A citizen of distinction in both Colorado and Nebraska, Mr. Iretus Wells Jacoby succeeded in multiple fields of interest during his life, being a miner, farmer, cowboy and state legislator. While Nebraska has fielded a number of famed politicians over the years (President Gerald Ford, Julius Sterling Morton, George W. Norris and Chuck Hagel among them), the amount of strangely named politicians hailing from the Cornhusker State isn't as great as you might imagine, with only 40 or so being discovered by me over the past ten years or so.
Born in Mt. Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa on September 9, 1868, Iretus W. "I.W." Jacoby was one of seven children born to Samuel Rush (1823-1903) and Julia Ann Ball Jacoby (1825-1916). No information could be found on Jacoby's early years, accepting a passing noting that he removed with his family to the Lancaster, Nebraska area while still a child.
I.W. Jacoby married in Lincoln, Nebraska on April 1, 1890 to Ms. Sarah Jane "Jennie" Dimick (1868-1939), and this couple later became the parents of four children, Harley Northe (1895-1962), Henry Franklin (1896-1976), Julia Ann (1898-1955), and Marjorie (1900-1935).
Jacoby is recorded as residing in Colorado during the early 1890s and was employed as a marshal during his stay here. Notice is given on his being a gold and silver miner, prospector, cowboy, Indian fighter while living here, but no source elaborates on how long he was engaged in any of those occupations. In the mid 1890s Jacoby returned to Nebraska and began a long career as a farmer and agriculturalist, and a 1945 legislative resolution honoring him notes that "agriculture was his chief interest, and that brought him his greatest pleasure."
In November 1923 Jacoby was elected as a Democrat to the Nebraska State House of Representative from Lancaster County, and served in the legislative term of 1924-26. Following his term in state government, Jacoby returned to farming and maintained memberships in the Nebraska State Historical Society as well as the Central Lancaster County Farmers Club. The 1924 Nebraska Blue Book (where the above portrait was found) notes that he was a parishioner at the Methodist Church in Havelock, Nebraska. Iretus W. Jacoby died on June 12, 1944 at age 75 and was interred at the Rosehill Cemetery in Waverly, Nebraska.