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Brief biography of Jacob Zimmerman born 27 September 1831

Arthur Hayden. Combined history of Edwards, Lawrence and Wabash counties, Illinois. With illustrations ... and biographical sketches of some of their prominent men and pioneers


Is a native of Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania,
born September 27th, 1831. He is the son of Henry
and Elizabeth (Steelsmith) Zimmerman. The family,
on the paternal side, were "originally from Germany,
on the maternal, of Welsh extraction. His parents
emigrated to Ohio in 1840, and settled in Stark county.
Four years later they removed to Wyandotte county, in
the same State, and there the father died. His wife and
the mother of Jacob Z. still survives him, and is a resident of the latter county. Jacob Zimmerman received a good English education in the public and select schools of
Upper Sandusky.

At the age of eighteen he resolved to adopt the printer's trade as the business of his life, and with that idea in view, entered the office of the Wyandotte Pioneer, in Upper Sandusky, and in that office was " printer's devil," worked at the case, sub-editor and general utility man. He remained there about one year, and then went to Tiffin, Ohio, and worked at the case. Six months later he came west to Illinois, and stopped in the town of Marshall, in Clark county. There he found work in the office of the Illinois State Democrat, then owned and edited by Nathan Willard. He continued with the Democrat eight months ; then, in connection with a Mr. Summers, purchased that paper and the
Marshall Telegraph, and consolidated them, and published a neutral independent paper na^oed the Telegraph.
lu 1852 James C. Robinson, a distinguished lawyer and
prominent politician of Illinois, then a resident of Marshall, but at present a citizen of Springfield, purchased Mr. Summers' interest in the paper, and became a partner of Mr. Zimmerman's. They changed the name to
the Eastern lllinoisan, and converted it into a strong democratic newspaper. The latter partnership continued
four years, when Mr. Z. sold his interest to his partner,
and from Marshall went to Urbana, the county seat of
Champaign county, and there, in connection with Mr.
George N. Richard (with Mr. Z. as editor), published
the Constitution, an able and influential democratic

While connected with the lllinoisan in 1855. he estab
lished a paper at Greenup the first democratic sheet
published in Cumberland county and conducted it in
conjunction with the former paper. The democratic
party of Clark county was in a disorganized condition
when he assumed editorial control of the lllinoisan, owing to dissatisfaction with the delegate convention system of making nominations. To heal the dissensions, Mr. Z. drew up a plan of making nominations by primary elections, submitted it to a mass meeting, and secured its adoption. This was the origination of the primary election system of making county nominations in Illinois at least, if not in the county at large, and so satisfactory did it prove in that county, that it has since been adopted throughout nearly the entire State, and largely through- out the whole county.

In 1860 he sold out the paper at Urbana and came to
Mt. Carmel, in this county, and here took editorial
charge of the Democrat, and conducted it as a Douglas
paper through the presidential campaign of 1860. His
labors as editor and publisher of newspapers practically
ceased in November, I860. Since that time he has, occasionally, temporarily assumed editorship of the local
journals. As a newspaper and political writer, Mr. Zimmerman was far above the average. He wielded a sharp
and vigorous pen, and many times proved to his political
and newspaper contemporaries that he was a formidable
antagonist to encounter in a pen-and-paper controversy.
Articles from his pen were clear, concise and to the point,
and showed a thorough knowledge of the subject k in
I hand. After his retirement from the newspaper business, he engaged in farming and improving his property
in this county, and that has been his chief occupation to
the present.

On the 25th of December, 1856, he married Miss Belinda B., daughter of Thomas S. aud Snrah D. (Cavalier)
Hinde. She was born in Wabash county. Her father
was one of the pioneers of Illinois, and the original pro-
prietor of the town of Mt. Carmel. Mrs. Zimmerman, at
the time of her marriage, was a resident of Marshall,
Clark county Illinois, where she lived with her sister,
who was the wife of Judge Charles H. Constable. She
died in May, 1865, leaving two children, one of whom is
yet living, named Frederick Hinde Zimmerman.

On the 13th of April, 1874, Mr. Z. married his present
wife. Her maiden name was Emma Harris. She is the
daughter of John and Mary (Brooks) Harris. The Harris
family were also old settlers of Wabaih county. By the
latter marriage there are two children, whose names, in
the order of their birth, are: Herbert aud John H. Mr.
Zimmerman is an honored member of the Order of Free-
masonry, aud belongs to the Blue Lodge, Chapter and
Knights Templar orders.

Politically, he has been a life-long and thorough paced
democrat. He is most soundly indoctrinated in the
tenets and principles of that political organization, and
believes that on the ultimate success of its principles rest the future hopes, prosperity and perpetuity of a republican form of government in the United States. In 1878
his zeal in the cause of his party, aud worth as a man
and citizen, received honorable recognition by being
elected to represent his district in the Third General Assembly of the State. While a member of that body he
secured the passage of a bill appropriating fifteen thousand dollars for the erection of a court-house in Mt.

Mr. Zimmerman is a live, energetic, progressive business man. He was one of the organizers of the Coal
Mine Co. west of Mt. Carmel, aud the present and prospective development of the coal interests of Wabash
county is in a great measure due to his energy and investigations. 12 Feb 2011 (note the spelling is as in the article)

Date12 Feb 2011
Linked toJacob Zimmerman

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