Born in 1810 in Wuertemberg, Germany, Jacob Hespeler first emigrated to the United States before reaching Preston in 1830.
During his stay in Preston, Hespeler operated a general store and founded several industries. After a failed attempt to purchase the John Erb Mill, Hespeler left Preston and moved to New Hope in 1845, where he purchased a valuable water privilege and constructed saw, flour, distillery, and woolen mills.
Hespeler was an ardent promoter of the arrival of Great Western Railway in New Hope, which served as a connection between Galt and Guelph. The settlement of New Hope became the village of Hespeler on 1 January 1859 and Jacob Hespeler served as the first reeve.
Jacob Hespeler died on 22 March 1881.
Public domain: Copyright has expired according to Canadian law. No restrictions on use.
If you would like to obtain a digital or print copy of this image, please see KPL's Photographic Reproduction Policy at http://www.kpl.org/localhistory/photographs