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Shem Zook (1798-1880), the youngest son of John Zook (1748-1804) and Fannie Yoder, was born 26 September 1798, in Mifflin County, PA. He was an alert Amish Mennonite layman, active as a writer, historian, and publisher during the middle of the 19th century. He married Veronica Yoder (d. 1874) and was the father of ten children. In 1849 he published a German edition of the Martyrs' Mirror, printed on the press of King and Baird, Philadelphia, PA. He contributed articles to several books and periodicals, including "Ornish Mennonites" in I. Daniel Rupp's History of Religious Denominations (Philadelphia, 1844) 560-61, and "Amish, Ornish or Hooker Mennonites," in the Lewisburg Chronicle (6 November 1850). A letter signed by Shem and David Zook concerning the origin of the Amish sect appears in the Register of Pennsylvania VII, No. 11 (12 March 1831) 162. Another short history of the Mennonites and Amish written by Shem Zook, entitled "Kurzgefasste Geschichte der Deutschen Täufer oder Mennoniten," appeared in Verhandlungen der Diener Versammlungen (Lancaster, 1862) 19-23. A different article "Kurzgefasste Geschichte der Mennoniten," in Ermahnungen von George Jutzi (Somerset, 1853) 329-36, was erroneously attributed to Sam. Zook. Because of his expert German penmanship Shem Zook was chosen on several occasions to serve as secretary to the Amish conferences (Diener-Versammlungen) (1862-78). He served as secretary with his son-in-law J. K. Hartzler (1838-1906) at the Amish conferences of 1863 and 1864. In 1880 he wrote and published a 31-page pamphlet, Eine Wahre Darstellung (Mattawana), an account of early Mifflin County Amish church divisions. A letter of his is published in Hertzler Genealogy (1885), 119. At the time of his death he had in his possession many documents and records, but unfortunately these were all destroyed at his home near Mattawana in the flood of 1889. He died on 17 December 1880. He is buried in the Amish Mennonite cemetery near Mattawana.


Author(s) John A Hostetler
Date Published 1959


Cite This Article

MLA style

Hostetler, John A. "Zook, Shem (1798-1880)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 22 Aug 2014. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Zook,_Shem_(1798-1880)&oldid=94004.

APA style

Hostetler, John A. (1959). Zook, Shem (1798-1880). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 22 August 2014, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Zook,_Shem_(1798-1880)&oldid=94004.




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Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 1040. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.


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