs"

From the article:

"Within a few days of his one-hundredth birthday, Jacob Haish, millionaire inventor of barbed wire and said to be the oldest bank president in the country, died at his home at DeKalb, Ill., recently of pneumonia. He would have been 100 years old March 9.

Mr. Haish conceived the idea of barbed wire while building fences for his farm. He at first wove osage into wire so that the hardened thorns on the plant would keep the cattle from breaking through. From this developed the idea of sharp protruding spikes of wire and in 1873 he had produced a finished product.

Mr. Haish also developed many farm devices, including milk separators, manure spreaders, gas engines, disc plows and the like. He was born in Cilsul, Baden, Germany, in 1826, and came to America with his parents when he was 9 years of age."

Saturday, December 30, 2023

Jacob Haish

Photo of Jacob Haish | Courtesy of DeKalb County History Center archives
This undated photo shows an aging Jacob Haish. 

The best description I've found of Haish's character comes from a Feb. 1900 edition of the "Northern Illinois," today known as the Northern Star, Northern Illinois University's independent campus newspaper: 

"Mr. Haish's career seems phenomenal. It was due to labor, energy and perseverance. He made the most of his opportunities, was not extravagant, and is now reaping the rich reward of his labors. His manner is quiet and straightforward. He always says exactly what he means, without useless compliment; is not slow to condemn injustice nor to reward faithfulness. His greatest enjoyment is at his own fireside, where, with his wife and friends, he is found to be a delightful companion. He is retired and conservative before the public, and commands the respect and admiration of all who know him."

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

PHOTOS: Haish mansion interior, 1955

It's always a great day when there are more Haish mansion interior photos to enjoy.

These black and white images (courtesy of the DeKalb County History Center archives) appear to be from 1955, shortly after the First Lutheran Church took ownership of the mansion. That year, a public open house was held to view the mansion and changes made, according to an August 12, 1955 Daily Chronicle article. Read the article by clicking here

LeRoy Hayes points out the downstairs sitting room fireplace to his children, Sandra and Tommie. | Courtesy of DeKalb County History Center archives

Courtesy of DeKalb County History Center archives

A close-up of the chandelier. | Courtesy of DeKalb County History Center archives
This chandelier is most likely one that is on display in a restaurant in Rockton, IL. Read more about that chandelier (and other Haish items in Rockton) by clicking here

Courtesy of DeKalb County History Center archives

The table in this image appears very similar to a table that is still locally owned --- read my story about it by clicking here

What are we viewing here? | Courtesy of DeKalb County History Center archives

A grand staircase | Courtesy of DeKalb County History Center archives

This color photo, courtesy of Roger Alexander, was taken by Alexander shortly before the home's demolition. Putting it side by side with the black and white image of 1955 gives us a special view of this grand staircase.

See other interior photos by clicking here and even more here! Learn more about the history of the house by clicking here

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Haish mansion postcard

We've seen this image of the Haishes and their home before, but the reverse side has a written history that I find interesting.

Thanks to Cindy Dockerty for sharing this card with us; it was part of her grandparents' collection of items. Her grandmother, Alice Darnell Weeden of Sycamore, went to Northern Illinois State Normal School and once attended a special gathering at the Haish house. The origins of this particular card and its writing are unknown.