Biography of Jacob Aschenbrenner

Jacob Aschenbrenner, an established coal dealer in Amboy, Illinois, originates from Hesse-Cassel, Germany, born in 1825. After serving in the German army and participating in the 1848 Revolution, he immigrated to the U.S. in 1855, eventually settling in Lee County. Jacob transitioned from farming to coal dealing, making significant contributions to his community, including serving as Alderman and on the Board of Education. Married twice, he has three children from his first marriage. A founding member of the local Lutheran Church, Jacob’s life story is marked by resilience, entrepreneurship, and public service, underscoring his importance in Amboy’s history.

Jacob Aschenbrenner, a coal dealer in Amboy, has been a resident of Lee County since July 1855. He was born in Hesse-Cassel, Germany, on August 6, 1825. His parents, Jacob and Caroline Aschenbrenner, natives of Germany, spent their lives in their homeland. They had four children: Conrad, who passed away in Bradford Township, leaving a family; Carl, who died in Germany; Mena, who married George Schaffer and died in Lee County; and Jacob, the only surviving child. Jacob’s father remarried and had six more children, all of whom immigrated to the United States and settled in Iowa, where the eldest, John, became a clergyman in the Evangelical Church.

Jacob learned the trade of a plasterer in Germany and served in the German army for ten years, including four years in active service and six on the reserve force. He participated in engagements during the Revolution of 1848 and in 1849 in Holstein. He arrived in the United States in 1855, settling in Lee County, where he rented land and farmed until 1862, when he moved to Amboy. In Amboy, he worked for two years for the Illinois Central Railroad before engaging in draying for another two years. He has since been involved in his current business of coal dealing.

Jacob was married twice. His first wife, Elizabeth Dehnhalt, whom he married in 1853, passed away in 1860, leaving three children: Christina, who married Jacob Thiel of Amboy; Conrad, who married Bertha Fickensher and also resides in Amboy; and Elizabeth, who married Frank Estie and died in Amboy.

In 1861, Jacob married for the second time, to Fredericka Hess, born in Baden, Germany. She immigrated to the United States in 1856 and lived in Chicago until their marriage. They have no children together. Jacob is a Democrat and has been actively involved in local politics, serving as Alderman for two terms and as a member of the Board of Education for nine years. The family attends the Lutheran Church, of which Jacob was one of the organizers, and they are highly respected members of society.


Biographical Publishing Company, Portrait and biographical record of Lee County, Illinois, containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens, together with biographies of all the governors of the state, and of the presidents of the United States, Chicago: Biographical Publishing Co., 1892.

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