Buchanan County, Missouri
Biographies
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John L. 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 ancestry.
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.
Receiving his 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.
Mr. 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.
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

 

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.
Levi 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 active service.
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 board.
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

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