Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Letters

October 9, 2013

Oct. 9, 2013: Letters to the editor

(Continued)

Following the completion of these projects and when his last term expired, Jacob Off refused to be a candidate for commissioner again and devoted the remainder of his years to his farm operation. In 1893, he lost his barn to fire, and in that same year he built a new one measuring 42 feet by 84 feet, with a gray slate roof and his name and the year of construction spelled out in red slates. The crossbeams were hand-hewn of 42-foot long, solid logs without a splice, and there were 30 large ventilators in the walls to keep the hay from becoming too hot.

Later that same year his house burned down, so when the barn was finished he began to erect a new home. He built a tall, rambling Victorian-style structure of frame construction and a slate roof, six rooms down and seven rooms up, with a two-room root cellar beneath and a large attic over the entire house.

As many as seven farmhands helped Jacob Off work the land, fencing, ditching, planting, tending livestock, even working an extensive orchard, and his land was always highly productive. Following two years of declining health, he died on Jan. 25, 1916, leaving a large estate to his family and naming the Farmers Loan and Trust Co. as executors. His funeral was held at the house, after which his body was sent from Tipton to Indianapolis in a special train car, where it was interred in Section 5 of the huge Crown Hill Cemetery.

Today his house and barn are no longer standing, but the land still is in possession of his descendants. The family of Jacob G. Off is well represented in and around the Tipton area.

Jeff Hatton

Greentown

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