Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Looking forward to 2018

I wrote a similar post on this blog last year, but it needed to be said again:
I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to read this blog, leave a comment, or share a document with me.

While 2016 was the year of growing this project, 2017 was the year I was growing...myself. I had incredible opportunities this year because of this blog and because of the people in this community. Those opportunities included:

Participating in a talk at the Ellwood House

Unveiling the Jacob Haish historical marker

Leading a presentation on Jacob Haish at the Glidden Homestead

Speaking on the radio about Jacob Haish

Just a few years ago, I never would have imagined having the guts to do these things, let alone the opportunity. I am so grateful to everyone who has given me the chance to try new things and share the stories I've dug up. I'm also excited to say that I'll be out there again next year; I'll be giving a presentation on the Haish mansion in September 2018 at one of my favorite places -- the Glidden Homestead.

Some of these stories may just be old articles, or things you've heard before, but I am so excited to share each and every one with you. I keep hoping that this project will only help to spread the name and sometimes forgotten fame of Jacob Haish, a fantastic inventor and my fourth great uncle.

As always, I encourage you to please contact me at JHaish09@gmail.com if you'd like to get together or share information regarding the life and legacy of Jacob Haish. I've been at this for just over a year and a half, and while I feel like I've learned SO much, I know that I've probably only discovered 10 percent. I'm excited to see what's still out there. This project is easily one of my biggest joys in my life.

To anyone who is reading this, thank you for your support, assistance, and encouragement during 2017. I could not do any of this without you. I look forward to learning alongside you all in 2018.


Jessi (Haish) LaRue

Monday, December 18, 2017

Western Stock Journal and Farmer IX:100 5/79 Interview with J. Haish

Western Stock Journal and Farmer IX:100 5/79
Interview with J. Haish
Provided by Northern Illinois University Archives & Regional History Center:

Desiring to obtain the fullest information on the barbed wire controversy one of our editors took a trip to DeKalb, Ill., to interview Jacob Haish, one of the parties against whom the original suits were brought, and the man to whom the honor is due of preventing the consumation of the monopoly.

Editor: Mr. Haish, I have called to ask you some questions on the barbed wire question, if you have no objections.

Haish: No objection to answering anything I may know.

Editor: Now, please state, Mr. Haish, why the Ohio Barbed Fence Co. and others compromised with Washburn & Moen, if, as you say, there is nothing in this so-called "Brood-claim," and that it can never be sustained by the courts.

Haish: It is this way. The Ohio Barb Fence Co. and the others were not so much alarmed at the suits as at the prospect of there being so many manufacturing establishments that the price of wire would be reduced to living rates. The President of the Ohio Company told me that the only way to save ourselves was to make a combination with Washburn, Moen, & Co., and allow them to take a decree against us. The decree of the courts would scare the dealers and farmers, and we could have everything our own way.

Editor: Did Washburn, Moen & Co. ever propose to you a definite plan of compromise?

Haish: Yes. I have here their terms of settlement.

Editor: If you have no objections I will take a copy. 

Haish: I have no objections. Of course you understand this is simply the substance of the terms of compromise.

1st. Haish should pay a portion of the expenses of litigation.
2nd. He should sign over all his patents and pay a royalty of 1 3/8 cents per pound on all he should manufacture.
3rd. He should be limited to 2,500 tons per year.
4th. He must buy all his wire of Washburn, Moen & Co.
5th. Washburn, Moen & Co. should fix the price of all barbed wire sold.
6th. He must allow a decree of the court to be taken against him by Washburn, Moen & Co. 

Do you think this is the same basis as that accepted by H.P. Scott & Co., Joliet, Ill., the Ohio Barb Fence Co., Cleveland, Ohio, and the Thorn Wire Hedge Co., of Chicago?

Haish: It is undoubtedly the same, with one exception; they bound Washburn, Moen & Co. to sue every manufacturer of wire who did not enter into the combination.

If the above be facts, and we have no reason to doubt them, the combination plan of settlement contains several points detrimental to the public interest.

1st. If they had driven all the manufacturers of barbed wire into the combination, it would have given Washburn, Moen & Co. the monopoly on smooth wire.
2nd. Limited the amount manufactured by each party is in the sole interest of monopoly and high prices.
3rd. This idea is squarely presented in the article which allows Washburn, Moen & Co. to fix the prices of barbed wire.

As a fight between manufacturers, the people of Iowa have no interest in the issue, but when it involves the question monopoly on such a vast interest as barbed wire, every citizen of Iowa is intensely interested. If the citizen thinks that this question will be settled by a few newspaper articles, he is mistaken; there is too much money involved, and the monopolists will never surrender till after the persistent fight. We have seen the opinions of two of the best patent attorneys in the United States on the validity of the Hunt patent, and in their judgment there is no question of the invalidity. But must the people wait and travel through the slow process of litigation, appeals, demurrers, etc.? Congress should enact a law immediately, covering two points--1st, prohibiting the issue of broad-gauge patents, 2nd, protecting the innocent purchaser. Our imbecile Congress can do an immense amount of hard work to gain strategic positions for the next political campaign, but when a little healthy legislation is asked in the interests of the people from the extortions of patent rights, these broadcloth representatives of the farmers are constitutionally tired. Farmers, there is one way to reach this thing. Send men to Congress whose interests are identified with the producer. The man that won't get right out and work for his rights, and fight for them, too, will be a slave. After the producer has refused to help himself, let there be no sickly howl about oppression.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The Death of Jacob Haish

"The Death of Jacob Haish," below, was written by local historian Stephen Bigolin and appeared in his writings "This Was Jacob Haish."

By Stephen Bigolin

In the spring of 1916, after being in the Barbed Wire business some 43 years, having reached the age of 90, Jacob Haish decided it was finally time to retire. He sold his beloved Barbed Wire Factory to P.A. Nehring, for $35,000. For the remaining decade of his life, Mr. Haish's only business connection was with the Jacob Haish State Bank, which he was the active President of. He would come to the bank each day, sit in his rocking chair in the lobby, twirl his gold headed cane, conduct his business affairs, and occasionally reminisce about the early days of Barbed Wire.

On September 9, 1918, Mrs. Haish, who for twenty years had been practically confined to a wheelchair because of ill health, died at age 90. Although the loss of his helpmate of 71 years created a void in his heart, Jacob Haish's love of life proved strong enough to endure the hardship, as he came to rely more and more for care on his housekeeper, Anna Anderson. Mr. Haish's last goal in life became to see his 100th birthday.

On March 8, 1920, the day before his 94th birthday, Mr. Haish drew up his Last Will & Testament. Whether this was but one of a series of Wills he wrote is not clear, although several changes were made in this Will by the time Mr. Haish died in 1926. The changes appear to have resulted from the fact that all the people to whom Mr. Haish wanted to leave some small portion of his estimated $5,000,000 estate, were going to the grave before him! In the final form, the Will provided for practically everything to be left to charity. One provision remained unchanged from the Will of March 8, 1920; that being that no relative of Mr. Haish's got even one cent of his estate. Upon his death, Mr. Haish intended for his mansion to be left to Anna Anderson; with enough money for her to always live comfortably in it.
A copy of the DeKalb Daily Chronicle boasts the headline "Jacob Haish Dead." | Photo by Jessi LaRue
Late in 1925, Mr. Haish fell victim to pneumonia. His constitution fought it to the best of its ability, with the goal of reaching 100 years of age guiding the struggle. In the early weeks of 1926 he rallied from the bout, but was totally blind, and afraid of being poisoned, so as to be robbed of that last great objective. He knew the soft touch of Anna Anderson's hands, however, and would only take food from her, according to Beatrice Gurler. On the afternoon of February 19, 1926, just 19 days before his 100th birthday, Jacob Haish died at his palatial residence. His death made headlines in the DeKalb Daily Chronicle for several days. His funeral was held in his mansion, which was opened to the public. In his Will, Mr. Haish left money for construction of a monument in Fairview Cemetery over the spot where he & his wife rested.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Opera House Burns

Printed in the Jan. 13, 1906, edition of the DeKalb Daily Chronicle:

Haish Opera House Block At DeKalb Is Totally Destroyed With Contents
Fire Starts At Two O'clock Wednesday Morning from Unknown Causes. Eight Business Concerns and a Number of Roomers Lose All. Loss of Jacob Haish on Building, $25,000 and No Insurance.

It has been 30 some years, when a quarter of the north side of Main street was burned, since DeKalb has suffered from a fire so disastrous as that which occurred at 2 o'clock on Wednesday morning of this week, when the Haish Opera Block, on the corner of Third street, was totally destroyed, together with practically all of its contents.

The flames were first seen in the rear of Gus Kirchner's drug store, which was the second store from the corner, and when discovered the whole rear of the store was ablaze. The firemen arrived promptly, but the fire spread with great rapidity, and the firemen succeeded only in confining the blaze to the block in which it started. They were delayed by lack of water pressure. In an hour or two the rear walls had fallen, the basement was a heap of blackened and water-soaked ruins, and only the front walls and a portion of the south part of the east walls were standing.

This block was occupied by eight different business concerns, and the third or top floor was occupied by a number of roomers.

The loss to Jacob Haish on the building will be almost $30,000, on which there was no insurance. The rental was about $3,000 per annum.

J.A. Watson & Co., dry goods, loss $15,000, about two-thirds covered by insurance.

Gus Kirchner, drugs, loss about $6,000, insurance $2,000.

Tyrrell & Fay, publishers of the DeKalb Review, loss about $6,000, insurance $4,800. H.W. Fay's famous collection of pictures was destroyed, with the exception of two cases, in which was the Lincoln collection, the most valuable portion, but which consisted of only about 10 percent of the whole.

John Dunn, plumber and tinsmith, loss about $2,000, insurance $300. 

Honroe Cusson, notion store, loss about $500, no insurance.

J.S. Cusson, harness, loss about $2,900, insurance $1,900. He also lost two valuable high-bred Beagle bitches with their puppies.

C. Schuyler, dentist, second floor, partially insured. 

John E. Erickson, merchant tailor, second floor, loss about $900, partly insured.

Peck's School of Music, loss on instruments and music.

The roomers on the third floor lost nearly everything.

The Leishman building adjoining, occupied on the first floor by the Barb City grocery store and upstairs by Dr. Leishman, dentist, together with its contents, was damaged by fire and water.

The hook and ladder team ran away during the fire but did no damage. The street cars were blocked, and ran no further west than the scene of the fire all the next day.

Many of the roomers ran into the street in their night clothes and saved nothing but their lives.

One of the greatest losses, and which has aroused the sympathy of his friends, was Mr. Fay's loss of pictures. He had been collecting them for over a quarter of a century, and it is said they had been offered $14,000 for them. They had a national reputation, and were used by high-class eastern magazines to illustrate articles. Hardly a person of importance in statesmanship, literature, science, war or in any other way, living or dead, for half a century, but whose picture was in this collection. Hardly 10 percent of the collection was saved, and in getting these few out Mr. Fay sprained an ankle and Fred McLean had his hands badly burned.

Mr. Haish announces that he will begin immediately the erection of another block, and that it will probably be extended some 40 feet back toward the north, making two additional stores facing on Third street.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Fire Destroys Haish Shop

Jacob Haish | Photo courtesy of Joiner History Room

Printed in the May 20, 1914, edition of the Sycamore True Republican:

Heaviest fire loss in the history of De Kalb
Nothing Remains of Extensive Factory In Which Spreaders Were Made, Located North of Northwestern Railroad, After Fierce Fire This Tuesday Morning

One of the most disastrous fires in the history of DeKalb was the destruction at about 3 o'clock this Tuesday morning of Jacob Haish's manure spreader factory, just north of the Northwestern railroad.

When the flames were discovered they had gained such headway that it was at once seen that the big factory was doomed. But the firemen did their best to subdue the fire as much as possible and save adjoining property. So rapidly did the fire extend and so intense was the heat, that the firemen were forced to abandon a lead of 750 feet of hose which was destroyed.

Nearby buildings were saved except three dwellings across the street north of the factory which were largely burned. 

All of the contents of the big shops, which included some 200 completed manure spreaders, and a great amount of other products and raw materials, were completely destroyed.

The poles and wires of the DeKalb-Sycamore electric line which run along the street for a couple of blocks opposite the factory were destroyed, and no cars were run until late in the forenoon, delaying the Sycamore morning mail, which included the Chicago papers.

Heavy loss fell on the DeKalb County Telephone company whose wires, cable and poles were destroyed for some distance. 

The loss is variously estimated, but is more generally estimated at about $100,000. It is known that Mr. Haish's policy has been for many years to carry no insurance on his many buildings, which include three other factories and about 100 other buildings in DeKalb. He has suffered from several fires in the last few years, among which was the destruction of the three-story business block known as the Beehive block.

The manufacture of manure spreaders was one of the largest and most profitable of the several manufacturing enterprises of the veteran manufacturer, and the machine produced is one of the best made, and there has been a large and sustained demand for it throughout the country.

Mr. Haish is in active charge of all of his large business affairs, although he has passed his 87th birthday. It is expected that the factory will be rebuilt.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

The Jacob Haish Memorial Hospital Corporation

John "Jack" Nelson (left) and Gordon Melms (right) pictured at Oak Crest Retirement Center in DeKalb. Both men were members of the Jacob Haish Memorial Hospital Corporation until it dissolved in 2006. | Photo by Jessi LaRue
In his will, Jacob Haish specified that he desired his funds to provide a library and a hospital for his beloved DeKalb. His remaining wealth would prove to stretch far; The Haish Memorial Library (DeKalb Public Library,) the former DeKalb Public Hospital (Barb City Manor) and the emergency wing at Kishwaukee Hospital (Northwestern Medicine) were established due to his philanthropy.

These donations were possible not only because of Haish's money, but because of a group of locals who determined where the money would go, and how it would be handled. That group, first formed in 1952, was the Jacob Haish Memorial Hospital Corporation board.

The memorial group "quietly over the years made grants totaling $2.5 million to projects board members felt satisfied the intent of Haish's will," according to a 2006 Kishwaukee Hospital news release. On top of the hospitals and the library, the group gave grants to Community Coordinated Child Care (4-C) and Children's Learning Center.

John "Jack" Nelson, the most recent president of the Haish Memorial Corporation, said they would also occasionally pay hospital bills for people in need.

"The board met as needed, maybe two to three times a year," Nelson said. "We would accumulate 10-12 hospital bills that needed payment, and have a meeting to talk about it."

Nelson said that in order to spend money, the group needed court approval each time, by filling out a "cy pres" petition.

Cy pres: "as near as possible" (dictionary.com)

"I think we were quite conservative in protecting the estate," Nelson said.

The biggest "denial" for a money request? Haish's distant family members who were looking for a payout. They would not receive a dime, due to a line in Haish's will that explicitly said "I have purposely refrained from making any bequests to any of my relatives for the reason that I have from time to time during my life made such gifts to them as I desire them to have."

"He had already taken care of the family," said Gordon Melms, a longtime memorial board member.

For years, the group also paid to put flowers on Jacob and Sophia's gravesite in DeKalb. That stopped when the money in the foundation was gone.

"If you think about it, because of his money, Jacob lived almost another 100 years," said Haish family descendant Jennie Marshall Cummings.

The final dollars, a total of $450,000, went toward the emergency wing at the Kishwaukee Hospital.

"We put [the memorial board] out of business with that donation," Nelson said with a laugh. "Because the money was gone."

Melms said the group, along with the DeKalb County Community Foundation, were instrumental in ensuring that the estate helped as many people as possible. He said many of the members stuck with the group because it had such an important impact.

"I didn't know Jacob, but I admired him," Nelson said. "Jacob did a lot for the community. We felt we were doing something beneficial to the community. It's gratifying to say we've done what we think is best for the community, and what Jacob would have wanted."

- - -

A few facts about the Jacob Haish Memorial Corporation, as provided by John "Jack" Nelson, the last president of the group:

Original board of directors:
R.J. Lindstrom
Paul A. Nehring
Floyd O. Crego
Ray C. Nelson
Harry W. McEwen

Tenure as president: 
Ray C. Nelson, former assistant county farm agent: 17 years, 11 as president
C. Edward Raymond, former Daily Chronicle owner/publisher: 47 years, 31 as president
John R. Nelson, former president of the DeKalb Poultry Association: 33 years, 12 as president

Past directors:
Russell J. Lindstrom
Ray C. Nelson
C. Edward Raymond
C.J. Schulenberg
Eugene Harmison
George Twewilliger
Phillip Simon
Herman Cortelyou
E.E. Miller
Benjamin W. Gordon
Lawrence Hackamack
Leone Wayman

Most recent board members (when group disbanded in 2006)
John R. Nelson
Marjorie Lehan
Dianne Thomas Schmitt
Patricia Elsner
Gordon Melms
Karen Mason
Frank Roberts
Sharon Stefani - secretary to the board

The Jacob Haish Memorial Fund 2006 payout calculation. Click image to enlarge. | Provided by John "Jack" Nelson

A 2006 letter from Kevin Poorten, Kishwaukee Hospital President/CEO confirming the board's donation to the hospital. Click image to enlarge. | Provided by John "Jack" Nelson
Micki Chulick, 4-C Executive Director, thanks the board for their various donations in this letter from 2006. Click image to enlarge. | Provided by John "Jack" Nelson

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Nephews of Haish's housekeeper share her story

Anna Anderson and her brother Charlie. | Photo provided by John Anderson, of DeKalb.
Anna Anderson is known to some as Jacob Haish's longtime housekeeper, someone who was close enough to Jacob and Sophia that she was given lifetime use of the mansion after their passing.

To others, she's remembered as a sweet, hardworking aunt.

I met with John Anderson, of DeKalb, and Jim Anderson, who currently resides in Utah. Anna was their great aunt. Anna was the sister of their grandfather, who was also named John Anderson. 

Anna's nephews remember her as a "quiet" woman. Although she was an immigrant, both John and Jim remember that she could speak English very well.

"She had a funny voice," Jim recalls. "I remember her voice, it was a little bit on the deeper side."

John said he recalls her being a "big boned" woman.

"Well, all the family is big Swedes," Jim said with a laugh.

Anna was born May 28, 1881 in Skane, Sweden, according to her obituary in the Daily Chronicle. She died Nov. 8, 1953.

John said he believes it was Jacob's wife who hired Anna.

"[Sophia Haish] told a friend she needed a housekeeper and she said 'I've got just the person -- my sister Anna,'" John said. "I'm not sure what [Anna] did before that."

Anna Anderson (in front wearing a corsage on her chest) and some of her family members. | Photo provided by John Anderson, of DeKalb.
John shared a letter, which was written by Genevieve Jacobson, a niece of Anna's, to document family history. The information regarding Anna is in full below:

"I don't know when Aunt Anna came over [from Sweden] but she must have been older because she was engaged to be married. She broke the engagement because she felt he drank too much. It is my understanding he was so despondent he was sick in bed for two months afterwards. Aunt Anna also worked for wealthy people and Mother said they were all so fond of her. After our father and mother got married though, she came to DeKalb and for a while was very unhappy.

Dad's aunt got her a job with Jacob Haish (one of the inventors of barbed wire,) who had an elegant home on the corner of Third and Pine in DeKalb, Illinois. It was modeled after a German castle and he even had artists from Germany come over and paint his childhood scenes on the walls and domes of the ceilings. She was sort of a practical nurse as they were both getting up in age. He lived to be 99. The work was pretty hard because he was more or less bedridden the last few years, and at one time, she thought she couldn't take it any longer. Mrs. Haish had died probably 8 years previously. Anyhow, Mr. Haish's lawyer advised her not to leave because she would be well taken care of when he died -- which she was. The home and everything in it was hers as long as she lived. Anything she wanted, all she had to do was ask for it -- automobile, living expenses, trips, clothes, upkeep of the grounds, decorating, etc.

I think Aunt Anna lived about 27 years after Mr. Haish died, so I guess it was worth it. After he died, she did marry but it didn't last long. She got a divorce and he was sent on his way (sort of a hushed up affair.) She didn't have to even go to court. Haish's lawyer was also the judge, so all she had to do was sign the papers, and it was all over." 

John explained what he recollected about Anna's divorce.

"After Jacob died, she did get married and he just thought she was going to be full of money, because she lived in this big house and everything." John said. "That's all he wanted was the money. So she went to the lawyer and told him about it, and he had it annulled."

Jim said they've never been able to even find a record of this marriage.

Anna's brother John Anderson (left) and Jacob Haish (right) pose for a photograph in front of the Haish mansion. The photograph was taken by Anna Anderson, "who was usually the one taking the photos," said John Anderson, the grandson of John in the photo. | Photo provided by John Anderson, of DeKalb.
Jim and John have faint memories of visiting the Haish mansion once it belonged to their great aunt. 

Jim recalls seeing the third floor of the mansion, with a stage area for a band or orchestra. 

"There was also a side room with a barber chair," Jim said. "I just assumed he had his hair cut there."

The Andersons would have family reunions at the Haish mansion in the summertime. Jim also once attended a Thanksgiving dinner that Anna hosted there. John was in California at the time, but Jim still remembers the dinner they had that night.

"I remember [Anna's] pudding," Jim said. "My wife, I always give her a hard time, because I can't remember how [Anna] made it. I know it had brandy in it and it tasted really good. I can't remember if it was dates or fig. It was great!"

John wonders if Mrs. Haish or Anna would have done the cooking for the household.

"All I know is that [Jacob Haish] hired a housekeeper, and that just evolved into more work as [the Haishs] got older," John said.

Jim recalled that the Ellwood family had a housekeeper that close friends with Anna. Her name was Emma, and she was a fellow Swedish immigrant. 

"They were very close," Jim said.

John said Anna is remembered as a friendly person, up until she passed away in 1953, almost 30 years after Jacob Haish's death.

"[Jim] has a good friend that was raised in that neighborhood," John said. "Aunt Anna would come up from the grocery store in her car, and when they'd see the car there, they'd go help her take the groceries in. She was always good for some cookies."

Anna Anderson's death certificate | DeKalb County Clerk's Office
Anna Anderson's obituary, as it appeared in the DeKalb Daily Chronicle.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Barb City Bank takes shape

Barb City Bank check, courtesy of Steve Bigolin. Click image to enlarge.

Printed in the Dec. 9, 1885, edition of the Sycamore True Republican:

"That $100,000 project has taken definite shape, and the curious as well as the interested public can have an opportunity, on Thanksgiving day, between the hours of 8 and 10, of inspecting a new bank. It is to be called the "Barb City Bank," with Jacob Haish as president, and Paul Holm as cashier.

The office furniture and belongings will be of the latest design, and everything pertaining to the outfit will be designed with special care for the comfort and accommodation of its patrons, while giving ample security for the safe keeping and accounting of all funds entrusted to its protection. Not only is the vault fire proof, but within its walls will dwell a burglar and fire proof safe of the very latest pattern, provided with a time lock and all the modern improvements that skilled labor can invent to make it absolutely secure. The vault will also be provided with a set of fire proof, securely locked, drawers, where persons desirous of depositing valuable papers, silverware, etc., can do so, having entire control of their own key. They can at any time inspect or change or look over their contents in the private room of the bank without being disturbed. To parties leaving home for a season this feature of the bank will supply a growing need.

Arrangements are made for furnishing Chicago, New York and foreign exchange, and the utmost attention will be given to needs of the people. Mr. Haish desires it understood that the most gentlemanly treatment and courtesy will be accorded all. An exchange, loan and discount business will be done on the most liberal terms. The bank will occupy the room of the "S" barb wire office, the latter moving to rooms overhead on the second floor."

Thanks to Joiner History Room for providing this article.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Artwork keeps spirit of Haish mansion alive

From September 1978 through June 1981, W. Joseph Zack, a Northern Illinois University student, was working on his thesis for his Master of Fine Arts degree. His "one-man show" captured the likeness of many of DeKalb's most famous buildings, including the Egyptian Theatre, Ellwood mansion, and the Jacob Haish mansion.

According to his thesis, "the concentration of work for my one-man show dealt with the refinement of illustrations, rendered in ink, watercolor and airbrush, and the execution of museum quality architectural models. It was also my wish to develop strong competencies in the area of architectural history."
An undated photo shows former NIU student W. Joseph Zack working on a model of the Jacob Haish mansion. | Photo at Regional History Center, taken by Jessi LaRue
Shortly after Zack's project was completed, his items were on display at both the Ellwood House Museum, and later the DeKalb Public Library. After exhibition, the items were donated to the Regional History Center at Northern Illinois University, where they remain to this day.

Of all the items Zack created for his project, he created four Haish-related pieces: a watercolor, two ink drawings, and a model, all of the Haish house. The current owner/location of the watercolor is unknown, but the drawings and model can still be viewed at the Regional History Center.
An illustration of the Jacob Haish residence by W. Joseph Zack. | Photo by Jessi LaRue

An illustration of the Jacob Haish residence by W. Joseph Zack. | Photo by Jessi LaRue
"My one-man show was ultimately a presentation of architectural illustrations and models as an art form and as an educational effort directed towards the public interest," Zack wrote in his thesis.

According to the thesis, the model was created using a variety of woods, paper and plastic products, and paints. Woods used in the model include maple, walnut, mahogany, oak, pine and more.

An undated photo of the Jacob Haish model, taken shortly after completion. | Photo at Regional History Center, taken by Jessi LaRue
The Jacob Haish mansion model today. | Photo by Jessi LaRue

Below are photos of the model and drawings. The model is not in the same condition as it was in its prime, however, it still gives a great representation of a building that no longer stands.

The Jacob Haish mansion model today. | Photo by Jessi LaRue

The Jacob Haish mansion model today. | Photo by Jessi LaRue

The Jacob Haish mansion model today. | Photo by Jessi LaRue

The Jacob Haish mansion model today. | Photo by Jessi LaRue

The Jacob Haish mansion model today. | Photo by Jessi LaRue

The Jacob Haish mansion model today. | Photo by Jessi LaRue

The Jacob Haish mansion model today. | Photo by Jessi LaRue

The Jacob Haish mansion model today. | Photo by Jessi LaRue

The Jacob Haish mansion model today. | Photo by Jessi LaRue

The Jacob Haish mansion model today. | Photo by Jessi LaRue

The Jacob Haish mansion model today. | Photo by Jessi LaRue

The Jacob Haish mansion model today. | Photo by Jessi LaRue

The Jacob Haish mansion model today. | Photo by Jessi LaRue

The Jacob Haish mansion model today. | Photo by Jessi LaRue
The Jacob Haish mansion model today. | Photo by Jessi LaRue
The Jacob Haish mansion model today. | Photo by Jessi LaRue
The Jacob Haish mansion model today. | Photo by Jessi LaRue
Thank you to Cindy Ditzler of the Regional History Center for allowing me to photograph and share these items.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

More Haish mansion photos unearthed

Remember Sycamore resident Roger Alexander? As a teenager in July 1961, he took what may be some of the last photos of the Haish mansion. He shared some of his photos last year, and they were posted here.

Alexander just discovered more photos from that day in summer 1961, and they are below, posted with his permission.

Alexander said the woman who led him through the house told him that "each of the fireplaces were made from marble from five continents." 

He added, "I am sorry to say I wasn't much of a photographer back then, but they do give a feel for what was lost."
Details of the Haish mansion. | Photo by Roger Alexander

Details of the Haish mansion. | Photo by Roger Alexander

Details of the Haish mansion. | Photo by Roger Alexander

Details of the Haish mansion. | Photo by Roger Alexander

Details of the Haish mansion. | Photo by Roger Alexander

Details of the Haish mansion. | Photo by Roger Alexander

Details of the Haish mansion. | Photo by Roger Alexander

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Haish Monument at Fairview Cemetery

Below are a few recent photos of the Haish monument, taken on Sept. 21, 2017 by Jessi LaRue. The Haish monument, where barbed wire baron Jacob Haish and his wife Sophia are buried, resides in the back of Fairview Cemetery, in DeKalb.

The Haish monument in Fairview Cemetery, DeKalb. | Photo by Jessi LaRue

Detail of the Haish monument in Fairview Cemetery, DeKalb. | Photo by Jessi LaRue
The urn at the Haish monument in Fairview Cemetery, DeKalb. | Photo by Jessi LaRue

The Haish monument in Fairview Cemetery, DeKalb. | Photo by Jessi LaRue
The copyright on the Haish monument in Fairview Cemetery, DeKalb. | Photo by Jessi LaRue
The Haish monument in Fairview Cemetery, DeKalb. | Photo by Jessi LaRue