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Obituary - Johann Seigmund Martin (Isaac) JACOBSEN

On Saturday morning Mr. I.S.M. Jacobsen one of the pioneers of this country passed away at the ripe old age of 84 years. He arrived in Nelson from Hamburgh where he was born, in the German ship St Pauli in 1842. His father was an inspector of fire police in Hamburgh and as a reward for some deed of merit, his son, the late Mr. I. S. M. Jacobsen was placed in the position of receiving a splendid education. He served his time as a civil engineer and architect with the Hamburgh Harbour Board, and with a view to gaining wider experience set about to various parts of the world.

On arriving at Nelson, however, he decided to settle here and with this now fast diminishing band of pioneers, he endured the hardships of life in the settlement in the early days. On one occasion, when famine threatened, the late Mr. Jacobsen built a large open boat, and proceeded to Wellington for a cargo of flour, which was, on his return, largely sought after by the settlers. The flour bags, in fact, were converted into clothing for some of the women and children. He also built, near Campbell's old mill, a vessel called the Maria Josephine, which afterwards became a regular trader between Nelson and Lyttelton. From the early days he followed the occupation of a contractor, and he built, among other places, the old Nelson Boys' College, Mr. Richmond's house at the Cliffs, and "Newstead", the present residence of Mrs. Renwick.

For some years Mr Jacobsen resided in Christchurch, where he built many fine buildings, and he is credited with designing the original scheme for the drainage of the City of the Plains. Finding that the climate of the southern city did not suit his health, he returned to the Nelson district, settling in Takaka where he became interested in mining matters.

From experiments made he claimed to have extracted gold from the large deposits at Anatoki, now known as the Hidden Treasure Mine. He also claimed to be a pioneer of the eight hours system in the Colony, and that his claim was recognised is shown by the fact that he, not long ago, was asked by one of the labor organisations in Melbourne to forward his photograph, in order that it might be hung along with the photographs of other prominent leaders of labor affairs.

One son, Mr. Theo Jacobsen, architect, of Auckland, and three daughters (Mrs. Duval, of London, Mrs. Keoghan and Mrs. Haines, both of Takaka) survive their father, whose wife predeceased him some years ago.

It is not so many years ago that the late Mr. Jacobsen walked from Christchurch to Nelson, a remarkable feat for an old man. Although he has been in ill-health for some time, his death was unexpected, and will be learned with regret by his relatives and friends.

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