Jacob Wilson Aderhold was the son of German immigrant John George Aderhold and Margareth Hasselberger, of North Carolina. He was the youngest of their nine children, and was born on November 28, 1825, in Georgia. Aderhold spent his early years in and around Macon,, GA. Under the name of Wilson J. Aderhold, he enlisted, at the age of 20, as a Private in the Georgia regiment of Volunteers for the Mexican War, his service in the company earned him a fine military record.
Upon his return to Macon, Jacob and Miss Harriet Jane Wagnon, were married on June 1, 1848. They moved to the town of Godfrey in Bibb County, Georgia, where Jacob listed his occupation as "sportsman" in the 1860 census. Although they lost a child in 1850, they had a son, Henry, in 1854.
On March 15, 1861, Jacob organized Company A, 1st Battalion Georgia Infantry for the Confederate Army at Macon, with himself as Captain. He was promoted to Major on November 18, 1862, then two days later to Lieutenant Colonel. He served until the end of the war and was awarded a badge of honor for his bravery.
Jacob returned to his family in Bibb County where he and Harriet had a daughter Ella. Around 1880, after failing in business, Jacob and Harriet moved to Kissimmee; then part of Orange County, Florida. Harriet died on October 2, 1883. Two years after her death on September 8, 1885, sixty year old Jacob wed twenty year old Mary J. Cross, a native of Macon, Georgia. They had four children together, the last born when Jacob was 73 years old.
It is reported that as an early settler his house on Park, between Main and Aderhold was the second built in Kissimmee. When Kissimmee had grown to a population of several hundred, Jacob erected a hotel, however it was engulfed in flames and destroyed in 1883. Jacob next embarked in a drug business under the name of Aderhold and Burley. He also served as a notary public in the firm of Aderhold and Johnston, real estate agents. When Osceola became a County in 1887, he was appointed Supervisor of Registration by the Governor.
Jacob Aderhold was a leader in the growth and development of Kissimmee, serving two seperate times as Mayor in 1891-1892 and again from 1900-1906. Sadly, Jacob's health began to fail when he was 81, so in 1907 he applied for and received a pension for his Confederate service. Suffering from Bright’s disease and a cancerous growth on his face, Jacob left Kissimmee in August of 1909 to live with his daughter in Tampa. Upon his death on April 3, 1911, Jacob was the only remaining charter member of the Friendship Lodge No. 10 of the Knights of Pythias of Kissimmee. His obituary describes his passing, “Because of his interest and encouragement in building the Osceola County seat, he has been called ‘The Father of Kissimmee’. “ His remains were met at the station by a large number of members of the Knights of Pythias and laid to rest in Rose Hill Cemetery, “in the presence of a large concourse of sorrowing friends.”
Sources: “Kissimmee Valley Gazette”; Ancestry.com
Photo Courtesy: Ancestry.com