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Jacob Haish historical marker dedication

William Furry
/ Categories: General News

Jacob Haish historical marker dedication


DAAHA TO Dedicate JACOB HAISH STATE Historical Marker

Release: Immediately

Media Contact: DAAHA, Donna Langford
(815) 756-9760, or

DeKalb, IL. May 23, 2017 - DeKalb Area
Agricultural Heritage Association (DAAHA) today announced plans to dedicate on June
17 a State of Illinois historical marker recognizing yet another example of local agricultural innovation that has had national impact.
 The marker recognizes the many inventive
and civic contributions of Jacob Haish of DeKalb, one of the early inventors
and manufacturers of barbed wire. 

Before the invention
of barbed wire, cattle were able to roam freely, destroying crops and creating
hazards for railroads. As a result, development of the American west was

While attending
the DeKalb County Fair in 1873 Haish saw a patented wood fence with protruding
metal barbs intended to discourage animals from breaking through the enclosure.
From this he got the idea of creating wire fence that incorporated barbs. In
1875, Haish was awarded a patent for his “S” barbed wire design. Haish started
manufacturing S barbed wire in 1874 and built a two-story factory in 1881 that
produced 30 tons of barbed wire per day. He also donated generously to the
betterment of DeKalb, contributing funds for a hospital and the public library.
Together with his barbed-wire rivals Joseph Glidden and Isaac Ellwood, he was
instrumental in bringing Northern Illinois State Normal School to DeKalb, now
Northern Illinois University.

The marker will be placed at the DeKalb
Public Library, once known as the Haish Memorial Library, located at 309 Oak
Street in DeKalb.  The dedication ceremony
will begin at 10:30 AM and the public is invited to attend.

DeKalb Area Agricultural Heritage
Association ( was formed as a local non-profit in
2010. It exists to help foster an awareness of and appreciation for the great
heritage of agricultural innovation that has made this area of Illinois the “Silicon
Valley” of game-changing ag technology. This marker represents the seventh in a
series of markers that DAAHA is developing under the auspices of the Illinois
State Historical Society’s historical marker program to recognize these great
achievements. “Given the very significant economic impact of barbed wire
nationally, it is fitting that this marker recognizes the contributions of Jacob
Haish as a major milestone in ag innovation. A project like this requires the
support, hard work and sustained efforts of a number of individuals and
entities. It is gratifying to see these efforts coming together in a way that will
benefit our community for years to come,” said DAAHA board president, Norm
Larson.  “We are particularly
appreciative of support for this project from more than 15 generous donors who
provided funds for this marker, as well as the Illinois State Historical
Society, the board of the DeKalb Public Library, the City of DeKalb, and members
of the DAAHA marker committee, whose cooperation made this marker possible.”
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