May 28, 2024

Jacob’s Story

There is a television show called “If Walls Could Talk.”  In it, owners of older houses  find something interesting in their home and research to find out more about its history, often coming up with amazing stories. 

At the museum, we have many items with stories to tell.  While working on signage in our log cabin area, we came across 3 cooking utensils forged by Jacob Ludwig .  There was a pattern on the handles along with his name and the year 1849.  These items were crying out to have their story told.

Jacob, born in 1818 in Pickaway, Ohio, was the third Ludwig by that name, after his father and grandfather.  His great-grandfather, name unknown, fought in the Revolutionary War with George Washington.  His father fought in the War of 1812. One of his sons fought in the Civil War.  Our Jacob did not fight in a war, but he certainly faced some battles in his life.  He was only 6 years old when his father died; and when he was 8 his mother could no longer afford to keep him so he was bound out to men who over-worked him and gave him few comforts in life…a very sad childhood.   Finally, at the age of 18 things began to look up.  His mother had remarried and could now afford to have him apprenticed to the blacksmith trade.

Jacob married in 1841 at the age of 23 and moved his family to a place near Elida in May, 1849.  He worked there at a forge until the following September, when he purchased 40 acres near Delphos in section 33, Marion township, situated on the Auglaize River east of what today is Walnut Grove Cemetery.  About a third of the land had been cleared and contained a log cabin, which served as the family home until the following year, when he completed his own residence.  

Jacob died in 1903 at the age of 84; a prosperous and well-respected man.  In 1913, one of his sons donated the three forged utensils to John Wahmhoff, a local druggist, as some of the first items that would be included in the Delphos Historical Society museum that opened in the basement of the public library in 1915. 

Whether at the forge near Elida or at his place near Delphos, Jacob made these cooking utensils, proudly putting his name on them so that his story could be told. 

The Delphos Canal Museum has many early Delphos historical items on display.  Take a new look at some very old and interesting artifacts of early Delphos.  The museum is open every Sat. & Sun. from 1-3 pm and every Thurs. from nine to noon.  We are located on the west side of Main St. between 2nd and 3rd St. and right along the Miami-Erie Canal.  Come visit us soon.


Printed in the Delphos Herald July 14, 2012.

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  1. My 5th great grandfather was Jacob Ludwick, who served in the Revolution. I believe this is the same Jacob Ludwick mentioned above, although I am aware there were two Jacob Ludwicks who served in the Revolution, both from Pennsylvania. I have a great deal of family information if anyone is interested.

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