Jacob S. Eshelman


Borne to the Tomb. Funeral of Ex-Mayor Eshelman, of Grand Forks. Special to the Globe. Grand Forks, Dak., April 15. – Ex_mayor Eshelman was buried to-day. A light drizzling rain prevailed, but the Masons, Knights of Pythias and Odd Fellows from neighboring towns joined the local lodges here to attend the funeral. The fire department was out in full force. The services were held in the Congregational church. Three hundred persons formed a procession, followed by 105 carriages. The Masons had full charge. (The Saint Paul Daily Globe, Tuesday Morning, April 16, 1889, Volume XI, Number 106, Page 1)

JACOB S. ESHELMAN, deceased. The pioneer settlers of Grand Forks, North Dakota, remember well the subject of this review. He was one of the important factors in the upbuilding of the financial interests of the city, and resided therein many years. Our subject was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in 1850, and went to Iowa and later Illinois at the age of eleven years. He went to Grand Forks, North Dakota, in 1870, and in 1874 became associated with William Budge in various enterprises. He assisted in organizing the Citizens’ National Bank and was its first president. He also assisted in building some of the best business blocks of the city of Grand Forks, and ever had the interests of his adopted place at heart. Mr. Eshelman held various offices of trust, and was chairman of the county board for four years. He held membership in the Masonic fraternity. He was a Democrat politically, and was firm in his convictions and an ardent worker for party principles. Mr. Eshelman died in April, 1889, and left a host of friends in Grand Forks and vicinity to mourn his loss. (Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., Chicago, 1900, Page 299)

A PIONEER GONE. Sudden Death of J. S. Eshelman at Hot Springs. Budge & Eshelman, Grand Forks. HOT SPRINGS, Ark., April 10, 1889 – Jake Eshelman died this evening (April 10, 1889). Stricken with paralysis. What shall we do with the remains? AVENUE HOTEL. The above telegram was received late last evening by Wm. Budge and the news spread rapidly among Jake’s numerous friends. The information was startling for it came entirely unexpected. About two months ago Mr. Eshelman went to Hot Springs for his health and was apparently improving steadily, although at times he has suffered severely. Mr. Budge telegraphed at once to forward the body to Grand Forks for burial and then notified Mr. Eshelman’s relatives at Lancaster, Pa. Jake Eshelman has long been identified with the progress of Grand Forks and was a general favorite of old-timers. He was born at Lancaster, Pa., on the 25th of November, 1850 and was therefore in his 39th year at the time of his death. His mother is still living at Lancaster and is 75 years of age. He also has a brother and sister living in Pennsylvania. Jake came to the Red River Valley in 1871 when but twenty years of age. He was energetic and active and determined to push to the front. He secured a job with Walsh, Griggs & Co. and worked for some time as a mill hand. At that time the Red river was the scene of considerable activity and young Jake shipped on one of the steamboats as a roustabout. Capt. Alex. Griggs was piloting the boat and being unable to recall the name of Eshelman, nick named him “Stripes,” on account of the peculiar striped pantaloons worn by him.

By this familiar cognomen he was known for a number of years. He continued doing odd jobs until the spring of ’73, when he succeeded Geo. B. Winship as the partner of Wm. Budge at the Turtle River stage station. In 1875 Budge & Eshelman disposed of their interests at Turtle River and moved to Grand Forks where they engaged in business. As soon the land was surveyed each member of the firm secured a claim and most of this property is now within the limits of Grand Forks city. During these early and trying times Mr. Eshelman was always ready to lend a helping hand and always urging improvements. He was industrious and economical and fortune favored him. In all matters of public importance he took an active interest and was for three years chairman of the board of county commissioners. During his term of office he showed enterprising executive ability and was foremost in promoting the welfare of the county. In 1885 he was unanimously elected mayor of the city of Grand Forks and served with credit during the term. For several years he was president of the Citizens National bank and his financial interests are still extensive. For two or three years his health has been poor and he has traveled almost constantly, although passing as much time at home as possible. He was a member of Acacia lodge Master Masons, Corinthian R. A. M. and Grand Forks commandery Knight Templars. He also belonged to the Knights of Pythias. He will be buried with Masonic honors in Grand Forks, unless his relatives should order otherwise. Mr. Eshelman left no will and his large estate will be divided between his mother, brother and sister. His many Grand Forks friends greatly regret his sudden death and extend sympathy to his bereaved intimate friends and relatives. (Grand Forks Daily Herald, Thursday Evening, April 11, 1889, Volume XV, Number 135, Page 4)

THE FUNERAL. J. S. Eshelman Will be Buried Monday Afternoon. It is expected that the body of the late J. S. Eshelman will arrive on the N. P. train tomorrow morning. A brother and other relatives will also arrive from the east in the morning. Arrangements are being completed to hold the funeral Monday afternoon at 2 o’clock. The Masonic fraternity will have charge of the services. Deputations of Masonic brotherhood will be here from Grafton, Minto, Crookston, Larimore, Hillsboro, Reynolds and other places. A special train will be run from Grafton. The pall bearers selected are Geo. B. Winship, D. M. Holmes, Jas. Elton, Geo. A. Wheeler, W. G. Woodruff and W. C. Nash. The city aldermen will probably attend in a body to do the last errand of honor of Ex-Mayor Eshelman. Friends who have teams at their command are requested to furnish as many as possible. The city generally will unite in paying their last respects to one who has done so much to develop the town. Further particulars will be announced to-morrow. The pall bearers and other Masonic brethren are requested to meet at the N. P. depot at 7 o’clock to-morrow morning. (Grand Forks Daily Herald, Saturday Evening, April 13, 1889, Volume XV, Number 137, Page 4)


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