Two young farmers from Lancaster, PA, Abraham and Noah Zook, went to Mississippi in 1866 and invested more than $3000 in a cotton plantation near Vicksburg in partnership with local men, Sharpsburg survivor Cyrus Lafayette Broome and his brother(s) Elliott and/or William (all also known by Brown).

The Zook brothers were found to have been murdered about 1 November 1866, probably by the Broomes, who sold the crop, took the proceeds, and fled the area. No one was arrested or charged in the case.

I couldn’t find Cyrus L Broome/Brown in the US Census until 1900, when he is listed as a livestock commission agent in Crockett County, TX. All 6 of his children were born in Texas, between 1868 and 1881, so it’s reasonable to believe he did in fact go to Texas as early as 1866.

The murders and lack of justice in Mississippi was exciting news in Pennsylvania. So much so that Governor John W. Geary made a request for action to the State Legislature in March 1867:


The Zook clipping above is from the Shippensburg News of 26 January 1867.

The text of Governor Geary’s statement is from the Memphis Daily Post of 26 March 1867 (touch to enlarge).

Please Leave a Reply