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Jacob Bieber Esser


Enterprising and public-spirited citizen

Born 1/6/1863

Died 3/11/1916

Burial Date 3/15/1916

Jacob Bieber Esser

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Compliments of Hope Cemetery, Kutztown, Pa.


In failing health since 1912, when he was stricken with paralysis while attending, and a delegate, the State Democratic convention at Harrisburg, Jacob B. Esser, a retired newspaper publisher of Kutztown and for years a leader in the Democratic politics in the county, died at 4:30 p. m. yesterday.
Mr. Esser was aged 53 years 2 months and 5 days. Although his health was known to be impaired, his many friends were grieved when they learned of his death, which came unexpectedly. He was compelled to retire from business several years ago.

He sold his interest in the Kutztown Patriot and Kutztown Journal in 1913. For a number of years Mr. Esser was an important figure in Democratic politics, especially in this end of Berks. When he became county chairman he succeeded John F. Ancona and was in turn followed by Dr. A. N. Seidle. He was nominated for clerk of Quarter Sessions at the first trial of the instructed delegate system. Up to that time the delegates came to Reading the evening before the annual gathering and fixed up their slates. This resulted in considerable dissatisfaction, and as a result the party adopted a rule that the electors were to vote instructions to the delegates. The first convention under this plan was held in the spring of 1901. It was presided over by Conrad Gehring, at that time in the employ of Mr. Esser as editor of his newspapers. There were four candidates for clerk of Quarter Sessions--- Samuel T. Bordner, Mr. Esser, Peter S. Hall and B. Frank Kurtz. Four ballets were necessary for a choice.

Jacob Bieber Esser was born was born Jan. 5, 1863, in Kutztown, the son of Charles W. and Mary (Bieber) Esser . He wa educated in the public schools of his native town and the Keystone State Normal school, and selected for his life occupation the printers trade, serving his apprenticeship with A. B. Urick, in the office of the Kutztown Journal. After completing his apprenticeship he worked for two years as a journeyman in Philadelphia and for three years in New York City, by which time he had acquired a thorough practical knowledge of the art of printing. He than returned to Kutztown, and in 1887 purchased the Kutztown Journal and the Kutztown Patriot. He gave every branch of his business close personal attention, and under his energetic direction he greatly increased the circulation of his papers.
His plant was complete and up to date in every respect, containing linotype, improved presses, folders and other modern machinery and a superior class of typographical work was turned out under his able management. The Journal is a German publication while the Patriot is printed in English.

Mr. Esser was a enterprising and public-spirited citizen and did much to forward the best interests of his community. For a period of three years he was chief burgess of the town, for nine years continuously was secretary of the former Kutztown Fair Association and one of the leading spirits and the first presidents of the new association. In politics he was a Democrat, both by inheritance and conviction, and he expended much time and labor for the success of the party. For six years he was a member of the Democratic county committee from Kutztown and for four of those years was secretary of the committee. In 1903 he was elected assistant chairman of the Democratic committee and the following year its chairman, serving in that capacity until 1905. he had repeatedly been a delegate to County and State conventions.

He was a 32nd degree Mason, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, a Master Mason of Huguenot Lodge, a companion of Excelsior Chapter, Reading: a sir Knight, of Reading Commandery, and a noble of the Mystic Shrine. He was also a member of the Knights of The Golden Eagle and the Junior Order United American Mechanics.

On October 10,1887, Mr. Esser Married Mary L., daughter of the late John G. Hillegass, of Pennsburg, who survives with the following children: Florence O., wife of<

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