"GUS" THEODORE ZIOCK was born 12 October 1904 in St.Louis,
Missouri. He was the son of Esther Horrocks and
August Ziock, Jr. Guses
mother died when he was only eight years old. He lived for about a
year with his maternal grandparents then he was raised by his
paternal grandparents Elise
Schrobeck & August Ziock,Sr., who
had come to St. Louis from Germany.
As a child & young
man he roller skated on Gravios Rd when it was only
one lane. He & his friends used to swim across
Creve Coeur Lake & back. When Gus was 17 he &
a friend took a two day bicycle trip to Jefferson
County, Mo. I was told that he was quite a
dancer when he was young but I never once saw him
dance during my lifetime. And I was given the
impression that he was also quite the ladies man in
his bachelor days. His family thought he would
never get married.
Gus married my mother, Mrs. Pearl Martin Cash,
in 1945 & I, Esther M. Ziock, was their only
child. We were living on Exeter Ave. in Shrewsbury, St. Louis when I was
born. It was in the middle of the night when mom went into labor so
daddy went out to start the car to take her to the hospital. But the
car, an old Terraplane, wouldn't start. So daddy hooked up the
side-car to his motorcycle, put some pillows & blankets in it & carried mom
out & put her in the side-car & away we went to the hospital. It
was about 1:00 in the morning so there was no traffic & I was told that
daddy ran every red light there was to get to the hospital as soon as
Around 1954 we moved to Chesterfield,
Missouri & lived on Wild Horse Creek Rd. behind the Antioch Baptist Church
My father always claimed he
could not speak more than a few words of German even though German was
spoken in the household where he grew up. But one time when he & my
mother & I were vacationing at Lake Norfolk we stopped in at a local
restaurant that was run by an elderly German couple. Daddy talked to
them for maybe half an hour & my mother & I could not understand a single
word - it was all in German!
Gus was an
electrician and after working for Stephen Electric for many years he became employed with
one of the larger, prominent companies in St. Louis - Sachs Electric. He worked for
this company for 13 years until his retirement at age 65. Some of the jobs he worked
on in St. Louis were: The Gateway Tower (CBS Building), the Federal (FBI) Building,
Famous & Barr Department Store, Barnes Hospital, Scullin Steele, & an apartment
building which I can no longer remember the name of. He also worked at the Labadie
Plant in St. Louis County.
When daddy worked at the Gateway Tower
building (see article later on this page) it was near where the St. Louis Arch was being
built at the same time. There are some pictures of him (if I can ever find them I
will post them) of him waaaaaaaaayyy up high on a crane where he & another man
volunteered to go out on the crane to dislodge a jammed cable. You can see the Arch
in the background. Sometimes when daddy was off work he would walk down to the arch
from his job site to observe the Arch construction.
I remember one time when daddy worked at Scullin
Steele he came home from work in the middle of the day which was very
unusual. It was because a fellow worker had gotten killed on the job.
The man that died had stepped in the wrong area & fell through one of the glass panels of the roof falling 2 stories to his death.
Everyone was sent home for the remainder of the day.
When daddy worked at the Federal Building he had to have a certain level of
security clearance to work there.
At Famous & Barr he wired up the animated Christmas displays in the windows
one year along with other work. I think he may have worked on the escalators there
too. Can't remember for sure.
He did a lot of work at Barnes Hospital. One time there was a major cable
that needed to be cut. It was down in a pit & it was decided to do this at
midnight as that is when the power output level was the lowest for the hospital.
This was considered a very dangerous job & they would not order anyone to do
it but asked
for volunteers. Only two men were needed - one to cut the cable & one to stand
nearby with a 2 x 4 to knock the cable loose should the cutter get electrocuted. My
father & one other man volunteered. And daddy volunteered to do the cable
cutting. I remember my mother & I staying up well past midnight waiting for the
phone to ring if there was bad news. But it never rang & the job was completed
with daddy returning home safely.
When daddy worked at the apartment building he took mom & I there for visit
one weekend. He had a key to the building & we went up to the 22nd floor (if I
remember correctly). No elevator was working yet & the upper floors still had no
walls or floors yet. There were planks laying all around where the workmen used them to walk
on in lieu of floors. Mom or I did not walk on any of the planks - we
just stayed in one spot & looked around. God that was scary! I don't know how daddy & the
other guys did it! Sure was glad to get my feet back down on solid ground.
For a brief time, about 2 years I think,
daddy was made foreman of one of the jobs he was on. He did not like
being foreman at all & was glad when the job was over & he could go back to
being a regular electrician.
Gus died in 1976 and is buried in Shephard Hills Cemetery, Antonia, Jefferson
County, Missouri near where his sister, Lilian, resided.