Monday, July 1, 2024

Visitors explore the Haish mansion

From the June 26, 1885, DeKalb Daily Chronicle, visitors were invited to explore the newly-built Haish mansion on the corner of Third and Pine Streets in DeKalb.

For previous posts (and photos!) of the treasured Haish mansion, click here.

Thursday, June 27, 2024

Advertisement featuring Haish monument

This 1929 advertisement for The Dodds Granite Company (New York) features the Haish Memorial. "Unique in design, built of Stony Creek Granite, may be seen in DeKalb, Ill."

Haish died in 1926.

To learn more about the Haish monument in Fairview Cemetery, click here to see photos (including the copyright on the stone!)

Thanks to Kevin Haish for sharing this advertisement.

Sunday, May 26, 2024

UPCOMING PROGRAM: "Built by Barbed Wire"

Photo by Jessi Haish LaRue

As the 150th anniversary of Joseph F. Glidden’s “The Winner” barbed wire patent approaches, there are opportunities to learn more about the prosperity and innovation that barbed wire brought to DeKalb, earning it the nickname “Barb City.”

At 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 6, 2024, the Glidden Homestead and DeKalb Public Library will host a “Built by Barbed Wire” program at the library, 309 Oak Street. This program, which is free and open to the public, will share the history of the building that was donated by barbed wire baron Jacob Haish. 
On February 15, 1931, the Haish Memorial Library Building at 309 Oak Street was dedicated. Built on land provided by the city and financed by a bequest of $150,000 from barbed-wire millionaire Jacob Haish, the striking building with its Indiana Bedford limestone facade soon gained national recognition through an article in Architecture magazine. In 1934 the library received a mural by Gustaf Dahlstrom from the Works Progress Administration Federal Art Project. 
Jessi Haish LaRue, Glidden Homestead executive director, will provide remarks on the barbed wire story in DeKalb and Jacob Haish’s gift to the community. Then, Emily Faulkner, DeKalb Public Library executive director, will provide a tour and “behind the scenes” view of both the original portion and the “new” portion of the library. Highlights include various historic plaques, nods to the original architecture, and new additions, including the automated book sorter.
This year marks the 150th anniversary of Glidden’s “The Winner” patent, the most widely-used barbed wire in the world, which also earned Glidden the title “The Father of Barbed Wire.” In September 2024 the Homestead will celebrate by hosting a barbed wire exposition show in coordination with the Antique Barbed Wire Society, and other community-wide events. 
For more information contact Jessi Haish LaRue, Glidden Homestead & Historical Center, at or 815-756-7904.

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Chanticleer advertising postcard

Double-sided Chanticleer Gasoline Engines (Manufactured by Jacob Haish Company, DeKalb, Illinois) postcard. This is marked as number 3 in a series of three cards. Click on photos to enlarge.

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."