Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society
History Quarterly Digital Archives

Source: July 1994 Volume 32 Number 3, Pages 127–128

Notes and Comments

Page 127


Brigadier General Samuel K. Zook

Last summer we received an inquiry from Albert Gambone, of Woodbury, Conn, in connection with a book he is writing, a biography of General Samuel Zook. (The book will be published next spring by the Butternut and Blue Press in Baltimore.)

"In particular," he wrote in part, "I am trying to pinpoint the home where General Zook was born. All indicators point to Tredyffrin but quite frankly, I have no proof. We have scoured the files of the Historical Society of Montgomery County and Chester County, along with the records and books of the Mennonite Church and [its] history. None of these is able to clarify his birthplace though some erroneously indicate he was born in his grandparents home (Moritz) in [then] Whiteland Township. Any information and substantiation that you can provide proving his birthplace would be of immense help. This is my most pressing need and I hope that you will be able to uncover some related documents."

Although we relayed some material to him, our search for this particular information was equally fruitless -- until Herb Fry's presentation this April on the Thomas Nursery and his casual reference to the fact that the property Charles Thomas bought in 1828 [see pages 85 and 86] was formerly the home of David Zook, the father of the future general, and Samuel Zook's birthplace! You can imagine Mr. Gambone's delight when we forwarded this information, first by telephone and then in a letter, to him.

Page 128

"At about the age of eight," Gambone wrote in the Fall 1993 Bulletin of the Historical Society of Montgomery County, "[Samuel] Zook's parents, David and Eleanor, moved to Port Kennedy and purchased a home that still stands and now serves as the Park Ranger Quarters at Valley Forge National Park. Educated in public schools, Zook later became active in the local militia, where he received his only military experience. As a young man he became involved in the early telegraph industry, where he developed an impressive reputation for his technical abilities and developments. In 1851, he moved to New York City in search of broader horizons and [again] joined the militia. When Lincoln called for 75,000 troops at the beginning of the Civil War, Zook raised the Fifty-seventh New York Volunteers and entered the Union Army as a Colonel. He rapidly distinguished himself as an intrepid fighter and won the respect of his men and adversaries. In December of 1862, at the battle of Fredericksburg, Zook and his men fought with such valor that he won promotion to Brigadier General, Third Brigade, First Division, Second Corps. After the battles of Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, his next major battle was Gettysburg, in the first three days of July, 1863. There, not more than 100 miles from his boyhood home, General Zook was mortally wounded on the 2nd of July. He died on July 3rd." [Reprinted with permission.]

Zook was later breveted Major General, USV, posthumously.


Conestoga High School Cited for "Overall Excellence"

Conestoga High School was one of 134 high schools in the country recently recognized by Redbook magazine in its list of "Best Schools in America".

Selecting the outstanding schools was a year-long process, with the ones selected, an editor of the magazine noted, all having "a curriculum which challenges, teachers who inspire, involved parents and community members, the latest in computer and video technology, many extracurricular activities and community service projects, a strong principal who innovates, and positive competition among students".

In announcing the selection of Conestoga for "overall excellence", Ellen Levine, the editor-in-chief, wrote, "Your school was identified for its innovative and successful programs, as well as its impressive commitment to excellenbce."

The award is the latest in a long tradition of local, state, and national recognition for Conestoga, including its early national recognition for excellence by the U. S. Department of Education in 1984.


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