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Des Moines County >> 1888 Index

Portrait and Biographical Album of Des Moines County, Iowa
Chicago: Acme Publishing, 1888.


Herman Zimmerman, residing at Burlington, Iowa, Superintendent of Bridges and Buildings of the East Iowa Division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, is a native of Switzerland, born in Argau Canton, Feb. 18, 1845, and is a son of John and Mary (Hausler) Zimmerman.  In his native country he learned the carpenter's trade, and in 1868, bidding good-bye to his native land, he crossed the Atlantic, and, after landing in America, came directly to Burlington.  The following year he was engaged with the Baltimore & Missouri River Railroad Company, which was subsequently consolidated with the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy, in whose employ he has been continusly since.  In 1878 Mr. Zimmerman was made Gang Foreman, and four years later was promoted to the position of Superintendent of Bridges and Buildings.

In October, 1868, Herman Zimmerman and Miss Louisa Gloor were united in marriage.  The lady is a native of Argau Canton, Siwitzerland, and a daughter of Jacob Gloor.  Four children have graced this union, two sons and two daughters:  Hrman, now aged nineteen; Jennie, aged seventeen; Charles, who died when six years of age; and Theresa, now three years of age.  Mr. Zimmerman and his wife are members of the German Lutheran Church.  He is a Democrat in politics.  He commenced life without financial aid, but by perseverance and energy he has overcome all difficulties, and is now one of the efficient and trusted employes of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, who, by his honesty and fidelity to duty, has won the respect of all.

John Zimmermann, pastor of the German Evangelical (Zion) Church since the organization of that society in 1864, was born in Schauffhausen Canton, Switzerland, Aug. 20, 1826, and is a son of John and Magdalena (Gasser) Zimmermann.  He was educated at the Mission House of Basle, Switzerland, and at the University of the same city, graduating in 1853.  Soon after completing his course, he emigrated to America, taking passage on a sailing-vessel, and reaching New Orleans after a voyage which lasted sixty-three days.  From that city he proceeded up the Mississippi River to Illinois, locating at Freeport, where he entered upon his work in America.  Mr. Zimmermann was pastor of the Church of his denomination in that city for three years, being then assigned to the Church at New Glarus, Green Co., Wis., where served the succeeding three years, then was pastor for three years at Peru, Ill., two at Princeton, and in the spring of 1864 came to Burlington, Iowa.

The society of which he has been the only pastor was organized but a short time previous to his coming (March 13), and preparations were made for building a church, it being completed and dedicated on the second Sunday in August, 1865.  (See history of Church) Mr. Zimmermann was married at Freeport, Ill., Nov. 12, 1854, to Miss Magdalena Auer, daughter of Conrad Auer.  She was born in Unterhallau, Schaffhausen Canton, Switzerland, emigrating to America in 1854.  Five children graced their union: John August, who was a theological student, pursued his studies in Germany, was taken sick there, and brought home by his father, his death occurring within a few days after his return, in the year 1879, at the age of twenty-four years;  William Conrad, a promising young man, was accidentally drowned by the capsizing of a small row-boat on the Mississippi River, April 28, 1880;  Albert E. is an employee of a railroad company at Dubuque, Iowa;  Martin died at the age of two years;  Martin F. is a clerk in the Second National Bank of Dubuque.  Following quickly after the loss of his two sons, Mr. Zimmermann was called to mourn the loss of his estimable wife, whose death occurred Feb. 10, 1883.

Mr. Zimmermann has proved a faithful and popular pastor of his Church, which he has served with Christian zeal for nearly a quarter of a century, and his ability and worthiness have been recognized by the Synod in choosing him President of that body, a position which he has held since 1882--a term of six years.