Jacob Beeson Jackson was born and educated in Parkersburg. He studied law with his father, John J. Jackson, Sr., a cousin of Confederate General Stonewall Jackson. He established his first law practice at St. Marys, Pleasants County, in 1852. From 1858 to 1864, Jackson served as the Pleasants County prosecuting attorney and held the same position in Wood County between 1870 and 1876. After one term in the House of Delegates, he was elected mayor of Parkersburg in 1879.
As governor, Jackson advocated improved education, re- writing the West Virginia Code, and tax reform. Taxes had been reduced during the depression of the 1870s. Under Jackson, the legislature increased taxes to support public institutions. Like his predecessors, Jackson encouraged increased immigration and the development of industry. In 1885, the capital was moved for the last time back to Charleston. In an 1877 public referendum, Charleston had been chosen over Clarksburg and Martinsburg.
Jackson returned to Parkersburg after his term as governor and died there in 1893.
Gubernatorial Papers Finding Aid (1880-1885)
West Virginia's Governors
West Virginia History Center