Dr. Joseph A. Zook – Morgantown’s resident physician

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I came across this photo in PA’s power library digital archives. It was simply labeled J.A. Zook Morgantown, and portrays a young family standing outside their home. I have taken to enhancing and colorizing old images lately in an attempt to bring the past closer to the present. Adding the dimension of color helps us more easily visualize the world that existed then. The longer I stared at their faces the more I want to know who they were and what their story was, and if the house photographed still even exists.

Dr. Joseph Zook, wife Martha, and sons George (on Martha’s right), David (on Martha’s left), Joseph (in front of father) and Albert (held by father).

Joseph Zook was born in 1873 in a small town called Belleville in Mifflin County, Pennsylvania. He attended Juniata College and the Pennsylvania Medical School where he graduated in 1907. He practiced two years in Belleville before moving his wife and infant son George to Morgantown. During World War I he served as first lieutenant in the Medical Corps.

Joseph was an active member in Caenarvon Township happenings; he spent 30 years on the Caernarvon Township school board, was a founder of the Morgantown Athletic Association and a member of the Morgantown Fire Company.

Judging by the ages of his children, I can pinpoint the date of this photograph to about 1912. Using Berks deed records I can see that Joseph purchased a property in Morgantown in March 1912, at what is now addressed 3203 Main Street. The house was built in 1874. Zook sold it after only 6 years in 1918 and moved a block further east on main street. Dr. Zook practiced medicine in Morgantown for 46 years until his death in 1955.

Zook Residence in 2018 via google street view

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Berks Nostalgia