Kansas History and Heritage Project--Geary County Family Files

Geary County Churches
Isaac Jacobus, Pioneer Preacher in Junction City

From: "The Home Missionary, Vol. 38", (Congregational) Feb. 1866

From Rev. Isaac Jacobus, Junction City, Davis Co.
"Spying out the Land.”

My wife and myself left New York, October 12th, 1865, for our field of labor, and arrived in Wyandotte, October 20th. The weather was most delightful, when we landed, giving favorable impressions of the climate. We rested a few days at the house of Rev. Mr. Parker, whose kind greetings and hearty welcome made our hearts glad, and assured us of friendly sympathy.

Upon conferring with the Agent, Rev. Mr. Bodwell, it was deemed advisable for us to locate at this place; and therefore, as soon as practicable, we came on. As matters were quite unsettled, I left my wife at Manhattan, while the Agent and myself pushed on to “spy out the land."

Junction City

Junction City, as its name indicates, is situated at the confluence of the Republican and Smoky Hill forks of the Kansas, twenty miles west of Manhattan, and four miles west of Fort Riley. It is a very stirring, growing place; and it is thought will, sooner or later, take rank among the first of the inland towns. We were welcomed, very cordially, by the “few names” of the little Congregational Church here, who have long desired that some one might come among them and break to them the bread of life.

Our church is very small, numbering only seven members, three males and four females. At present there is but one resident male member. I have reson to believe, however, that our number will be increased soon.

In Search of a Home

Had my decision to take this as my field of labor been conditioned upon living, like Paul, in “my own hired house," I should not be here; for such has been the “rush" to the place that a house or a room could not he obtained for love or money. I tried faithfully, for two or three weeks, but with no success. During this interval we were most kindly entertained by Rev. Mr. Beckwith, of Manhattan, who also very kindly offered us a home until we could secure one at Junction City. But upon visiting the Rev. Mr. Todd, fifteen miles beyond Junction City, up the Republican river, we were assured of a welcome there, Upon the whole, this appeared the better plan; and accordingly we adopted it, and now make our home at that settlement. This step has its advantages, as well as disadvantages. We can gather a small congregation here, and there is also a small settlement some six miles from here, where people are anxious to have me come and preach.


In regard to our field, we labor under some embarrassments and discouragements, for we have no church building, and we feel the need of some earnest workers. The only place for holding religious service is in a common hall. over a store, and this is occupied by all. We hope to more, at an early day, in erecting a house of worship. The city has the reputation of being a “ hard place,” and in some respects it is worthy of the name. Intemperance and a spirit of worldliness, are the crying sins. The Sabbath is not kept “according to the commandment.” The many are more intent upon pursuing their own selfish interests than they are to seek the “pearl of great price," and build up the cause of Christ. But we hope and pray for better things, and trust a blessing is in store for us. Certainly the “field is white to the harvest,” and there is great need of reapers. It is encouraging to know that there is some of the good New England element already at work here, and we trust it will be increased before long. There is need of earnest, hearty effort here, and the prayers of God‘s people for his blessing upon us.

From "The Congregational Year-book, Vol 6", 1883:

Jacobus, Isaac, son of Isaac and Miranda (Jones) Jacobus, was born in Romulis, New York, Nov. 26, 1834; Ovid Academy; graduated Bangor Seminary, 1865; ordained at Bangor, July 27, 1865; acting pastor, Junction City, Kans., 1865-1877; Louisville, 1877-1878; without charge Junction City, 1878-1881; acting pastor, Westminster, Cal., 1881 until death; served in the Christian Commission; married Oct. 12, 1865, Lavina (Fatzinger) Gambee of Varick, New York; five of eight children living; died of congestion of the brain and nervous prostration at Westminster, Cal., Feb. 17, 1883, aged 48 years, 2 months and 21 days.

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