Jacobs retires after 13 years on Madison board

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Ken Jacobs attended his final Madison Mayor and Board of Alderman meeting as Ward 3 Alderman on Tuesday after deciding not to seek re-election to the seat he has held for 13 years.

Janis Jarvis, a Republican ran unopposed to claim the Ward 3 seat Jacobs is vacating, and during Tuesday’s meeting board meeting Mayor Mary Hawkins-Butler presented a proclamation to Jacobs honoring his time with the city and declaring June 15 “his day.”  

“I decided in the last eight months that I would be retiring and not seeking re-election,” Jacobs said. “I knew the time for retirement was coming since I’m going to be 84 in November, and I also wanted to spend time with my family.” 

Jacobs was born in Madison in 1937 and graduated in 1955 from Madison-Ridgeland High School. He has lived in the city most of his life, except for a period when served in the U.S. Navy for three years before attending Ole Miss for pre-pharmacy and ultimately earning a pharmacy degree at Samford University in Birmingham in 1963.

He then moved back to Madison and took ownership of Jacobs Drug Store in 1964 with his wife, Polly Jacobs. They have three children and four grandchildren. 

Jacobs said he has enjoyed serving on the Madison Board of Alderman, and the board has worked hard together. 

“Janie Jarvis will be taking my place,” he said. “She is very oriented with the city, and I wish her the best of luck. I hope people will treat her as nicely as they did me.”

Jarvis, who has served on various city boards and has been involved in the school system and community as a Madison resident for 35 years, ran unopposed as a Republican to fill Jacobs’ Ward 3 seat.

“I’m just looking forward to seeing the downtown square being developed and being involved,” Jarvis said of her upcoming role as Ward 3 alderman. “I look forward to supporting what the mayor has in store.”

Hawkins-Butler said a few words about Jacobs’ service to the city before presenting him with the proclamation in Tuesday’s meeting.

“You have from day one served this city with respect and dignity, and it’s not going to be easy to let you go,” Hawkins-Butler said. “We know that God has more plans for you, and you came as a giver to this city.”

Ward 6 Alderman Guy Bowering said he was fortunate to meet Jacobs during his first work session and became friends with him quickly. 

“Ken, you’re a good friend, and you’ve been a great guide to me as I’ve been here,” Bowering said. “You have shown me the way here in Madison.”

Ward 1 Alderman Tawanna Tatum recalled her visits to Jacobs Drug Store. 

“I’m grateful to have you as a friend, and I have many wonderful memories of going to the drug store every afternoon to have a Coca-Cola,” Tatum said. “I will forever cherish that.”

Alderman-at-Large Sandra Strain said Jacobs will be missed and has been an asset to the Board of Aldermen. 

“We wish him nothing but the best in this next season of life for him and Mrs. Polly,” Strain said. 

Polly Jacobs said she is proud of her husband and the service provided to the city. 

“Ken has done an excellent job as an alderman and businessman in Madison,” Polly Jacobs said. “We met a lot of good Mississippi families during our time at Jacobs Drug Store. We have many happy memories, and we’ve met a lot of great people.” 


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