|Other People | Frank J. Bradley | Olive Rambo Cook | Jerry Litton ||
Past and Present of Livingston County
Volume 2. Biographies
by Major A. J. Roof. 1913
In a history of any community certain names stand forth preeminent because their owners have made them honorable and worthy by beneficial and useful accomplishments. Livingston county's list of name, which since pioneer times have been borne by able, upright and straightforward men, who have been factors in the general growth, upbuilding and development, contains none more deserving of special mention than that of Hooker, which has stood for over sixty-seven years as a synonym for integrity in business, loyalty in citizenship and trustworthiness in all the relations of life. The present representative of the name, Zachariah Taylor Hooker, is a native son of the county and has devoted practically all of his life to farming interests here. He inherits the traditions and character of his father, Solomon R. Hooker, who came as a pioneer into the section and who during more than half a century gave to Livingston county the best energies and efforts of his life. He came of a family well known in recent years, his cousin being Gen. Joseph Hooker, of military fame. Solomon Hooker A, as a son of John Hooker, of English and Scotch descent, who came from his native Scotland, settling in Windham county, Vermont, where the father of our subject was born November 20, 1805. He was reared in that locality and when still a child worked in a bleaching factory there, afterward becoming identified with the hotel business in Boston, where he remained for a number of years. Later he returned to his old home in Londonderry, Vermont, where he purchased a tract of land and engaged in farming. In 1830 he married Miss Rebecca Parks and soon afterward they moved to Tazewell county, Illinois, where in the following summer his young wife passed away. Solomon Hooker returned to Vermont but after a short stay moved to Ohio, where he married, in 1838, Miss Lucinda M. Webber, a daughter of John and Hanna Webber and a lineal descendant of William of Holland. She was a woman of broad culture and excellent education, being especially wel1 versed in the scriptures, which she made the guide and rule of her life. Previous to her marriage she taught in various public schools throughout the state. In June, 1839, Mr. and Mrs. Hooker made their settlement in Livingston county, locating four miles north of Chillicothe, and in 1840 Solomon R. Hooker and his brother-in-law erected the first frame dwelling in Chillicothe. They remained there until the Spring of 1850, when Mr. Hooker sold his property with the intention of making his home in California. Reports of an epidemic of cholera in that state, however, influenced him in abandoning his project and he determined to remain in Missouri. Accordingly, he purchased land four miles north of his former farm and cultivated and improved it along progressive lines until his death. He was a man of great determination and force of character, of wide charity and effective public spirit, always ready to do his part in public life and never seeking to evade any obligation which devolved upon him. For fifteen years before the breaking out of the Civil war he was postmaster of Grassy Creek but his political views were finally the cause of his removal from office. On the night of June 17, 1863, his house was burned by a band of outlaws and he himself was shot. He died February 4. 1879, as a result of the wound. His wife, who was a native of Hampshire county, Massachusetts, born November 20, 1815, survived him three years, dying February 11, 1882. They had five children George W.; John E., who has passed away; Zachariah Taylor, of this review, Hattie E., deceased, the wife of William T. Harper; and Henry, who died in infancy. All the children who survive live upon the homestead. George W. has made two trips to the John E. Hooker made a journey to Montana in the spring of 1864 and there contracted mountain fever, dying September 15, of the same year. He was buried near Nevada City, Montana. On the maternal side this family is of Revolutionary stock, Mrs. Lucinda M. Hooker's uncle, Colonel Webber, having been killed in the battle of Bunker Hill.
Zachariah Taylor Hooker acquired his education chiefly in the district schools but attended for a while private school in Chillicothe and the State Normal at Kirksville, an institution which he left at the age of twenty-eight years, During the time he was pursuing his studies he aided his father with the work of the farm and he afterward taught for two years in the schools of the vicinity. However, on account of the need for his services in the management of the homestead he gave up his professional career and has spent practically all of his time engaged in farming. In partnership with his brother, George W., he is the owner of four hundred and nineteen acres on section 19, Cream Ridge township, which, owing to his progressive and practical methods and his unremitting industry, is one of the finest farms in this locality. The work of development has been steadily carried forward through the years, the buildings have been remodeled and new ones erected and everything about the place is kept in excellent condition, reflecting Mr. Hooker's care and supervision. He engages in general farming and stock-raising and is well known as an able and successful agriculturist, to whom success has come as a natural result of ability and industry. He is president of the Farmers & Merchants Bank of Chula and influential in business circles of the town, his success and prominence drawing him into important relations with many phases of community life.
Mr. Hooker married, at Glasgow, Missouri, October 31, 1890, Miss Dixie A. Wallace, a daughter of William J. and Elizabeth Wallace, pioneers in Livingston county and honored residents of Medicine township, where they made their first settlement in the spring of 1839. William. J. Wallace was a witness of the many wonderful changes which have taken place in this section of the country as growth and development have advanced and in all of the work of progress lie w as a worthy participant. He could remember a time when Chillicothe was his nearest trading point and when wild animals roamed through the forests of Livingston county. Mr. Wallace was a Kentuckian by birth, born in Madison county in 1812, a son of Samuel Wallace, who moved to Howard county in 1819 and farmed upon the property upon which he settled until his death in 1851. He married Miss Anna Snoddy. She was a daughter of John Snoddy, an early settler of the Blue Grass state and later an active participant in many of the early Indian wars. Samuel Wallace was a son of Andrew Wallace, a Virginian by birth and captain in the Revolutionary war. Mrs. Hooker's father, William. J. Wallace, was one of a family of ten children, all deceased. He acquired his education in the public schools of Livingston county but his facilities were very meager on account of the pioneer conditions which prevailed at that time. In 1839 he wedded Miss Mary J. Birch, of Charlton, Missouri. She died in 1859, leaving six children. In the following year Mr. Wallace was again married, his second wife being Miss Elizabeth Williams, and to this union were born four children. On the farm, on which he located in 1839 his death occurred May 8, 1887. During the intervening period he gave a great deal of his attention to the further development of his property, carrying on general agricultural pursuits and stock-raising and becoming numbered among the progressive and representative agriculturists of the community. Mr. and Mrs. Hooker became the parents of three children: Harriett, a graduate of the Chillicothe high school and now a student at the Howard Payne College; Wallace T., a student of the Central College at Fayette, Missouri; and George W., who is attending district school.
Mr. Hooker is a devout member of the Union Baptist church and in his upright and honorable life exemplifies the doctrines in which he believes. He does not leave the active religious work to others, for he has been interested in the growth of the Sunday school for many years and has served ably and successfully as president of the organization. He gives his political allegiance to the democratic party and for some time was a director of the school board. For five years he also served as assessor and clerk of Cream Ridge township. An analyzation of his life record shows him a man of ability and industry and of firm convictions, able in business, loyal in citizenship, with a spirit active in support of those measures and projects which influence general advancement.