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Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Annals of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania published in 1905 by The Genealogical Publishing Company.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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REV. JOHN H. ZINN was born in Dickinson township, Cumberland county, Pa., July 25, 1836. He was the second child and son born to his parents. At the age of six years he entered the public school at Shady Grove, in sight of the “Old Stone Tavern,” and continued his training there until his common school education was completed. He engaged as teacher, his first term being in 1856, at the Richland school, known at that time as the William Line school. After his first term he entered the first Normal school of the county, being held at Newville, Pa., and conducted by the county superintendent, Daniel Shelly, one of the foremost educators at that day in the county. He alternated teaching and studying, until the breaking out of the Civil war. At this time he was pursuing the study of the classics, privately, but was interrupted by entering into the United States service in 1863, connecting himself with a regiment already organized, the 17th Pa. Cavalry, being a member of Company F. By a reference to “Bates’ History” it will be seen that this regiment, in common with others, saw much hard service, being led by the gallant Sheridan in many victorious battles. The last battle in which he was engaged was at Winchester, Va., on the 19th of September, 1864. Being on detailed service, subsequent to this battle, on the 24th of the same month, he was captured by Moseby’s men at Summit Point, on a reconnaissance, between Harper’s Ferry and Winchester. He was held as a prisoner of war, passing through the Libby, Belle Island (Va.) and Salisbury (N. C.) prisons, and came out from the last place on the 22d of February, 1865. He was paroled at Goldsborough. N. C., on the 26th, and was discharged from the service on general order No. 76, at Annapolis, Md., on the 28th of June, 1865. After his return home he immediately entered his old profession, that of teaching, but soon became impressed with the idea that he should prepare himself for the Gospel ministry of the church of which he was a member, the Evangelical Lutheran (General Synod). He entered the Theological Seminary at Selins Grove, Pa., and after a three-years’ course of hard and faithful study he was ordained by the Susquehanna Synod at Jersey Shore, Pa. He was called to the charge at St. Clairsville, Bedford county, Pa., beginning his labors there July 16. 1871, and served the charge eleven years. From there he was called to Glade, Somerset county, Pa., and served nine years. Then he was called to Tippecanoe City, Ohio, where he remained three years, and then to Leetonia, Ohio, serving that charge six years, after which he removed to his present charge, Akron, Ohio, on March 1, 1900. In an official capacity he served Allegheny Synod as secretary from 1882 to 1884; was president of Allegheny Synod from 1889 to 1891; president of the East Ohio Synod from 1899 to 1901.

Rev. Mr. Zinn has been twice married, the first time on Aug. 19, 1858, to Sallie A. Weaver, of Rossville, York county, Pa. To this union there were born three children: Ada A., now the wife of Samuel K. Moses, of Osterburg, Pa.; Florence Esther, who died at the age of one year and four months; Clara Edna, now the wife of Ed. S. Frease, of Akron, Ohio. His wife died March 13, 1882. On Sept. 18, 1884, he married his second wife, Mary E. Campbell, of Addison, Pa., who is in full sympathy with her husband’s calling and is a most efficient help in his arduous labors. He is successfully serving a laborious charge in the growing city of Akron, and while he is growing in years, with the inheritance of a robust constitution and care in living he appears as a man of twenty years less his age.

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This family biography is one of numerous biographies included in the Biographical Annals of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania published in 1905 by The Genealogical Publishing Company. 

View additional Cumberland County, Pennsylvania family biographies here: Cumberland County, Pennsylvania Biographies

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