John Meek

(1846- ) Ireland

By Christopher A. Meek

11. John Meek was born about 1846 in Ireland. It is not clear when he immigrated to America but he appears in the 1880 census of Chatsworth, Livingston Co., IL working as a grain dealer. He married Lucy C. Bell (Lou) before 1875. (See notes for logic on her last name.) She was born Aug 1848 in Illinois according to census records. She is listed with her son William in the 1900 census and was a widow. She was listed in the 1910 and 1920 censuses with her daughter Grace. They indicate that she had 3 children with 2 living. The 1880 census lists a servant Mary Meek age 17.

Disclaimer: This genealogy was prepared by the author using undocumented and/or unverified sources. Some facts presented here MAY NOT be correct. Never accept as factual any information you find in a library, the Internet or from other genealogist unless it is supported by documentation. Documentation DOES NOT include the undocumented genealogies of other people including those on this web site.

John Meek’s wife:
1900 census Polk Co., IA. With Wm Meek 1875
Elizabeth Bell Jan 1817 OH PA PA Relationship: unreadable+mother, probably grandmother.
1870 Fulton Co., IL Elizabeth Bell 52 OH
Lou Bell 19 IL School teacher.
1885 Sioux Co., IA census
John J. Bell 44 IL
Elizabeth Bell 67 OH
Henriette E. Swence 40 GA
1910 census Polk Co., IA Harry Davis & Grace Meek (sister of William)
Henrietta E. Sweeney, cousin, 65, GA, PA, OH

1880 IL Livingston Co., Chatsworth
Meek, John M 35 Grain dealer Ire Ire Ire
L. C. F 30 wife IL OH OH
W. D. M 5 son IL

1900 IA Polk CO DSM TWP
Meek, Wm D. male Jan 1875 25 single IL Ire IL printer 
    Lou C Fe mother Aug 1848 51 Wd 3-2 IL KY OH Bank Keeper
    Grace M. Fe sister Apr 1888 17 S IL Ire IL At school
Bell, Elizabeth Fe “Grand? Mother” Fe Jan 1817 OH PA PA
Swinuu(Sweeney), Henrietta Fe cousin Mar 1845 55 S GA ?? OH 

1910 Iowa Census, Polk Co., DSM, Ward 1, Apr 18, 1920, ED 83, Sheet 6 
35th Street 628 132 135 
Harry M. Davis, head, 30, M1, 6, IA, IA, PA 
Grace M., wife, 26, M1, 6,  2-1, IL, IRE, IL 
Virginia, daughter, 2, IA 
Lucy C. Meek, mother-in-law, 62, WD, 3-2, IL, US, OH 
Henrietta E Sweeney, cousin, 65, GA, PA, OH 
William D. Meek, brother-in-law, 36, M1, 9, IL, IRE, IL, printer, newspaper 
Carrie, sister-in-law, 33, M1, 9, 1-1, IA, IN, OH 
John Withers, nephew, 3 months, IA

1920 Iowa Census, Polk County, Precinct 3, Des Moines, Jan 12, 1920, Ward of City 1, ED 78, Sheet 14, 35 Street 628 347 367 
William D. Meek, head, own, mortgaged, 45, M, IL, Ire, IL, manager, printing shop, wages 
Carrie, wife, 42, IA, IN, MD, tutor, Quint families 
John, son, 10, IA 
Anna Shank, sister-in-law, 47, single, IA

Davis, Harry Head, M, 40, married IA PA PA
Grace wife Fe 36 married IL IA IL
Virginia dau Fe 12 S IA
Maria dau Fe 3 S IA
Meek, Lou mother Fe 71 widow IL KY KY
Sweeney, Henrietta Cousin Fe 76 Wd GA GA KY

1925 IA Polk DSM
Wm. D. Meek head M 50 Married
Caroline wife Fe 46 Married 
John son M 15 Single
Shank, Anna S-I-L Fe 53 3 

1930 IA Polk Co, DSM
Meek, William D. Head 54 M26 IL Ire Ire President printing office
Carolyn wife Fe 51 M23 IA IN OH
John son M 20 Single IA
Shank, Anna S-I-L Fe 57 S IA IN OH 

Davis, Harry Head M 50 IA OH PA
M. Grace wife M IL Ire IL
Virginia dau 22 S IA
Marcia Jean dau 13 S

Ancestry file: Sunny on John Withers Meek. 1 male child

Biographies of Those Who Came From Belfast, Ireland
p. 188

WILLIAM D. MEEK. Prominent among the well established and substantial business houses of Des Moines devoted to the craft of printing is the Success Composition and Printing Company, of which the president and treasurer is Wiliam D. Meek. Mr. Meek during a long and active career has traveled the difficult self-made road to success, having started upon his independent life when he was a child of only thirteen years. With but a limited public school education and determination to make the most of his opportunities, he faced the world courageously, and since then has met and overcome obstacles with persistence until he has reached a prominent place in the business world, and has obtained the confidence and respect of those with whom he has been associated.

Mr. Meek was born at Peoria, Illinois, January 25, 1875, and is a son of John and Lou (Bell) Meek. His father, a native of Belfast, Ireland, came to the United States as an immigrant lad at the age of fifteen years, and secured employment in a commission office at Chicago, where he was working at the time of the great Chicago fire of 1871. Following this great disaster Mr. Meek made his way to Peoria, where he was employed as an expert accountant, and died at that place about 1887 or 1888. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church, while Mrs. Meek, also now deceased, who was born on a farm near Farmington, Illinois, was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Of their three children two are now living; William D., of this review; and Mrs. H.M. Davis, of Des Moines.

William D. Meek attended public schools but when he was about thirteen years of age his father died and it was necessary for him to give up his studies and seek employment in order to contribute to a family income. He first secured work in a cracker factory, but at the age of fourteen years received his introduction to the printing business, of which he has since been a devotee. For several years after his arrival at Des Moines, in 1889, he was employed on newspapers in various capacities, and at one period in his career owned a half interest in the Shelby County Republican, which he held for two years. Eventually he entered the Success Composition and Printing Company, in which he has since worked his way upward, step by step, until he is now president and treasurer of the concern, one of the substantial enterprises of the Des Moines. This concern specializes in catalogue and book work, and has a modern and fully equipped plant at 607 Third Street. Mr. Meek is thoroughly familiar with every detail of the business, and gives his personal attention to every order, with the result that the company's patronage is constantly growing and the business is enlarging its scope and taking in new territory. Mr. Meek is a member of the Central Church of Christ, in which he belongs to the Board of Deacons. He is a Scottish Rite Mason and a member of the Knights of the Macabees, the Modern Woodmen of America and the Homesteaders. He has belonged to the Kiwanis Club for some years and for two years has been a member of the Board of Directors of that body, which he has accomplished much in a civic and commercial way for the city. He was elected to the presidency of the club in 1930.

On September 18, 1901, Mr. Meek was united in marriage with Miss Carolyn Shank, who was born and educated at Red Oak, Iowa, daughter of William Shank, and to this union has come one son: John W., born January 3, 1910, who is now a student at Grinnell College.

Originial source
Iowa Genweb - Books
Harlan, Edgar Rubey.
A Narrative History of the People of Iowa. Vol III. Chicago: American Historical Society, 1931