RICHARD ZIOCK -
B: 1 Dec. 1936 in Rockford. Married: Angie ?? Richard & Angie
never had any children.
is the son of Irma Coorbridge & Roy Ziock.
is retired & in the year 2000 was president of the
Mycological Society. On 16 October 1999 Angie & Richard &
their dog, Barney, spent the night at Esther & Gene Carroll's -
it was a great visit! Everyone had a good time going through
all the Ziock papers & pictures & discussing the Ziock history.
Richard & I are 3rd cousins & this was the first time we had
ever met. Richard is descended from
William Ziock. Esther is
descended from August Ziock Sr. who was brother to William. Both
William & August Sr. were sons of
Heinrich Ziock who was
born 1801 in Germany & was the son of
Johan Petrus (Peter)
From Richard Ziock:
Woolen Mill Museums
In the summer of 2008 my wife and I drove from coast to coast in
search of tourist attractions. A part of that was visiting
preserved woolen mills. We found 3 preserved textile mills and
a textile museum.
First we visited the Watkins Mill near Excelsior Springs, Mo.
This mill was part of a farm empire run by the Watkins family.
It was established about 1860 and stopped about 1885. At that
time the railroads were not yet available to bring cloth from
the east. So there was a need for cloth. The mill ran on steam
power generated by wood, and the wool came from local sheep.
The factory has been preserved as it was the day they closed.
The technology is probably the first machine wave of
mechanization after the spinning jenny and hand loom.
There appears to have been about three generations of
mechanization. The next generation of mechanization is that
found in a Salem, OR mill (which is preserved) and the Rockford
Woolen Mills (my dadís mill). The last generation of
mechanization is that found in the Pendleton Mills today in
operation in Pendleton , OR and Washougal, WA.
In all the generations the carding seems to be about the same.
That is, huge rollers covered with steel wires straighten out
or comb the wool fibers. Just bigger rollers and more plexiglass
and other barriers to keep the people away. They were
dangerous. My grandfather lost his arm in one and my father lost
three fingers in another. Talk about generations. Iím glad to
break that tradition, but to do so I had to choose another
Anyway the spinning of the thread, the next stage, of the
process had some changes in each generation. In Watkins Mill
the mules lacked only obvious improvements to the next
generation. The carriage had to be manually moved in each time
to wind the thread on to the bobbins.
The looms saw many improvements in the transition from
generation one to two. The early ones were narrow warp. They
only had one or two shuttles. They were more primitive.
A personal aside. I remember being told about the St. Charles
Woolen Mill operated by either my grandfather or great
grandfather. I remember the pictures of the worker
housing. Watkins Mill also had worker houses nearby. Since the
Ziock Building in Rockford, IL was built in 1910 and was the
successor to the St. Charles Woolen Mill, the St. Charles Mill
must have operated from about 1860 to 1900, very similar to the
Watkins Mill era. I donít know why they moved from St. Charles
to Rockford, but the move must have involved a change in
mechanization and a huge capital investment.. In 1949 the
Rockford Woolen Mill machines were put on 2 or 3 railroad trains
and moved to Brownwood, TX. That of course was part of the
movement from the high labor cost north to the low labor cost
The final mechanization is illustrated by the Pendleton Mills.
Spinning no longer employs mules, nor bobbins but is done
continuously. With the mules the carriage moved out about 8
feet the stopped, then the small tube of aligned fibers was
twisted by flipping off the top of the rotating bobbin until
the correct number of twists was made. Then the carriage moved
forward reeling in the spun thread.. The new and fast version
twists and reels in at the same time eliminating the need for
the carriage. The looms are really improved. The shuttle (or a
fingerlike device) moves on air - think air hockey- and is
propelled by air or water- think air rifle. Bobbins are not
used. and there is no rack of shuttles with different colors.
The shuttlelike device simply grabs the correct color of thread
each trip through which is supplied from large rolls which must
hold as much as 50 bobbins. The speed of cloth production must
be about 30 times that of the Salem
mills or The Rockford Woolen Mills. I think they said 1000 cross
threads per minute. It seems obvious that those two mills died
in the 1960s because they either had to have cheaper labor or
the new technology. The newer Pendleton looms cost $500,000
each. It seems clear that Pendleton continues to compete
because the investment in technology competes with the cheap
labor of Central America, China and India.
Not a woolen mill but a cotton mill museum exists in Lowell,
Mass. And a fantastic museum it is . There were mills
everywhere in this town. The museum even has running looms. It
was started in 1810 by Francis Lowell who went to England to
visit their factories, memorized the details of the loom and
built one in New England. I guess you would call him an
industrial spy. Lowell had the first vertically integrated
factory in America ( meaning that fiber came in the back door
and fabric came out the front door). The peak of Lowell was
about 1920. A personal note: my father went to the Lowell
Textile Institute about 1922 to learn the trade. I remember him
talking about the train rides back to Rockford, IL.
It is interesting to note that there were many smaller woolen
mills throughout the country through time, but that the cotton
mills have always been more concentrated.
And finally there is The American Textile History Museum in
Lowell. When we were there it was undergoing renovation, but I
am anxious to see it soon.
My family had just three generations in the textile businessĖa
decision was made early in my life that I would not be
encouraged to enter the declining field. There were survivors-
Pendleton-but there were so many more casualties. Iím not
unhappy that I broke the mold, but I have feelings and I grew up
in the mill. I learned how to run a loom, a little bit about the
business, and I met some great people. We could have been
another Pendleton, but we would have to have invested millions
at the time I was about 22 and unprepared. And now, how much
time does Pendleton have? The world has so many willing and
needy workers and who knows when or if the next improvement in
Richard Ziock & Esther Ziock Carroll - 16 October
1999. Angie & Richard & their dog, Barney, spent
the night at Esther & Gene Carroll's - it was a
Ilona Ziok (far
left), unknown, Manuel Gottsching, Angie
Photographed By: Richard Ziock
At Manuel's concert in Los Angeles March