Dr. John Jacob Shirk passed away at his home in this city at 11:50 o'clock Saturday morning after an illness of several weeks. Dr. Shirk had been an invalid for over a year, and although at one time during the past year his life was despaired of, he recovered so as to be able to be out upon the streets again. Nine weeks ago he was again confined to his bed, but he never rallied from his last illness, and on Saturday he answered the summons of his Master. John J. Shirk was born in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, Feb. 17, 1826. In 1852 he moved to Freeport, Illinois, coming later to Chickasaw County, Iowa, and settling at Old Chickasaw. After living there six years he returned to Freeport, and in 1879 he came to Nashua, where he made his home until his death. He was married May 7, 1846 to Miss Phoebe Stocks, who survives him. To this union there were born twelve children, nine who are living, and who are as follows: Mrs. H. M. (Mary) Hills, of Little Falls, Minnesota; Madames R. C. (Emma) McLees and H. T. (Rose) Lawson, of Freeport, Illinois, Mrs. C. M. (Sadie) McGilligan, of Ridott, Illinois, Madames W. H. (Bertha) Tucker and Frank (Jessie) Shufelt, of Nashua, Iowa, and Albert, Charles, and William Shirk all of Washington state. He also leaves to mourn his death two brothers, Jacob B. and Daniel F. Shirk of Freeport. When the Civil War broke out he enlisted as veterinary surgeon, a profession he followed throughout his life. The deceased was one of Nashua's most highly esteemed citizens. He was a man who had no enemies, and the quiet, unassuming life he led, won for him a legion of friends. He was a member of the G. A. R. Post of this city, being past Commander, and was faithful in the performance of hs duties. The funeral was held at the M. E. (Methodist Episcopal) Church at 2 p.m., Monday, Rev. A. W. Smith officiating, and the remains escorted by his comrades of the Grand Army Post, were laid to rest in Greenwood Cemetery, Nashua, Iowa.
"NASHUA REPORTER" - Nashua, Iowa Thursday, April 25, 1907. Submitted by: Sharon Shirk on 14 June 2001
Again the funeral bell tolls and another of Nashua's honored and respected citizens passed to his long home. Dr. John J. Shirk was born in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania on Feb. 17, 1826, and died at 11:50 a.m. Saturday, April 10, aged 81 years, 2 months, and 3 days, death resulting from Bright's disease and heart trouble. In the early fifties, the deceased moved to Freeport, Illinois where he remained a couple of years and then moved to Old Chickasaw. After six years residence here he returned to Freeport for a time but for the past twenty-eight years he and his family have resided in Nashua. During the war, Dr. Shirk was enlisted as a veterinary surgeon and continued in the profession after returning home until forced by illness to abandon his profession. On May 7, 1849 he was united in marriage to Miss Phoebe Stocks and to this union twelve children were born of whom nine survive, beside the aged companion to cherish the memory of a kind and indulgent parent. During our acquaintance with Dr. Shirk we had grown to have a deep respect for him. He was always pleasant to meet and his bright, cheery smile showed a heart full of love and warmth. The funeral services were conducted by Rev. A.W. Smith from the M. E. Church Monday afternoon and internment was made at Greenwood cemetery. The members of Geo. W. S. Dodge Post and the Relief corps attended in a body and we do not remember of ever seeing more of the veterans together on a similar occasion - certainly a mark of deep respect. The floral tributes were many and beautiful.
News Clipping perhaps again from the "NASHUA REPORTER"
contributors notes: John J. Shirk served with the 14th Cavalry Regiment, Illinois Volunteers, Company K John J. Shirk his wife Phoebe Stocks Shirk were married in Freeport, IL John was part of a large group of Mennonites that came to Freeport about 1848 to start a church and settlement. The family officially left the area for good in 1879, after the births of their 12 children. At the death of John J. Shirk, three of his children had already preceeded him in death. One daughter, Martha C. Roadmeyer, left behind two sons and one daughter living in Freeport: Henry, George, and Lizzie (Roadmeyer) Kunz.
Submitted by: Sharon Shirk on 14 June 2001