Excerpt from Cushing Thomas “The History Of The Counties Of Gloucester, Salem, And Cumberland New Jersey” 1883
JACOB R. FITZHUGH.(1848 – Bef. 1920)
The name of Fitzhugh was originally Fitshons. John D., the grandfather of the subject of this biography, was of German ancestry, having resided in Wittenberg, Germany. His children were nine in number, of whom John D., the father of Jacob R., was born in 1801, and emigrated to America in 1812.
He first settled in Philadelphia, but later removed to Bordentown, and subsequently located in Somerset County, Pa., where he began the manufacture of wagons and coaches, having previously learned the trade in his former places of residence. He married, in 1833, Miss Charlotte Houk, of Somerset County, Pa., whose father still survives in his eighty-ninth year, and had children, — Christiann (Mrs. Henry Conrad), Elizabeth (Mrs. George Shrader), David, Daniel, Frederick, Jacob R., Charlotte (Mrs. Fred Ridmiller), John, George, and Mary. Mr. and Mrs. Fitzhugh both survive, and reside in Covington, Ohio. Their son, Jacob R., who is essentially a self-made man, was born March 28, 1848, in Indiana County, Pa., and remained at the parental home until twenty-three years of age.
Such advantages of education as were at hand were improved, the nearest school having been in session but four months of the year, and located three miles distant. He was married Nov. 25, 1869, in his twenty-first year, to Mary B., daughter of John King, of Clearfield County, P.A., and has children, William B., George Franklin, Oliver J., and Laura May. At the age of twenty-three Mr. Fitzhugh removed to Indiana and engaged in the business of butchering, and in 1872 embarked in the patent right business, handling principally a hay elevator invented by himself. This he continued until 1875, and meanwhile exercising his inventive genius, secured three patents on hay elevators. During the latter year he moved to Philadelphia, and two years later made Unionville, N.J., his home, where he purchased ten acres of land, and has since resided.
During his residence in Philadelphia, he devoted six months to exhibiting his patents at the Centennial Exhibition, and also patented a coal bucket and return spool. The hay elevator before mentioned met with general favor, and received the first premium for excellence. He remained for two years in Philadelphia, busily engaged in manufacturing his valuable inventions. Mr. Fitzhugh, in 1879, invented a hay fork, which has rapidly gained popularity and an extended sale. In 1882 he invented and patented a coal elevator, which is now being manufactured. He has in all secured ten patents on inventions, all of which implements are manufactured by him, and are of practical value. This serves to illustrate the inventive faculty of the subject of this sketch, and his successful career from boyhood to the present time. In politics Mr. Fitzhugh is independent, though educated in the principles of the Republican party. He was reared in the faith of the Lutheran Church, but is now a worshiper with the Methodist Episcopal congregation of Unionville. He is a member of the Philadelphia Lodge of Independent Order of Odd-Fellows, and of the Glassboro Lodge of Knights of Pythias.