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Posted By: Annette Lucas (email)
Date: 5/24/2021 at 08:27:23

SOURCE: History of Black Hawk County Iowa, And Its People. Vol. I. The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1915

J. A. Zook is senior partner in the firm of Zook & Bentz, proprietors of the oldest plumbing establishment in Waterloo, and a life of industry, continuous and intelligently directed, has brought to him a substantial measure of prosperity. He was born in Jackson county, Iowa, April 13, 1861, a son of Jacob and Elizabeth (Goodwin) Zook, who came to this state from Indiana about 1854. The father purchased a farm ten miles from Maquoketa, residing thereon until about 1882, when he removed to Cedar county, where his death occurred a decade later, or in 1892, when he had reached the age of seventy-six years. His wife passed away in 1903, at the advanced age of eighty-one years.

J. A. Zook spent his boyhood days in his parents home and during that period attended the public schools in the acquirement of that education which has been the basis of his subsequent business advancement. When about eighteen years of age he went to work in a hardware store in Tripoli, Iowa, and in 1882 made his way to Winnipeg, Canada, where he again found employment in a hardware establishment. While thus engaged he took up the plumber's trade, dividing his time between the store and work at the trade for a year or more. Later he returned to Iowa, settling in Cherokee, where he continued work at the hardware business and also at the plumber's trade, remaining in that city for five years. On the expiration of that period he came to Waterloo in 1890 and entered the employ of the Cutler Hardware Company, with which he remained for three years. In February, 1893, he embarked in the plumbing business on his own account and for two years operated independently. In 1895 he formed a partnership with George L. Wilber, organizing the firm of Zook & Wilber and a year later Charles K. Bentz became one of the owners of the business, buying out the interest of Mr. Wilber. Since that time the firm of Zook & Bentz has conducted the leading plumbing establishment of Waterloo, with a business that in volume and importance exceeds all others.

In 1884 Mr. Zook married Miss Nellie A. Monty, of Allison, Iowa, by whom he has six children, as follows: Beatrice, who is the wife of Dr. R. D. Tiffany, of Hollywood, California ; Marguerite, at home ; Earl, engaged in the insurance business, who is also at home; and Irene, Robert and Jack, who are likewise yet under the parental roof. Irene and Robert are high-school students, while Jack is in the grammar school.

Mr. Zook exercises his right of franchise in support of the men and measures of the republican party but the honors and emoluments of office have had no attraction for him, as he has always preferred to devote his attention to his business affairs. Fraternally Mr. Zook is connected with Waterloo Lodge, No. 105, A. F. & A. M. ; Waterloo Chapter, No. 52, R. A. M. ; Ascalon Commandery. No. 25, K. T. ; and Helmet Lodge of the Knights of Pythias. In these organizations he is well known and his worth is just as widely recognized in business circles and in social relations.


Jackson Biographies maintained by Lynn McCleary.
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