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Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania published in 1904 by T. S. Benham & Company and The Lewis Publishing Company; Elwood Roberts, Editor.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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JACOB ACUFF, son of David and Margaret (Scheets) Acuff, for many years the landlord of the William Penn Hotel at Gwynedd, was born there June 2, 1817, and died there October 2, 1898.

Jacob Acuff was educated in the pay schools of the vicinity until his sixteenth year, when his father required him to engage in the more active pursuits of farming and assisting in the management of the hotel. For a time he was absent from home, being with a sister whose husband was engaged in the hotel business in Philadelphia, and with whom he spent several years. Returning to Gwynedd, he entered into life at the hotel. He married, February 20, 1849, Elizabeth, daughter of Abraham and Sarah (Baker) Rhoads, born November 5, 1823. The Rhoads family were among the earliest settlers of that section of Montgomery county, and are related to the Jenkins, Castner and other old families of the vicinity. After his marriage the couple took up their residence at the hotel and conducted it until 1874, when he retired to the farm house adjoining the hotel, having rented the hotel privileges to other parties. In 1877 his oldest son David having married, he succeeded his parents in the management of the farm. Jacob Acuff again took possession of the hotel, where he remained until 1882, when he built a house adjoining the hotel, where he lived the remainder of his life, and where his widow still resides. Jacob Acuff, in 1847, in conjunction with his brother, Justus and Charles Loeser, purchased the hotel and farm for the sum of $12,000, Jacob Acuff eventually succeeding to the possession of it.

The children of Jacob and Elizabeth (Rhoads) Acuff: David, born February 24, 1851, attended Friends’ School at Gwynedd, and also the public schools of Gwynedd township, and later the Lewisburg Institute, now known as Bucknell University, until his eighteenth year, after which he returned to his home and engaged in work on the farm. He married, April 12, 1877, Emma, daughter of Ezekiel and Hannah (Meredith) Shoemaker, who resided near Norristown, and settled on the homestead, where David remained until March, 1899, when he retired to the home of his widowed mother, with whom he now lives, his wife having died many years ago, leaving no children. In politics he is a Republican, and has been for some years tax collector of Lower Gwynedd township; Annie Rhoads, born December 15, 1856, attended Friends’ school at Gwynedd, and Swarthmore College, and married, April 13, 1872, Dr. Moses R., son of A. Phelps and Mary (Worrall) Knapp, they having one child, Kenneth Rudolph, born April 3, 1890, and residing on a property adjoining the hotel at Gwynedd; Mary, born May 23, 1858, died November 27, 1859; Justus, born July 13, 1861, attended the Friends’ school at Gwynedd, and Sunnyside Academy at Ambler, engaged with W. J. Buck & Sons, manufacturers of gas fixtures in Philadelphia, in 1874, with whom he was employed for ten years, when he engaged with the American Gas Fixture Company at Race and Broad streets, Philadelphia, with whom he still remains; married December 30, 1897, Hannah, daughter of John and Barbara (Jeffries) Melcher, of Philadelphia, where Mr. and Mrs. Acuff reside; George Collyer, born January 22, 1867, died March 15, 1869. David Acuff (father of Jacob Acuff) was the son of Jacob and Mary (Ulrich) Acuff. He was born in Upper Dublin township, on a farm at that time managed by his parents. He received an ordinary education, and married Margaret Scheetz, belonging to an old family long settled in that section of Montgomery county, her parents being residents of Whitemarsh township. Their children: Annie, married Elias Cleaver; Justus; Mary, married Charles Loeser; Jacob, subject of this sketch; Emily, William, Cynthia and Jones. David Acuff followed farming for a livelihood for a time, and when quite a young man became the proprietor of the hotel at Springhouse, which he conducted very successfully, and later took the hotel at Gwynedd, afterwards conducted for so many years by himself and his son Jacob.

Abraham Rhoads, father of Mrs. Jacob Acuff, was the son of Jacob and Ann (Morris) Rhoads, of Norriton township. They owned a farm which is now included in the tract with forms the site of the State Hospital for the Insane at Norristown, Pennsylvania. The children of Abram and Sarah Rhoads: Jacob Baker, born June 20, 1820, married Ann Jenkins; Elizabeth, widow of Jacob Acuff; Annie. born March 5, 1827, died 1857, married George Collyer; Samuel, Joseph, Morris, Issachar, Catharine, Ellen and Ezekiel. Abraham Rhoads was born December 4, 1782, and died November 22, 1866. His wife, Sarah Rhoads, died April 3, 1840. Ann, mother of Abraham Rhoads, and grandmother of Elizabeth Acuff, died March 16, 1839.

Jacob Acuff was an active Whig in politics, and later a Republican. The family were all efficient workers in the ranks of the party. Jacob Acuff was for many years a member of the board of school directors of Gwynedd township, and served faithfully the interests of education. As a hotel proprietor he was a model of what a man should be in such a position. Under his management it was famed as a place where travelers could always find the most ample provision for their needs. Mrs. Acuff was a notable landlady, and ably seconded the efforts of her husband to maintain the hotel in proper condition and to keep up the high reputation which it enjoyed.

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This family biography is one of more than 1,000 biographies included in the Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania published in 1904 by T. S. Benham & Company and The Lewis Publishing Company.  For the complete description, click here: Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

View additional Montgomery County, Pennsylvania family biographies here: Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Biographies

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