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Past and Present of Livingston County
Volume 2. Biographies
by Major A. J. Roof. 1913
Bazel J. Meek, extensively engaged in the real-estate business and farming in Livingston county, his home being in Chillicothe, represents one of the old families of the state. The paternal line is traced back to Jacob Meek, who is a son of Adam Meek and was born in Lincolnshire, England, about 1698. He came to America from England with his elder brother, John Meek, when twenty-one years of age and settled in Virginia, but soon aftward went to North Carolina, where at the age of twenty-two he married a young lady of Welsh descent. They became the parents of a large family, including Isaac, James, Lewis, Samuel, John, Jeremiah, Nathan, Seth, Joseph, Polly, Nancy and Sarah Jane. After the death of his wife Jacob Meek settled in Hagerstown, Maryland, to which place some of his sons had preceded him. A few years later he wedded Nancy DuValle, a French girl, and three sons were born of that marriage: Lewis, Jacob and Bazel. Although Jacob Meek, Sr. followed farming he was also a good tailor, and it was said that he could likewise play the violin very creditably. He died about 1790. It was from this old English stock that the family, of which Bazel J. Meek, of Chillicothe, is a representative, is descended. His paternal grandfather, Jeremiah Meek, was born near Hagerstown, Maryland, and was reared in Kentucky, where he followed farming. He also engaged in preaching as a minister of the Methodist church, and following his removal northward was the first judge of probate in Wayne county, Indiana, serving in that position for twenty-one years. His political belief was that of the whig party. He served in the Indian wars of an early day and was prominently connected with the pioneer development of the districts in which he lived. He married Catharine Williams, a native of North Carolina. They were parents of John Fielding Meek, who was born in Wayne county, Indiana, October 25, 1824, and was reared in Hancock county, Indiana. In the autumn of 1855 he removed to Missouri, settling at Goshen Prairie, in Mercer county, but in 1858 came to Chillicothe. In 1864 he returned to Mercer county, but in 1866 again came to Chillicothe, where he now resides. He was a brick contractor and carried on business in that way for many years. His early political allegiance was given to the whig party, but on its dissolution he joined the ranks of the new republican organization, which he still supports. He is one of the few surviving veterans of the Mexican war, in which he served as a member of Company D, Fourth Indiana Infantry, His religious faith is that of the Methodist church, to which he has always been most loyal. In early manhood he wedded Sarah Ann Hunt, who was born in Hancock county, Indiana, June 13, 1836, and there spent her girlhood days. She was a daughter of Herriman Hezekiah and Priscilla (Willett) Hunt, the former born in Bath county, Kentucky, and the latter in Maysville, Mason county, Kentucky. Mr. Hunt made farming his life work, and after spending his boyhood and youth in Bath and Mason counties he removed to Hancock county, Indiana, where he long remained. He was a whig in his political faith and a Methodist in his religious belief.
It was on the 12th of August, 1852, that John Fielding Meek and Sarah Ann Hunt were married in Hancock county, Indiana. They became the parents of nine children, of whom three died in infancy. The others are: Serrethena Lorinda, usually known as Retta, who was born August 10, 1857, and is the wife of Gram Cooper, a contractor of Kansas City, Missouri; Herriman Orlando, who was born in Hancock county, Indiana, February 20, 1854, and is engaged in the real-estate business in Brunswick. Missouri; James E., who was born July 5, 1863, and is a contractor of Chillicothe: John Fielding, born July 15, 1874; and Alpha May, born March 10, 1877.
The other member of the family is Bazel J. Meek, who was born in Chillicothe, Missouri, November 30, 1868. His education was acquired in the public schools and his youthful days were spent under the parental roof. His parents now reside at No. 123 Locust street and his father has reached the ripe old age of eighty-nine years. Bazel J. Meek is well known in the business circles of Chillicothe because of his extensive operations in real estate and because of his important farming interests. Both are capably, carefully and wisely managed and are proving sources of his success.
In his political views Mr. Meek was formerly a republican and is now identified with the progressive wing of the party. He belongs to both the Masonic and Elks fraternities. In the former he has taken all of the degrees save the thirty-third, being a prominent York and Scottish Rite Mason and a member of the Mystic Shrine. The family is an old and well known one in Livingston county, where they have taken an active part in bringing about the present development and improvement.