|Born||1771-1780 in North Carolina|
|Died||Before 07-JAN-1858 in Columbia County, Arkansas|
|Father||Johanne Jacob SHOOK (19-APR-1749 - 01-SEP-1839)|
|Mother||Elizabeth Isabella WEITZELL (~1749 - bef. 1849)|
Elizabeth UNKNOWN; born: 1785; died: 1835 in Hempstead County, Arkansas.
- John SHOOK (09-NOV-1806 - 1860)
- Hiram A. SHOOK (~1809 - bef. 1860)
- Mahala Emily SHOOK (25-DEC-1810 - 21-FEB-1884)
- Daniel SHOOK (1812-1814 - 1884)
- Nathan SHOOK (1812-1820 - 1849)
- Elizabeth SHOOK (1815-1820 - )
- Jefferson SHOOK (20-MAY-1820 - 20-DEC-1872)
- Jacob Wright SHOOK (29-JAN-1823 - 1882)
Jacob SHOOK was born in 1771/1780 in North Carolina. He died before 07-JAN-1858 in Columbia County, Arkansas.
Jacob Shook was born in North Carolina sometime during the years 1771-1780. His parents were probably Johann Jacob and Isabella (Weitzell) Shook of Clyde in Haywood County. There is no direct proof of this link, but there is significant circumstantial evidence. Johann Jacob Shook had a son named Jacob who "moved west." Both men had children named Jacob, John, Daniel, and Elizabeth (and Jacob's son Daniel had a daughter named Isabella). And both men were fervent Methodists (as were four of Jacob's sons and several of his grandchildren). Interestingly, Johann Jacob's son Jacob, who long since had moved from North Carolina, was the only son named in his will to share equally in his estate. Perhaps he did so in acknowledgment of a Methodist activist father's pride in his successful Methodist missionary son.
Jacob was a pioneer in the part of the (then) recent Louisiana Purchase that would become the states of Missouri and Arkansas. In 1805, he was one of 539 men who signed one of 20 copies of a "Memorial To The President By Citizens Of The Territory" in support of Governor Wilkinson. The text of the memorial was "Understanding that reports unfavourable to Governor Wilkinson have been diligently cir[culated] throughout the United States, by which he is represented as unpopular and obnoxious to the People of this Territory, We the undersigned, perfectly satisfied with the administration of our Governor, and convinced that these Reports, so unfounded and injurious to him and ourselves, have taken their origin in a few discontented Spirits, unfortunately in Office in this Territory, in this public manner, evince our Confidence in the Governor, our Approbation of his Conduct and of his general Popularity."
The memorial was forwarded to President Jefferson on December 27, 1805. Governor Wilkinson remained in office for two more years. Unfortunately, the copy of the memorial that Jacob signed did not identify the district of the signers, as did some of the copies. ("Territorial Papers - Louisiana-Missouri Territory" 1803-1806, Volume XIII pages 329-345)
In late 1809 or early 1810, he was one of 360 petitioners who signed one of 7 copies of a petition to Congress requesting that the citizens of the Territory of Louisiana (the northern part of the Louisiana Purchase which included the territory that eventually became Missouri) be allowed to elect their own legislature. The text of the petition was "To the honourable Senate and House of Representatives of the United States, In Congress assembled. The Petition of the undersigned inhabitants of the Territory of Louisiana, Most Respectfully Sheweth. That they have waited with anxious but silent expectation for the arrival of that period, when in pursuance of the treaty by which Louisiana was ceded to the United States, they are to be admitted "according to the principles of the federal constitution, to the enjoyment of all rights, advantages and immunities of Citizens of the United States." These rights they do humbly conceive cannot be enjoyed while the judicial and legislative powers are vested in the same persons. Where powers are combined which the constitution requires should be separate, and where the makers of laws, is also obliged to expound, and to decide upon them. Your Petitioners are fully impressed with the idea that legislative powers are never better, not more satisfactorily exercised than when committed to those persons who are elected for that purpose by the people themselves, whose conduct must be regulated by those very laws thus made. The inhabitants of the territory of Orleans, have already obtained those rights which your petitioners now ask, and to which they deem themselves also entitled. The last returns of the militia of this territory will be found to exceed those of the Indiana and Mississippi territory, and the number is daily increased by rapid emigrations to this territory. Confiding therefore, in the justice and wisdom of your honorable bodies, they most respectfully ask, that a law may be passed for enabling the inhabitants of this territory to have and enjoy the rights and privileges consequent upon a second grade of territorial government, and that the same may be established in this Territory. And your petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray."
The petition was referred to Congress on January 6, 1810 and on June 4, 1812 the Missouri Territory, with some privileges of self-government, was carved out of Louisiana Territory. There was no identification on the petition of which districts the signers represented. ("Territorial Papers - Louisiana-Missouri Territory" 1806-1814, Volume XIV, pages 357-362)
Jacob and his brother (or cousin) Alexander were pioneer Methodist missionaries in Hempstead County in the southwest corner of Arkansas, close to the Texas/Arkansas border. Their arrival and life-style is described in "The Old Town Speaks" by Charlean Moss Williams: "In 1814, a company of emigrants came into Arkansas from southwest Missouri. In this company were John Henry, and Alexander and Jacob Shook, Methodist missionaries. When they reached the Arkansas River, at a point which is now Little Rock, they had to wait on the opposite bank until a ferryboat could be built before they could cross the stream. Much of the way, the party had to cut out a road as they trekked along, some in wagons, and some on horse back. On reaching their destination, Mound Prairie, they erected the first house of worship ever erected on Arkansas soil, and named it Henry Chapel, in honor of John Henry who preached the first Methodist sermon ever preached in Arkansas. The spot is marked by a stone slab with names and dates inscribed thereon ..." and "and "These trail-blazers cut out roads, established ferries on the rivers and cleared up the farm lands. There were as yet no domestic animals here; the settlers lived on fruits, berries, fish and flesh of wild animals until their farms began to yield food. Bear meat took the place of bacon and pork, the opossum and coon were plentiful also. It was not unusual for the heads of families to get up before daybreak and go a few hundred yards from their homes and kill a deer or wild turkey, and the river bottoms were full of bear. Buffalo roamed the plains just across the Red River, and once or twice a year the settlers would band together and go by boat up that stream to where Clarksville, Texas, now is and bring back boat-loads of buffalo and divide it out among themselves ..."
That he returned to Missouri after his initial trek to Hempstead is clear from the fact that his sons Jefferson and Jacob Wright were born there in 1820 and 1823. We know that Jacob lived in the area that was to become Madison County, Missouri from the minutes of the first county court meeting which was held on July 12, 1819 and for which he was a grand juror. (Goodspeed's History of Southeast Missouri.) In the "my, how times have changed" department, they returned indictments for assault and battery, larceny, cow-stealing, horse-stealing, and hog-stealing. In the "nothing has changed" department, the relatively minor assault and battery cases all resulted in convictions (and most in fines) whereas all of the alleged perpetrators of the crimes of larceny and rustling were set free. [Note - Madison County, Missouri was formed in 1818 from parts of Cape Girardeau and St. Genevieve Counties.]
Jacob permanently moved from Madison County in Missouri to Hempstead County in Arkansas in either 1827 or 1828. Records in Madison County Deed Book B show that he sold land to Job Westover and others on March 29 and April 6, 1822, to George Nifong on October 20, 1824 and February 21, 1825, and to John Vaughn on March 20, 1827 and November 10, 1828.
Federal land patent records show that he obtained 160 acres in Hempstead County in 1827. Hempstead County Court records show that he was a permanent resident by 1828. Jacob obtained 160 additional acres in Hempstead County in 1837 and 80 more acres (as an assignee of Daniel Tracy Witter) in 1843.
The approximate year of his birth can be determined from the 1840 Hempstead County census wherein he is listed as being between 60 and 69 years old. He had two 15-19 year old males and one 20-29 year old female in his household that year. They lived in the township of Ozan. The males were probably Jefferson and Jacob Wright. The female was probably Elizabeth. We conclude from this census that his wife was dead by 1840, and she is possibly lost to history. His last will and testament was written in 1853 and probated in Columbia County, Arkansas on January 7, 1858. In it he mentioned his children John, Mahala, Elizabeth, Jefferson, Jacob Wright, Daniel, Nathan, and Hiram Shook