SUVCW Dept. of Wisconsin Commanders:
Thomas L. Jacobs

The 1895 Wisconsin Dept. Encampment was held in conjunction with the GAR Dept. Encampment in Green Bay on May 22-23. The delegates observed that the GAR was so much larger, that the Sons meeting received little local attention by comparison. They decided to hold future meetings at a separate location and time. Perhaps there was also a desire to distance the Sons in the minds of those preaching amalgamation.

A 29 year-old Menasha printer, Thomas L. Jacobs, was elected Dept. Commander. Jacobs was born August 28, 1866, in Menasha, the only son of William C. Jacobs and Charlotte Rose Ann Hulce. His father, a German immigrant, had enlisted as a corporal in the 12th Wis. Light Artillery in 1862 and was mustered out a sergeant three years later. At the age of 13, Thomas began working at the Waupaca Wis. News as an apprentice. With the exception of a few months working in his father’s store, he followed the print business all his life.

Br. Jacobs was one of twelve charter members of Menasha’s U.S. Grant Camp 17. The Camp was mustered-in on May 24, 1887. Two years later, the Camp entertained the Dept. Encampment At the 1888 Dept. Encampment, Br. Jacobs was elected Dept. Sr. Vice Commander, serving under DC Charles Hudson. When the Wisconsin Dept. was chartered in 1889, Jacobs name was one of two dozen names placed on the charter. In 1892, he was elected to the Dept. Council. In 1895, he took over a Department comprised of 717 members in 34 Camps. During DC Jacobs’ term, Camps were chartered at New Richmond, Rhinelander and Fond du Lac (recharter).

DC Jacobs presided over the 1896 Dept. Encampment, held in Marinette. After stepping down as Dept. Commander, he was elected Dept. Quartermaster. He was also serving as Commander of Camp 17.

In 1897, Br. Jacob’s father passed away. With the end of the Financial Panic of 1893 and the Spanish American War, interest and membership decreased and in 1900, Camp 17 was suspended.

PDC Jacobs moved to Tacoma, Washington, in 1902 and became one of the city’s most popular and progressive printers. He was elected the first president of the Tacoma Division of the United Typographical Association.

On September 28, 1910, he married Miss Faddie Eldridge. They had no children.

He was suggested for the presidency of the Tacoma Typographical Union and president of the Employers Association, a mark of universal confidence and esteem, but he declined, due to his poor health. He died on September 2, 1918, at the age of 52.

Written by Stephen Michaels, PCinC

Information Sources:
Historical & Biographical Sketch of the Order of Sons of Veterans compiled by A.G. Braband; Radtke Bros. & Kortsch, Printers, Milwaukee, 1899
Press Forward the Good Work, History of the Wis. Dept., SUVCW by PDC Stephen Michaels, 1997
Proceedings of Annual Convention by United Typothetae of America; Indianapolis, Ind., Dec. 1919

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Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War
Department of Wisconsin


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