Jesse T. Nicolay, secretary, and general manager of the Rice-Johntz-Nicolay Lumber Company of AbileIle, and secretary of the Abilene Manufacturing Company, was born at Zanesville, Ohio, July 18, 1859. He is the eldest and only surviving son of Mathias and Louise (Pifer) Nicolay. The father was born in Germany, Feb. 18, 1834, and migrated to Canada at the age of fourteen years. There he worked on a farm for twenty-five cents per day for a few years, and then removed to Ohio, where he was engaged for several years as a railroad bridge builder. In 1866 he removed his family to Kansas, making the journey in a covered wagon, and here he settled on a claim which he was later forced to abandon on account of the depredations of the Indians. To him and his good wife there were born two sons, the younger of which died in infancy.
Jesse T. Nicolay was educated in Abilene, attending the first school opened in a log cabin there, in 1866. In 1867 his father built the first substantial school building erected in that place. The son attended the high school and then became a pharmacist, but gave up this occupation to engage in the lumber business, in which he has achieved flattering success. Starting at the bottom, by industry and attention to his duties, he has won his way to the top and for a number of years has been the acting managing partner in the Rice-Johntz-Nicolay Lumber Company. This firm is notable in the history of the lumber industry because of the volume of its business, its long and uniform success, and the high character which it has always maintained. The Abilene Manufacturing Company, under Mr. Nicolay's management, has likewise had a career of which he is justly proud. He has been president of the Abilene Commercial Club three years, and in 1906 he organized the Abilene Wholesale Grocery Company, but later disposed of his interest in that concern. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church of Abilene, and any efforts looking to the upbuilding of his own church or other branches of Christian enterprise are sure of his coöperation and aid. Mr. Nicolay has never taken any further interest in politics than to vote in elections, and hence has held no office in the gift of any political organization, his various business enterprises serving to fully satisfy his ambition. Fraternally, he is a member of the Knights of Pythias.
Mr. Nicolay was married, Oct. 2, 1890, to Miss Jennie L. Jacoby, daughter of John J. Jacoby, a native of Pennsylvania, and a contractor residing at Solomon. Of this union have been born four childrenJesse Wilbur, Carl Lewis, Lucy Madaline and Donald Mathias.Page 970 from volume III, part 2 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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