December 19, 2014

David Cooper Meek - Son of James and Anna (Cooper) Meek

The Children of James and Anna (Cooper) Meek
Samuel Meek (great-grandfather) 1824 - 1902
*David Cooper Meek (Samuel's twin) 1824 - 1901
Enoch Meek #1 1825 - 1901
Hiram   1826/7 - 1909
Elizabeth  1826/7 -1907
Seth     1827 - 1845
Sidnah  1830 - 1872
James  1833 - 1865
Ednah  1834 - 1910
John W. 1836 - ?
Beulah  1837 - 1912
Enoch #2   1840 - 1864
Solomon  1842 - 1917

Great-grandfather, Samuel Meek, named after his grandfather, had a twin brother who was named David Cooper Meek.  Cooper was his mother's maiden name.  Most sources agree that the boys were born on January 1, 1824, in Unity Township, Columbiana County, Ohio.

A sketch about David's life appeared in the book, Commemorative Biographical Record of Northwestern Ohio (Chicago: J. H. Beers & Co., 1899), page 269-270. 

This worthy representative of the agricultural interests of Hicksville township, Defiance county, owns a good farm of one hundred and sixty acres in Section 12, which has been transformed by him into a highly-cultivated tract.  He is one of Ohio's native sons, having been born in Columbiana county, January 1, 1824.  His parents were James and Ann (Cooper) Meek, the former probably a native of Ohio, born in 1801, the latter of Pennsylvania, born in 1798.  Both died in Columbiana county, this State, the father in 1845, the mother in 1873 or 1874.

David C. Meek and his twin brother, Samuel Meek, of Hicksville township, were the eldest in a family of fourteen children, and were three years of age when the family removed from Columbiana county to Beaver county, Pennsylvania.  After seven years spent in that State, however, they returned to Columbiana county, where our subject grew to manhood, remaining upon the home farm until he had attained his twenty-second year.  Two years later, he went to California, where he successfully engaged in mining for four years, and soon after his return to Ohio, he purchased his present farm in Section 12, Hicksville township, Defiance county.  He did not remain long in the East, however, returning to California at the end of a year.  This time he spent twelve years on the Pacific slope, and met with fair success in his mining operations.  Since then he has made his home uninterruptedly upon his present farm, and to its development and improvement he has devoted his energies, erecting thereon good and substantial buildings.

In Hicksville, township, on June 22, 1871, Mr. Meek was married to Miss Nancy Jane Beltz, who was born in Crawford county, Ohio, December 15, 1852, and is the second in order of birth in a family of five children.  Her parents, William W. and Mary A. (Good) Beltz, were natives of Pennsylvania, whence in the early 'sixties' they came to Defiance county, Ohio, locating in Hicksville township, where they both died, the father in 1874 at the age of forty-seven years, the mother in 1894, when sixty-five years.  

To Mr. and Mrs. Meek have been born three children:  Eva A., who died at the age of six months; Clement O. (Orlando), born July 23, 1873; and David C., born December 22, 1884.  Of these, Clement was married August 31, 1897, to Lillie Barrows, and they have one child, Laura Beatrice Meek, born June 8, 1898.  Clement and his father are both Republican in politics.

Samuel Meek, the great-grandfather of our subject, was of Irish descent; his wife reached the patriarchal age of ninety-nine years.  Samuel Meek, son of the above, and grandfather of our subject, was born in Pennsylvania in 1765 and married Elizabeth Nichols.  Mrs. Meek's grandfather, Christopher Beltz, and his wife, Catherine (Beck), were both born in Pennsylvania; he died in about 1860, but she survived him several years."

With this sketch, census and newspaper records, we can create a timeline for David Cooper Meek.  He would have moved to Pennsylvania with his family about 1827 and then back to Columbiana County in 1834.  He remained at home with his parents until about 1846 when he left for Ohio and eventually, California, in 1848.  Those were the gold rush days, and it appeared that David (and possibly at least one other brother) were forty-niners, chasing gold in California.

David led a miner's life until 1852 when he returned home, perhaps buying or expanding his land ownership in Ohio, before heading back to California where he remained until 1863.  The sketch said he had some success as a miner, perhaps enough to help develop his farm ground in Defiance County where he settled upon his return.

He was 47 years old before he married Nancy Jane Beltz on June 22, 1871.  Nancy was about thirty years younger than David...quite an age difference!  In the 1880 census, David was reported as 56 and Nancy as 27.  On April 5, 1872, their first child was born - Eva - but she died on October 24, 1872, at six months old. Soon Nancy was pregnant with child #2 - Clement Orlando Meek - born July 23, 1873. He enjoyed his parents' doting for nine years until one more child was born. Their last child was named after his father, David C. Meek, born December 22, 1885 when his father was about 60 years old.

In 1895, little Davey Meek found himself in a predicament with a gun, one so serious that another boy, Howard Henry Barrows, lost his life. 
 It is not know if this Harold Barrows was relation to Lillie Barrows, wife of Clement Meek.

In the 1900 census of Hicksville Township, David Cooper Meek was head of the household at age 76, married for 29 years and still farming, owning his farm free and clear.  Nancy was 46 (born December 1853) and had three children, of which only one was living.  Clement O. Meek died on August 31, 1899, leaving a widow, Lillie H. (Barrows) and a child, Laura Beatrice, 2, who were living with David and Nancy in 1900.  Lillie was only 20 years old and a widow.  Completing the family was their youngest son, David C., 14, working as a farm laborer, probably his father's right hand man.

Clement, although in poor health for awhile, died quite suddenly.

 It was just one year later that David Cooper Meek died, leaving his wife and a 15 year old son to make their way.  He died on August 10, 1901 of some kind of paralysis at the age of 77.  His will was entered into probate on September 3, 1901, and it left Nancy the right to all his property and goods for the rest of her natural life, after which David C. Meek, was to inherit.  Fifty dollars was left to  each of the children of Clement Meek when they became 18,  He stated that he had already given a part of his estate to Clement previously.  The will had been written on December 23, 1899, so David was not aware of the number of living children Clement would have.
Six Corners Cemetery, Hicksville Township, Defiance County, OH

Nancy Beltz Meek lived on until May 29, 1947.  David C. married Mable Gertrude Tustison from Hicksville and they had two sons, Wendell and Maurice.  David died the year after his mother, on April 6, 1948.

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