Biography of Jacob C. Garber

The efficient and capable postmaster of Grangeville, Jacob C. Garber, is a native of Rockingham County, Virginia, born near Fort Republic, January 7, 1829. The family is of Swiss origin and the ancestors of our subject crossed the Atlantic to the New World prior to the Revolutionary war. They were long residents of Pennsylvania and Virginia, and in religious faith were Dunkards. Martin Garber, the father of our subject, was born in the Old Dominion and married Miss Magdalen Mohler, a lady of German lineage and a representative of one of the old Virginian families. Fourteen children were born of this union, of whom eight sons and three daughters grew to years of maturity. The father was a farmer by occupation, and died of palsy, in the fifty-fourth year of his age. His wife attained a very advanced age and finally met death by accident, in the upsetting of a stagecoach in which she was a passenger.

Jacob C. Garber, their fourth child, was educated in Virginia and Ohio, the family having removed to the latter state when he was fourteen years of age. Subsequently he emigrated with an older brother to Iowa, and in 1854 he sailed from New York to California, going by way of the Nicaragua route to San Francisco, where he arrived on the 13th of August. He then engaged in mining in Sierra and Nevada counties, meeting with good success. It was his intention to return home in 1857, but, being taken ill, a year had passed before he had sufficiently recovered to travel, and by that time the expenses of his sickness had eaten up all his capital. From Sierra county he went to Nevada county, and with the assistance of a friend procured a claim,, on which he again made money rapidly. He remained there from 1858 until 1865, and during that time was elected and served as county recorder of Nevada County, continuing in the office until 1868, when he removed to Humboldt County, where he established a general merchandise store. The new undertaking proved a profitable one, and he carried on business along that line until 1885, when he sold out and went to the Portuguese Flat, in Shasta County. There he purchased an interest in a mine, but lost his money in that investment, through the treachery of a partner.

Mr. Garber next came to Camas prairie, Idaho, and secured a claim of one hundred and sixty acres of government land, on which he engaged in raising hay, grain and cattle. He transformed it into a good farm, and it is still in his possession. In 1893, however, he left the farm, having been elected probate judge of Idaho County, and on the expiration of his term of service in that capacity he accepted the position of bookkeeper in the large wholesale and retail house of Henry Wax, of Grangeville. He was thus employed in 1897, when President McKinley appointed him postmaster. He is now giving his entire time and attention to the duties of his office, which he is discharging in a most capable manner, winning the high commendation of all concerned. He has always been a stanch Republican in politics since casting his first presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln, in 1860.

In 1868 Mr. Garber was united in marriage to Miss Julia A. Wheeler, in Nevada County, California. She is a native of Georgia and a daughter of Nathan Wheeler, and to her husband she renders able assistance in the administration of the affairs of the post office. Mr. Garber was formerly a very active member of the Odd Fellows society and has filled all the chairs in both branches of the order. He is a wide-awake and progressive citizen, giving a loyal support to all measures for the public good, and is a most trustworthy officer.



Illustrated History of the State of Idaho. Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company. 1899.

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