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Zearing, Iowa 1956 History

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The Zearing Family25

at Malden, Illinois. The children of Elizabeth and Henry were Maggie W., Emma, Frank W., and Henry Z. After the death of Henry Ingalls, Elizabeth married Cornelius H. Cloud of Thorntown, Indiana, on January 1, 1868. Cornelius was a merchant. The children of Elizabeth and Cornelius were Frances Anna, William Z., and Eleanor.

Joseph Berg Zearing–born on March 11, 1833, married to Sophronia A. Huffaker on May 23, 1867. Joseph was a. leather merchant. Joseph and Sophronia had a son, William. H.

Mary Ellen Zearing–born on November 29, 1836, married to John Garvin on November 29, 1857. John and Mary Ellen were the parents of three children. They were James, Mary Pauline, and John H. The father, John Garvin, was captured during the Civil War and died at the Andersonville prison in 1864.

Judge William Mitchell Zearing

When I decided to write a community history I knew one fact about the Zearing family. I knew that Zearing, Iowa, was named in honor of Judge Zearing of Chicago. I did not know his first name.

The logical place to start the search for information seemed to be Zearing, Illinois. I wrote to Edith M. Steele, the postmaster of Zearing, Illinois. She was very cooperative. She drove to the home of Miss Marilda Zearing, Maple Lane Farm, Princeton, Illinois, seeking information.

As a result of the visit, Marilda Zearing wrote me a letter. She stated in the letter that Judge Zearing was not a member of her branch of the family. She had little information concerning him. However, she suggested that I write to Dickinson College at Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

The reply from the college gave no information about Judge Zearing. I had given them the wrong dates. They suggested that I write to the State Library at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Jessica C. Ferguson, the genealogical librarian, referred me to the story of the Zearing family written by Luelja Zearing Gross. The story had been published by the Illinois State Historical Society in 1921. My story of the Zearing family gradually developed from clues taken from Luelja's story.

Judge William Mitchell Zearing was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on November 30, 1824. He moved to Bureau county, Illinois, with his parents in 1842. Judge Zearing was interested in education, law, and real estate.

In the field of education, William was active as a school teacher. As a very young man, William taught at the little log school house in Dover, Illinois. Later he wrote a book which he called, “Common School Education and Evolution of Mental Faculties.”

William studied law at Dickinson College and at Harvard University. He was admitted to the practice of law in Illinois on January 9, 1851. He served as Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook county, Illinois.

Page 25 of 255

© 2011 Mark Christian
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