HENRY EVANS ZOOK was born in Evesham Township, New Jersey on March 29, 1888 to John Trimble Zook Sr. and his wife, the former Mary B. Evans. He was the youngest of seven known children, coming after Amos, Sarah, Elizabeth, Joseph, Anne, and John T. Zook Jr. 

J. Trimble Zook brought his family to Camden in late 1893 or early 1894, settling at 553 Grant Street in North Camden. He was in the produce business in Philadelphia and later worked as a commission merchant. Sadly, J. Trimble Zook died shortly before the compilation of the 1898 City Directory.

When the Census was taken, on June 4, 1900 the Zook family was still residing at 553 Grant Street. Henry Zook's brother Joseph had also passed by this time. Oldest brother Amos supported the family by working as a ticket collector on one of the ferries, while sister Elizabeth worked making neckties. 

The Zook family had moved to 422 Pearl Street by 1906. Henry Zook had entered the workforce as a clerk, according to the City Directory for that year. The 1910 Census shows Henry Zook unmarried and working as a railroad brakeman. He was boarding at 203 North 9th Street at that time. He married Florence Collatz not long after the Census was taken. The 1914 Camden City Directory shows Henry and Florence Zook living at 824 Pine Street in South Camden, near Florence's brother John Collatz, who lived at 832 Pine Street. A daughter, also named Florence was born during the mid-1910s. When he registered for the draft in June of 1917 Henry Zook was working in Philadelphia as a shipping clerk. The Zooks were still at 824 Pine Street at that time. By the fall of 1918 the Zooks and Collatz families had moved to 1057 Princess Avenue in Parkside. On March 1, 1919 Henry Zook was appointed to the Camden Fire Department. He was assigned to Engine Company 7 and spent much of his career there.

The 1920 Census shows the Zook and Collatz families still living together at 1057 Princess Avenue. Henry and Florence Zook by then had two children, daughter Florence, aged 2 years and 9 months, and son John T. Zook III, 7 months. Henry Zook had been by this time appointed to the Camden Fire Department. The 1924 City Directory has the family at 959 South 9th Street. By the end of 1926 they had moved to 1258 Morton Street, and they were still there in April of 1930. Fire Department records from 1931 show Henry Zook living at 1454 Belleview Avenue in Parkside.

Henry Zook had reached the rank of Captain during the 1930s. He served with Engine Company 7, at 1115 Kaighn Avenue during those years. 

The 1940 City Directory lists Henry Zook at 1420 Wildwood Avenue in Parkside. Daughter Florence was working as an office secretary for lawyer Benjamin Asbell, while son John worked for RCA. Henry Zook was still a Captain with Engine Company 7, and was still living at 1420 Wildwood Avenue when he registered for the draft in the spring of 1942. Before the year was out he moved to 72 Tanner Street in Haddonfield, New Jersey. Henry Zook was still living at the Tanner Street address as late as 1947, according to that year's City Directory. Fire Department records show addresses at 25 North 33rd Street, and at 1176 Mount Vernon Street. These may have been properties he owned and addresses he used to fulfill residency requirements toward the end of his career. He retired with the rank of Acting District Chief.

Henry Zook retired from the Camden Fire Department on May 1, 1953. He appears in the 1956 and 1959 New Jersey Bell Telephone Directories at 61 Stiles Avenue in Haddonfield. He is not listed in the 1970 edition, and most likely had passed away.

Henry Zook was a charter member of the Box 315 Association. Organized on January 1, 1928, the Box 315 Association was chartered for the mutual benefit of Camden Firemen, its principal purpose being to fund a commemorative badge for all members of the Department retiring at twenty or more years of service. In the event that an active member died before achieving retirement status, a death benefit in the sum of $20.00 would be paid to the member's estate. Its title, 315, was arbitrarily chosen as the number of the first Box transmitted over the circuits, following the organization's formation. A cabinet of Officers; a By-Laws Committee; Auditing Committee; and a Board of Trustees comprised of one representative from each fire company in the City, were designated by election and appointment.

All active members of the Department were expected to join the organization. An initiation fee of $1.00 and regular dues assessed at ten cents per month, funded operations. Any member of the Department that failed to join the organization within three months after completing his probationary period in the Uniformed Force, was required to pay an initiation fee of $5.00, plus the average of all dues and assessments incurred from the time he was eligible to join. The association met on the first Wednesday of each month.

Charter members of the By-Laws Committee were Chester Andrus, Chairman; Harry Wagner, Henry Zook, Harrison Pike, William Spencer and Nelson Andrews. The association is believed to have actively functioned until sometime during the 1940s.

Last a resident of Haddonfield, New Jersey, Henry E. Zook passed away on July 24, 1960.

World War I Draft Card

Captain Henry Zook of Engine Company 7 stands between the company's 1928 American LaFrance combination chemical and hose wagon on left (serial 6305) driven by Ray Burgess and the 1928 American LaFrance 750 gpm pumper (serial 6303) driven by Russell Benson. Photo dates from about 1936.

This automobile ornament remains the only artifact from the long gone association. Box 315 was located at Ninth Street and Ferry Avenue.

Camden Courier-Post - May 7, 1934


Trenton Evening Times - January 5, 1936

Camden Courier-Post * February 17, 1938
Dinner Speakers Predict Camden Man Will Get Association Post

Robert Wonsetler, of the Camden Fire Department, was hailed as the next state president of the Firemen's Mutual Benevolent Association at the 41st anniversary dinner of Camden Local, No. 5, last night. It was held in Kenney's Cafe, with 150 members and their women folks attending.

The Camden man is now first vice president of the state association and state representative of the local. James Delaney, of Elizabeth, state president, and other state officers who were among the speakers predicted that when the local has its 42nd anniversary next year, it will have occasion to celebrate the election of Wonsetler as 1939 state president.

Other speakers were Mayor George E. Bruner, City Commissioners Mary W. Kobus and Frank J. Hartmann, Assemblyman Rocco Palese, Fire Chief John H. Lennox, Carlton W. Rowand, Bruce A. Wallace and Freeholder Edward J. Quinlan.

State officers attending, besides Delaney and Wonsetler, were Fred Bailey, Weehawken, second vice president; George Steele, Union City, recording secretary; Joseph Burke, Newark, financial secretary, and Jack Reed, Kearny, treasurer.

Surrogate Frank B. Hanna, who was toastmaster, referred to the three city commissioners present as "candidates for re-election without opposition."

Commissioner Kobus, head of the city fire department, was applauded when she announced wash-stands and showers are being installed in local firehouses and that windbreakers and new fire nets have been ordered.

"The firehouses in Camden are in better condition than ever before,"
Commissioner Hartmann said.

Officers of the Camden Local are Chester Andrus, president; W. Samuel Mountney, vice president; Nelson Andrews, recording secretary; Harrison Pike, financial secretary; Henry Zook, treasurer; Ralph Bingemann, sergeant-at-arms; William H. Harrison, chaplain, and Wonsetler, state representative.

Russell J. Anderson was chairman of the dinner committee, which included Harry Wagner, Arthur Batten, Harry Wilkers, David Humphries and Pike.

World War II Draft Card

Ladder Company 3 & Engine Company 9 - circa 1946

Front Row: Clarence Madden, Newton Ash, Howard "Waxie" Harrington, Dave HumphriesHoward Gick
Back Row John Mulligan, unknown, Tim Shanahan, Acting District Chief Henry Zook, Harry Allebach

Engine Company 9 & Ladder Company 3
Engine Company 9 & Ladder Company 3 - circa 1946
John Mulligan passed away on July 28, 1947

E9 Tim Shanahan, Howard "Waxie" Harrington, Howard Gick, unknown, Newton Ash
Johnny Mulligan, Dave Humphries. Clarence Madden, Harry Allebach , unknown, Henry Zook

Camden Courier-Post

July 31, 1952

Kaighn School
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Roman Catholic Church
Hollingshead Fire
Gustav Koerner
William Van Pfefferle
Robert Wonsetler
Austin Marks
Henry Zook
Joseph C. Ragone
Walter T. Dilsworth
William Warren
Eugene Alston
Max Dippner
Rev. Michael Argullo - Rev. Richard Gerbino
Washington School
Brown Foundry Corporation







Camden Fire Department Personnel Record