John Meek

Born 1841 in Ireland

By Christopher A. Meek

101. 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.

  • 101. William D. Meek was born Jan 1875 in Illinois. He was listed in the 1895 census of Polk Co., IA. He was listed in the 1900 census of Polk Co., IA living with his mother and sister. He married Carolyn E. Shank (Carrie) in 1901 according to census records. She was born June 1877 in Red Oak, Montgomery County, Iowa. Her father was William Shank of Red Oak, IA. They were listed in the 1910 census with his sister Grace. They were listed in the 1920 and 1930 censuses of Polk Co., IA. Her sister Anna was listed with them. In all census records William is listed as a printer and eventually owned the Meek Printing Company in Des Moines.
    • 201. John Withers Meek was born 3 Jan 1910 in Iowa. He died 1 Dec 1996 in Des Moines, IA. He was listed as single in the 1930 census where he was listed with his parents. He attended Grinnell College. He married Pauline Dorothy Zipfel 16 Jun 1931 according to She was born 25 Jan 1907. She died 04 Nov 1990 in Des Moines. Her parents were Joseph Samuel Zipfel and Elsie Pauline Howes. John’s Social Security Number: 478-10-5239.
      • 301. William Joseph Meek married Dian L. Dobson.
        • 401. David William Meek
        • 402. Female Meek
        • 403. Female Meek
  • 102. Grace M. Meek was born Apr 1883 in Illinois. She was listed with her brother William in the 1900 census and was single. She married Harry M. Davis. He was born about 1880 in Iowa. They were listed in the 1910 through 1930 censuses of Polk Co., IA.
    • 211. Virginia Davis was born about 1908 in Iowa.
    • 212. Marcia Jean Davis was born about 1917 in Iowa.
  • 103. Child Meek died young

See A Narrative History of the People of Iowa. Vol III. Chicago: American Historical Society, 1931 p. 188

Information from Sunny (Sonja Stribling) Seitz

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

From Sunny Seitz Very interesting! You are the first person I've had contact with who is researching a surname in general, rather than just their personal genealogy. I am happy to share what I know about John Withers Meek. As you know, he too lived in Des Moines and John and his wife Pauline Dorothy (Toodie Meek ran Meek Printing. Toodie, as she was nicknamed, was my dad's first cousin. Her mother was my grandmother's older sister. I know nothing of how John Withers Meek came to be in Des Moines. I do know that Toodie's father was a salesman who was transferred from Omaha, NE to Des Moines which is where she met John.

Toodie passed away in 1990. John passed away in 1996. They had one son, William Joseph Meek. I knew him as "Billy Joe" however, he uses his middle name now I believe. William Joseph Meek and his wife Dian Dobson Meek have three children, two girls and one boy who is named David William Meek. I have this information because in the research I am doing I am following not only my direct line back but collateral lines as I find them and verify them. To the best of my knowledge, Joe and Dian still live in Des Moines, IA although I do not have contact information for them. I saw John just shortly before he passed away, but I have not seen William Joseph since he was a teenager and I was probably 10 or 11. I am 69 now, so it's been a long time since I've had contact with them.

I hope this information helps you.

Sunny Seitz
Malvern, IA