Jacobus, the wife of a Chicago merchant of the 1880s, was an accomplished painter of porcelain before she decided to try her hand at crafting and decorating the very first art pottery in Chicago in 1883. Her firm "Pauline Pottery" moved to Edgerton, Wisconsin in 1888. Although the move to Edgerton allowed the firm to expand, employing up to 40 people during its most active phase), the 1893 death of Pauline Jacobus' husband, businessman Oscar, and the simultaneous financial panic that spread across America that same year, doomed the struggling art pottery company. A studio phase of the pottery continued until Jacobus' rural Edgerton home, "The Bogart," was destroyed in a fire July 1911. Jacobus died decades later at a Dousman, Wisconsin, retirement home, neglected and forgotten.
Largely at the instigation of Ori-Anne Pagel, formerly an Edgerton art and antiques dealer, a large collection (over 40 pieces) of Pauline Pottery (and other Edgerton art clays) went on permanent display in a museum located in the former Edgerton 1906 train depot in August 2005. The collection is owned by the Arts Council of Edgerton, which was co-founded by Pagel. Her book about the ware, Pauline Pottery: A Pictorial Supplement to Edgerton's History in Clay, was published by the Arts Council of Edgerton in 2003. The book (which provides photos and text to supplement former Rock County Historical Society archivist Maurice J. Montgomery's earlier history of the Edgerton pottery companies, Edgerton's History in Clay) is the most complete and richest sample of illustrated Paulineware ever published.