WHILE its admirable location was a great factor in
making Cincinnati a large city, a far greater percentage of our
prosperity can be justly attributed to the thrift, perseverance, and
integrity of the business and moral life of the men and women who have
formed the character of the place. To no particular class or nationality
can the chief praise be allotted, but all, as a whole, have accomplished
what we have been so proud of.
From all quarters of the globe have come the
strangers desirous of making this their future home, and of this number
was Jacob Netter, who was born in Alsace, then a part of France, during
the days of the great Napoleon (1814), and came to Cincinnati in 1833,
or near that time, when a young man. The dearest ties of home and home
associations had been left behind, every thing sacred given up, that the
greater chances for success and fortune the new world. presented might
It was the old, old story—a poor young man in a
strange country, his fortune being an indomitable will, controlled by
the one great incentive to action—the achievement of honorable success
in the mercantile world.. From that hour America was his land, and he
knew not nor acknowledged any other home.
Believing that God helps those who help
themselves, Jacob Netter, on arriving in Cincinnati, went right to work.
No labor which was honest did he refuse to perform; he knew that he must
carve out his own fortune, and with strong hand and stout heart he
commenced his task, and before many years up sprang the great firm of
Kuhn, Netter & Co., which, for a long time, was one of the strong
commercial houses of the country.
In the year 1845 Mr. Netter was married to Miss
Amelia Kuhn, which union was to be of the happiest character, and
destined to last for more than a quarter of a century. The wife knew
that the husband was working hard for success, and with cheerfulness
joined in the great battle, always being thankful for the many favors
they received in return for their toil.
This era of happiness was brought to a close on
the 9th of June, 1873, by the death of the estimable wife, who died
while visiting Europe. The blow was a sad one, indeed, to that happy
family; the first cloud of sorrow had darkened the horizon, the many
years of joy had been clouded by the death of the loving wife and
devoted mother; and in just a little less than two years afterwards, on
February 5, 1875, the husband and father, Jacob Netter, also crossed
over the dark valley, leaving behind a host of friends and relatives,
who will long cherish the exalted virtues and quiet charities of this
excellent man and wife.
In the later years of his life, having accumulated
a vast fortune, Mr. Netter retired from mercantile business, and, with
Jacob Seasongood, opened a private bank, which has always been
considered one of the stanchest and wealthiest of our financial
It can well be said of Mr. Netter and his wife,
that no one ever came to their door hungry, and they fed them not; or
naked, and they did not clothe them. Their very natures believed in
doing good, a. service they performed in their own quiet way, and for
which they are now receiving their rewards.
Four children of this excellent couple survive—two
daughters, Mrs. Charles Mayer, and Mrs. Adolph J. Seasongood; and two
sons, Gabriel and Albert Netter, our well-known bankers.