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Bishop Jacob Zehr b. 17 Sep 1825 Manried, Bavaria, GR d. 22 Feb 1898 Deer Creek, Washington Twp., Tazewell Co., IL: The Schrock-Birkey Connection

Bishop Jacob Zehr

Male 1825 - 1898  (72 years)


Personal Information    |    Notes    |    Sources    |    Event Map    |    All

  • Name Jacob Zehr  [1, 2, 3
    Prefix Bishop 
    Born 17 Sep 1825  Manried, Bavaria, GR Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • in the Hofmark at Hilgertshausen
    Gender Male 
    Residence 1848  Slabtown, Woodford Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Purchased land in row Zimmerman Ford area of Mackinaw River.
    Immigration May 1848  Le Havre to New York Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    • On the ship Admiral. Assets of 400 fl.
    Census 1850  Woodford Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Living next to older brother Christian: Jacob Sears, 25, Germany; and Eliza, 20, Germany.
    Census 1880  Montgomery Twp., Woodford Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Farmer Jacob Zehr, 42, Bavaria; R. Annie Zehr, 36, Ohio; with six children born in Illinois, and Magdalena Zehr, 75, Bavaria
    Occupation In Europe, A Dienstknecht (Farm Hand), In US, A Minister/Farmer 
    Religion Amish Mennonite 
    Died 22 Feb 1898  Deer Creek, Washington Twp., Tazewell Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried Deer Creek, Washington Twp., Tazewell Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Mr. Zion Cemetery (see photo)
    Person ID I332  Schrock-Birkey Connection
    Last Modified 26 May 2019 

    Father Daniel Zehr,   b. 8 Feb 1782, Struth, Bas-Rhin, FR Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1856, Farnisville, Woodford Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 73 years) 
    Mother Magdalena Unzicker,   b. 8 May 1785, Windstein, Wissembourg, Alsace, FR Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 16 Dec 1838, Hanfeld, Bavaria, GR Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 53 years) 
    Married 6 Jun 1802  Windstein, Wissembourg, Alsace, FR Find all individuals with events at this location  [5, 6, 7, 8
    • Marriage records of Windstein, Bas-Rhin, France, 1793-1862:
      On 17 Prairial 10th year of the Republic (6 Jun 1802), at Windstein, District of Wissembourg, France, Daniel Zohr, age 19, son of Daniel Zehr and Catherina Zohr, married Magdalena Hunzicker, age 17, daughter of Johannes Unzicker and Barbara Uhlmann of Windstein. The following persons were witnesses and signed the marriage record: Joseph Zohr, farmer, age 47 years; Jacob Stepp, farmer, age 54 years, both residing at Windstein; Christian Bock, farmer, age 35 of Windstein; Christian Zohr, farmer, age 45 of Stultzthal.
    Notes 
    • On 17 Parairial 10th year of the Republic (6 Jun 1802), at Windstein, District of Wissembourg, France, Daniel Zohr, age19, sone of Daniel Zehr and Catherina Zohr, married Magdalena Hunzicker, age 17, daughter of Johannes Unzicker and Barbara Uhlmann of Windstein. The following persons were witnesses and signed the marriage record: Joseph Zohr, farmer, age 47 years; Jacob Stepp, farmer, age 54 years, both residing at Windstein; Christian Bock, farmer, age 35 of Windstein; Christian Zohr, farmer, age 45 of Stultzthal.
    Family ID F141  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Elizabeth Ehresman,   b. 11 Sep 1830, GR Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 Nov 1902, Deer Creek Twp., Tazewell Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 72 years) 
    Married 21 Apr 1850  Woodford Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Magdalena Zehr,   b. 26 Nov 1855,   d. 4 Apr 1890  (Age 34 years)
     2. Katherine Zehr,   b. 2 Apr 1858, Slabtown, Woodford Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 14 Apr 1921, Fisher, Champaign Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 63 years)
     3. Christian Zehr,   b. 3 Mar 1860, Woodford Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 19 Feb 1946, Los Angeles, CA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 85 years)
     4. John Zehr,   b. 21 Apr 1862, Woodford Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 30 Jun 1919, Bloomington, McLean Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 57 years)
     5. Phoebe Zehr,   b. 9 Jun 1864, Goodfield, Woodford Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 21 Oct 1939, Deer Creek, Tazewell Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 75 years)
     6. Elizabeth Zehr,   b. 17 Nov 1868, Woodford Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Nov 1946, Gibson City, Ford Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 78 years)
     7. Jacob E. Zehr,   b. 8 Aug 1872, Goodfield, Woodford Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 11 Aug 1950, Fisher, Champaign Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 78 years)
    Last Modified 23 Mar 2019 
    Family ID F142  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsCensus - 1850 - Woodford Co., IL Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 21 Apr 1850 - Woodford Co., IL Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsCensus - 1880 - Montgomery Twp., Woodford Co., IL Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 22 Feb 1898 - Deer Creek, Washington Twp., Tazewell Co., IL Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Deer Creek, Washington Twp., Tazewell Co., IL Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Notes 
    • Obit: Herald of Truth - March 15, 1898 - page 93, 94.
      PRE. JACOB ZEHR
      Montgomery Township, Woodford County, Ill., lost one of its oldest and most respected citizens on Tuesday morning of Feb. 22nd, 1898 by the death of Pre. Jacob Zehr, at his home in Mackinaw valley, near Zimmerman's Ford. Deceased was born in Bavaria, Germany, Sept. 17, 1825 and emigrated to America in the spring of 1848. On April 21st, 1850, he was married to Elizabeth Ehresman and settled on the farm upon which he died. This farm he entered from the government and by hard labor succeeded in making it a comfortable home, leaving his family well provided for. His family consisted of four sons and five daughters of whom one son and two daughters preceded him to the grave; his wife, six children and eighteen grandchildren survive him. Bro. Zehr united with the Amish Mennonite Church in early youth and remained a faithful member to the time of his death. On the 12th of June 1859, he was chosen by the above named church as minister of the Gospel, and on May 17th, 1863 ordained as bishop. It was ever his highest aim to fill this charge according to God's ordinances as long as He gave him power and health to do so. He was a sufferer from nervousness or sick-headache more or less for nearly forty years, which wore on him so that for the last four or five years his health has been so poor that he was unable to preach. This seemed to be his greatest sorrow in his declining years; yet by his patience in his sufferings and his trust in his Master he was ever setting a good example to others who visited him, and to his family. About four months ago he was partly paralyzed and from that time was confined to his bed and as helpless as a child, patiently awaiting his Master's call to come up higher. His life on earth was an exemplary, upright, humble one, highly respected by all who knew him. While the sorrow of his death is general, yet it is mitigated by the knowledge that after a long and useful life a good man has gone to the home he so longed for.

      What a blessed assurance that
      "If we so live as to meet him,
      In heaven his bright face we shall see."

      The funeral services were held in the village of Deer Creek. Thursday at 1 o'clock P. M. Feb., 24th, a very large congregation of friends and relatives came to pay their last tribute of respect to their beloved friend whose kindness and generosity brightened the lives of many. Elder John Schmitt of Metamora spoke in German, and Val. Strubhar of Washington, in English. The remains were laid to rest in the Mt. Zion cemetery, two miles north of Deer Creek.

      "Yonder in the graveyard gently
      Rests the form we loved so well;
      But we look to heaven and glory
      Where there will be no farewell.
      Farewell father, till we meet thee,
      In thy heavenly home above;
      There to sing God's praises with thee,
      In the land of joy and love."


      Settled near Slabtown near his brothers. After marriage he farmed near Mackinaw River's Zimmerman Ford at the southern edge of Woodford County's Montgomery Township.

      “Jacob and Elizabeth’s two oldest children, a son and a daughter, died in infancy. These two children, we were told, were buried in a little plot under the apple tree in the southeast corner of their garden.”

      He was ordained as a minister on June 12, 1859, and as an elder (bishop) on May 20, 1863, for the Mackinaw Meeting. After 1873 he primarily served the Goodfield congregation. He attended the May 16-19, 1875, Amish ministers conference held in the Sutter barn.

      “For Jacob Zehr there was a “throne in the flesh” in the form of very painful headaches from which he suffered for 35 years. These finally wore him down so that the last few years of his life he was no longer able to minister to the people. Once he could no longer fulfill this service his desire was to be called out of this life to be with his Lord.

      “The last four months of life he was partially parliized. On a Tuesday morning, Feb 22 1898, death came to release him form further suffering. His funeral was held in the Deer Creek Baptist church in order to accommodate the large crowd of people who came to the services. The services were in charge of Rev. Peter Zehr, Rev. John Smith, and Rev. John Strubhar. His body was laid to rest in the Mt. Zion cemetery north of Deer Creek, IL.”

      “Jacob., Jr. is at the well; in the background are Phoebe (Zehr) Wolber and her daughter [given her apparent age, probably Mary Magdalena “Lena”, b. 1895] and Mrs. (Zehr) Warner. It was recorded that “Mrs. Wolber’s small son [Alvin] fled to the safety of the house” because he was camera-shy!” ,


      According to Auswanderung, Jakob Zehr, a serving farmhand at Hanfeld, emigrated from Bavaria in 1848 bound for Illinois with 400 florins in hand. [2, 9]

  • Sources 
    1. [S87] Zehrs From Europe to Illinois, Ardys Serpette.

    2. [S26] Jacob Zehr, 1825-1898, Mackinaw Meeting Preacher, Margaret and Verle Oyer.

    3. [S1111] The Life and Legacy of a Farmer-Preacher, John E. Zehr.

    4. [S589] Gern2.doc.

    5. [S40] Original: Amische Mennoniten in Deutschland, Hermann Guth, (Masthof Press, Morgantown, PA).

    6. [S398] Amish Mennonites in Tazewell Co., Joseph Staker, 3 Jun 1802.

    7. [S589] Gern2.doc, Year.

    8. [S14] Marriage records of Windstein, Bas-Rhin, France, 1793-1862 (LDS film #1069483), Gives year as 1803.

    9. [S103] Illinois Ministers Attending Amish Ministers’ Meetings of 1862-1878, Steven R. Estes.


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