Zeidler; A man of prominence and recognized ability, John L.
Zeidler, of St. Joseph, has ever taken an active and intelligent interest
in local affairs, and his influence for good has been felt in nearly all
of the progressive movements for the betterment of city and county. A son
of John Zeidler, he was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, of German
John Zeidler was born in the Town of Selb, Bavaria, Germany,
where his parents were life-long residents. Three of his brothers
immigrated to America, Christian settling first in Poughkeepsie, New York,
but later settling in Scranton, Pennsylvania, as did the other two
brothers, Oswald and Loreny. John Zeidler was reared and educated in the
Fatherland, and there served an apprenticeship at the baker's trade.
Embarking on a sailing vessel he landed in New York after a long and
tedious voyage of 103 days. He first found work on the Erie Canal, and
later was engaged in lumbering in the forests of New York. In 1853 he went
to Scranton, Pennsylvania, then a small city, and was there for a time
employed in a sawmill. Establishing himself then in the bakery business he
was very successful, and after a few years opened a hotel in a brick
building in Scranton. He subsequently conducted both a hotel and the
bakery, continuing in active business until his death.
The maiden name
of the wife of John Zeidler was Maria Bechtold. She was born in
Zweibrucken, Hesse Darmstadt, Germany. Her father, John Bechtold, was born
in the same locality. In 1800 he came to America as a young man, and for a
time was employed on the Erie Canal. Going then to Pittston, Pennsylvania,
he found work in the Butler mine, which was the first mine to ship
anthracite coal, and was foreman in the mine for upwards of forty years.
He lived to the remarkable age of 105 years, retaining his mental
faculties and good health until the last, and passing away after an
illness of three days. He was three times married, and reared three
families. John Zeidler and his wife reared five children, as follows:
Maria, Wilhelmina, John L., Margaret, and Emma.
preliminary education in private schools, John L. Zeidler was fitted for
college at Hoboken Academy, and later entered Mihlenberg College, in
Allentown, Pennsylvania, but as he had decided not to engage in any
profession he did not complete the course of study at that institution.
Instead of being graduated, Mr. Zeidler left college and a good home and
in 1878 started westward in search of fame and fortune. At Kansas City he
hired out to go South with a herd of cattle, and in that capacity made
several drives over the trail to Dodge City, Kansas, where the cattle were
shipped West. A year later he returned and taking up his residence in St.
Joseph, Mr. Zeidler has been actively interested in the welfare of his
adopted city. In 1888 he visited his old home in Scranton, and there first
saw street cars operated by electricity. On his return he called the
attention of the president of the St. Joseph Street Railway Company to it,
with the result that the system of this city was changed from horses to
electricity. At that time the trolley wheel ran on top of the rail, each
car carrying a detached pole with which to shift the wheel whenever
necessary to do so. It was in the car barns at St. Joseph that the wheel
under the wire was devised.
Mr. Zeidler was one of the first to talk of
interurban, and to interest parties willing to build if a franchise could
be obtained. He labored hard to secure the franchise, and the promoters
then went to Indianapolis, where they established one of the greatest
interurban systems of the world. For years Mr. Zeidler has talked and
worked for good roads in Missouri, and was a member of the driving club
that built the boulevard. He is a member of the Interstate Trail
Association, of the Hannibal and St. Joseph Cross State Highway
Association, and represents Buchanan County as a member of the executive
committee of the Hannibal and St. Joseph Highway Association.
Zeidler married, in, 1885, Josephine Wagner, who was born in Wilkes-Barre,
Pennsylvania. On coming to America her parents settled in Pennsylvania,
where the death of Mr. Wagner occurred, Mrs. Wagner, who survived him,
passing away in Missouri. Fraternally Mr. Zeidler is a member of the
Scranton Lodge, No. 345, Ancient Free and Accepted Order of Masons; of St.
Joseph Lodge, No. 40, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks; and of St.
Joseph Aerie, No. 49, Fraternal Order of Eagles.
History of Northwest Missouri Volume III; publ. 1915 in III Volumes;
Edited by Walter Williams; Submitted to Genealogy Trails and transcribed
by Andrea Stawski Pack
Charles D. Zook; As a
merchant and banker Mr. Zook has been identified with Oregon most of his
life. He has been successful in business to the degree that he is now
rated as one of the wealthiest men in Holt County. In many ways he has
shown his public spirit in community affairs, and as a banker and lender
of money has often assisted individuals in their struggles to gain a home.
It is only expressing one phase of his general local reputation to say
that Charley Zook, as he is familiarly called by his friends, has never
yet foreclosed a mortgage. While Mr. Zook does business on thorough
business principles, he has at the same time endeared himself to many
personal friends by his aid to them when they needed assistance. His
father and uncle were pioneers in business affairs in Northwest Missouri,
and few names have more important associations with large business and
financial management in this section of the state than Zook.
father of Charles D., came from Marion County, Ohio, to Northwest Missouri
in 1842, only five years after the Platte Purchase. He possessed a fair
education, but most of it was acquired as a result of his individual
study. Levi Zook was the son of G. F. and Annie (Forney) Zook. In 1850
Levi Zook engaged in the general merchandise business with his brother
William, who a number of years later died in St. Joseph, Missouri. At the
end of five years Levi Zook retired from the firm, owing to poor health,
and later went into business with Hiram Patterson for six years under the
name of Zook & Patterson. From 1857 until 1861 their establishment was
located at Forest City, Missouri, then moving to Mills County, Iowa, where
they closed out in 1862. In 1864 he reopened business in Oregon, with
Jonas Lehmar, and business was continued until 1869. In 1867 Levi Zook
opened a private bank, the first financial institution in Holt County.
This bank had its quarters in the front end of the store, and was
conducted as Zook & Scott, bankers. Levi Zook again retired on account
of poor health, and on re-entering banking business was associated with
Robert Montgomery, under the name Zook & Montgomery. The firm
dissolved in 1875. In 1881 Levi Zook superintended the construction of
the courthouse at Oregon.
He was a man of great business ability,
possessed a judgment and character which made him a leader in every
community, and left an honored name. During the war he was a strong Union
man, assisted in raising volunteers, though his own health did not permit
He was affiliated with Forest City Lodge No. 214, A. F.
& A. M., and was an active member of the Presbyterian Church. Levi
Zook was in business at Kansas City from 1885 to 1890, and since that time
has been chiefly identified with his banking business at Oregon. This is
one of the oldest banking institutions of Northwest Missouri, and under
his individual management has in many ways proved its service and its
standing in the county. The bank is now conducted under the name of Zook
& Roecker, with Mr. Zook as president. Its cashier for many years was
the late Albert Roecker, one of the prominent men of Holt County. Beside
his position as a banker, Mr. Zook is one of the principal stockholders in
the wholesale dry goods business at Omaha conducted under the name Byrne
& Hanmer Dry Goods Company.
Mr. Zook was married February 19, 1884,
to Emma Curry, daughter of James and Alary M. Curry. They have one
daughter, Mary, the wife of Dr. S. B. Hibbard of Kansas City. In politics
Air. Zook is a democrat, but his activities have never been in seeking
office for himself, but always for the benefit of the party organization
and for local betterment. He was on the democratic state committee one
term, and has found many opportunities to exercise his business prominence
for the good of his home locality. In 1911 Mr. Zook was appointed
superintendent of the rebuilding of the Holt County Courthouse, a work
that was accomplished in a thoroughly creditable manner, to the
satisfaction of the County Court and the public in general. His broad
interest in public affairs has found a special subject in the public
schools, and for a number of years he served as member of the school
Source: A History of Northwest Missouri Volume III;
publ. 1915 in III Volumes; Edited by Walter Williams; Submitted to
Genealogy Trails and transcribed by Andrea Stawski Pack
Buchanan County, Missouri Genealogy Trails
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