You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.
Mariah Zook, a woman of sorrow
Rainy Days and Starry NightsJanuary 16, 2013 | 2,948 views | Post a comment
This is Mariah’s story. Mariah was my great-grandmother and married my great-grandfather, Samuel Zook, in 1856 in Franklin County, Pa. I have tried to learn as much as I can about them. Even though they were very prosperous farmers, they experienced much sorrow.
They were of the Amish or Mennonite faith and were a part of the church called the River Brethren, or Brethren in Christ. They lived near a town called Orrstown in Pennsylvania.
They had two little girls by 1860, Anna, 3, and Sarah, 2. My great-grandfather was a successful farmer owning a lot of land. Mariah stayed at home taking care of the house and children. Late that summer, Mariah had a baby boy, named Noah. She was very happy with baby Noah. The two little girls were probably giggling and playing around the farm and wanting to help their mother with the new baby.
But then the next summer, tragedy came. The little girls got sick with a fever, and Sarah died on June 13, 1861, and Anna, the next month on July 31, 186l. Such a tragic time for Mariah, burying two little girls that summer. She focused then on the boy Noah, who was still a baby, not yet 1 year old.
The War Between the States started that year too. What a hard year that was for Mariah and Samuel. I found Samuel’s name listed in the men who were drafted on Sept. 2, 1863, in Franklin County. But I find no record of his going to fight in the war.
Many Mennonites and Amish were conscientious objectors. They were a peaceful family. Samuel Zook was also a minister and bishop of the River Brethren Church in Franklin County.
During the war, Mariah lost another little girl -- named Mary -- who died in 1866 at the age of 1. I don’t know what she died of. Mariah suffered another death of a child. By 1870, which was after the war, they had five children, Noah, 9; Catherine, 8; Aaron, 6; Fanny, 3; and Samuel, who was 1 year old. Samuel was my grandfather. He was the Samuel Zook who moved to Texas and eventually moved to Floresville and founded El Mesias Methodist Church. Mariah was his mother.
The war ended and Samuel Sr. continued farming and acquired more land. They were still living in Franklin County when a girl, Christina, was born in February 1874, but died two weeks later on Feb. 18. Mariah had buried four baby girls. In 1878, their last child, Emma, was born.
In 1879, evidently Samuel felt God calling him and his family to settle in Kansas, along with several hundred River Brethren from Pennsylvania. I found this in some history of Kansas.
“1878-1879 - A colony of several hundred (Susquehanna) River Brethren from Pennsylvania arrived in the old-time corrupt cow town of Abilene, Dickinson County, Kansas, to organize homes and fields on virgin land purchased from the Kansas Pacific Railroad. Quite a few people settled in Buckeye Township Kansas, in the spring of 1879.”
My great-grandparents were part of this group. Samuel Zook and Mariah had eight surviving children with them when they moved to Kansas in 1879.
My great-grandfather’s faith was important to him. This was in the Hutchinson Kansas Daily News, Tuesday, June 13, 1899. Abilene, Kan., June 13. “The River Brethren held their annual love feast at Zion meeting house Sunday, hundreds from all parts of central Kansas being present. Bishop Samuel Zook, who has just been made editor of the church paper, delivered the sermon and the quaint ceremony of feet washing was observed.”
But then three years after they came to Kansas, another tragedy struck the family. On the afternoon of Aug. 4, 1882, their youngest daughter, Emma, age 3, perished in a fire that destroyed several large farm buildings. So this sad mother lost five daughters to death. I am sure it was difficult for Samuel, too, but I am looking at this through the eyes of a mother. How much can a mother stand? She must have had very strong faith. I don’t know how I would cope with such tragedy! I have strong faith, but not that strong.
Mariah died in 1898, when she was 64 years old. Thank God, she never had to bury another child. That is why I call her “a woman of sorrow.”
Lois Zook Wauson is the oldest of eight children who grew up on a farm in Wilson County in the mid-20th century. After many years living in other parts of Texas, she now lives and writes in Floresville. Her two books are available from the Wilson County News office. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your Opinions and Comments
Be the first to comment on this story!
You must be logged in to post a comment.
South Texas Living Archives
Austin’s oldest museum offers daily tours (June 22, 2016)
Dine out with The ROCK (June 22, 2016)
Esparza reunion planned for July 9 (June 22, 2016)
Free guided hikes at Enchanted Rock (June 22, 2016)
Getting your hands dirty — in the garden with Iris Seale (June 22, 2016)
Men: Pay attention to your health (June 22, 2016)
Movies in the Park (June 22, 2016)
New Pioneer Playroom offers hands-on learning (June 22, 2016)
Old newspaper makes memories ‘Local and Personal’ (June 22, 2016)
Poth church to celebrate 90 years (June 22, 2016)
See Legacy of Leadership exhibit in Washington (June 22, 2016)
SS museum plans meeting (June 22, 2016)
Tips for a safe trip to the beach (June 22, 2016)
Wall pocket (June 22, 2016)
Area seniors invited to Bingo Tuesdays (June 15, 2016)
Art Walk America contest deadline is June 23 (June 15, 2016)
Attend picnic at Dewees-Remschel House June 15 (June 15, 2016)
DRT receives honors at state convention (June 15, 2016)
Hear patriotic tunes in Pleasanton (June 15, 2016)
It’s gone! The Spot is gone! (June 15, 2016)
Join WASP for summer season (June 15, 2016)
Jubilee offers fun for the whole family (June 15, 2016)
Martinez Social Club keeps you dancing (June 15, 2016)
Meet 2016 Stockdale Watermelon Jubilee, rodeo court candidates (June 15, 2016)
Moms walking group invites members (June 15, 2016)
Napoli Glass (June 15, 2016)
Oak Hills Church plans yard sale (June 15, 2016)
Ramirezes celebrate golden anniversary (June 15, 2016)
See free movies at Arcadia (June 15, 2016)
Sutherland Springs seeks volunteers (June 15, 2016)
Vendors needed for Freedom Fest (June 15, 2016)
Witness Summer Solstice performance (June 15, 2016)
Add amphibians to your landscaping (June 8, 2016)
Enjoy free summer movies at Rolling Oaks Mall (June 8, 2016)
Enjoy Pilgrim Opry (June 8, 2016)
Gene Watson in Kerrville (June 8, 2016)
Hear ‘Bach to Luckenbach’ (June 8, 2016)
Hummel plate (June 8, 2016)
June dances in Geronimo (June 8, 2016)
Meet for Play Dates in the library (June 8, 2016)
OLPH names 2016 Mother of the Year, May Queen (June 8, 2016)
Prepare to enter cool creation in Ice Cream Freeze-off (June 8, 2016)
Remember Flag Day June 14 (June 8, 2016)
Running group plans June 11 run (June 8, 2016)
St. Ann Teen ACTS plan 5K Color Run (June 8, 2016)
Take Dad out to FatherFest June 19 (June 8, 2016)
The old Wagenfuehr house in Bleu Casa Village (June 8, 2016)
Tracking an icon in the ‘horned lizard capital of Texas’ (June 8, 2016)
Building communities (June 1, 2016)
Cowboy penknife (June 1, 2016)
Garcia receives Linda West Scholarship (June 1, 2016)
Garner State Park celebrates 75 years (June 1, 2016)
Libraries prepare to launch ‘Reading Is So Delicious!’ summer program (June 1, 2016)
Lutheran Church windows relocated for a little TLC (June 1, 2016)
St. Helena Men’s Club plans picnic (June 1, 2016)
Stockdale’s early beginnings (June 1, 2016)
The progression of the classic ‘koozie’ (June 1, 2016)