409 S. Stafford in the 1870s; Jesse Meeks

June, 1872 – Reverend Jesse M. Meek and Anna Meek (and Catherine Cook, Anna’s mother) buy the land from the Murphys for $625.

From a 1990s history of Zion Baptist Church: Jesse M. Meek, 1888-1895. Reverend Jesse M. Meek was called to serve Zion on May 21, 1888, and started his pastorate in June, 1888. He served an unbroken term of seven years until December, 1895.

He was said to be very efficient, and was greatly loved by the young, being especially qualified to understand and sympathize with them and obtain their confidence. During his pastorate his spiritual and intellectual scholarly attainments were so far reaching the Wilberforce University recognized him as a great man and conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Divinity.

In 1894, the Ladies Sewing Circle was organized and Mrs. Anna S. Meek served as the first president.

Dr. Jesse M. Meek passed away on Monday, January 13, 1896 at Yellow Springs, Ohio. He was around 63 years old; quite a popular minister of Zion, having served in the communities of Chillicothe, Ripley, Springfield and Zanesville, Ohio.

His funeral was held at Zion Baptist Church. So great was the crowd that several hundred people had to wait outside, since the Church was already filled to overflowing with near 500 mourners. Due to the many, many people present for the funeral, it was said that the west side of the building began to sag and a crack was found in the west wall. After further investigation the building was condemned.

Jesse Meek timeline:

1833/1834, born in VA

1838/1839, moved to Cincinnati, private school

1860 Census:

Occupation: Shoemaker

Jesse M. Meek, 27, M, Mulatto – Birthplace: VA – Living in Clinton County in Wilmington, Ohio

Spouse: Ann E. Meek, 23, F, Mulatto, Child: Alfred Meek, 4, M


Occupation: Teacher

J.M. Meek, of Zanesville, on Dec. 25th gave address “Practical Education” at the Ohio Colored Teachers Association meeting, Cincinnati (in Jan 31, 1863 Christian Recorder)

(Meek also gave another address: Sin of Insubordination, at the same meeting and reported on the Zanesville schools.)


Occupation: Teacher

J.M. Meek gave address in December; “Practical Education” at the Ohio Colored Teachers Association meeting, Columbus (in Jan 1864 Christian Recorder).


November 3rd – “Mr. Meeks, Pastor of the Baptist Church, Xenia…”. Christian Recorder

1870 Census:

Occupation: Minister

Jesse M. Meek, 36, M, Black – Birthplace: VA – Living in Pickaway County in Circleville, Ohio

Spouse: Eliza Meek, 31 (34?), F, Black, Keeping House – Child: Clanco(?) Meek, 2, F, Black, At Home – Catherine Cook, 70, F, Black, At Home


Signer of petition for voting rights enforcement (one of 140 men) in Circleville, OH, pastored Second Baptist Church in Circleville.


J.M. Meek was secretary at Thirtieth Annual Meeting of the Anti-Slavery Baptist Association meeting in September in Springfield, OH.


June: Purchased lots 128/129 of 409 S. Stafford Street, Yellow Springs, OH. Catherine Cook purchased lots 126/127 (only lot 127 had taxable value). Sold by David Murphy (originally Ireland)


Cook lot 127 value held over

Improvement to lot 129 by Meek


Cook lot 127 value held over

Improvement to lot 129 by Meek


Pastored Second Baptist Church in Springfield, OH. Two church sources say one year (1877) while another source (History of Clark County/Springfield) says “about two years” with unspecified dates.


October: Sold lots 126, 127, 128 & 129 to Esper Peterson (originally Denmark).

1880 Census:

Occupation: Minister

J. M. Meek, 47, M, Mulatto – Birthplace: VA – Living in Brown County in Ripley, Ohio

Spouse: A. E. Meek, 43, F, Mulatto, Child: Clarence Meek, 12, M


Pastor of Zion Baptist Church, Xenia, OH.


Wilberforce trustees conveyed D.D. to Rev. J.M. Meek of Ohio – In July 3, 1890 Christian Recorder.


June. Elder Meeks assisted Rev. Balay in the sixth annual services of the Third Baptist Church, Xenia, OH. Christian Recorder.


October. In Xenia, OH, at party for B.F. Lee, Wilberforce. Christian Recorder.

October, 1878 – The Meeks sell the land to Esper and Ella Peterson for $600.

2 responses to “409 S. Stafford in the 1870s; Jesse Meeks

  1. I would be appreciative if you would contact me regarding this write up about Zion Baptist Church, there are some questions I would like to ask.

  2. We are searching for a photo of Rev Jesse M and Anna Meek, they played a very important part in the organization of us, the Ohio Baptist State Convention (colored) which is now the Ohio Baptist General Convention. We are working on a history book, please send to obgc1896@sbcglobal.net

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