DARBY, SMITH, ZIMMERMAN
Posted By: Judy Wight Branson (email)
Date: 10/8/2011 at 11:52:16
The History of Madison County, Iowa, 1879
Philip Zimmerman, Penn twp., farmer, Sec. 16; P.O. Dexter; owns eighty acres of land; born in Sullivan county, Indiana, 1832; came to Madison county in 1866; married in 1864 to Miss Darby; has five children: John H., Fred E., Albert T., Jerry W. and Laura E.; has held various offices of trust in the township; is a member of the M. E. church.
History of Washta, Iowa - 1868 - 1968
Philip Zimmerman and his wife Margaret moved their family from Madison County, Iowa, to a farm several miles east of Kingsley, Iowa, in the year 1884. Five years later all but the oldest son, John, came to Willow Township. They purchased three hundred and twenty acres of land two miles north of Washta and began the improvements that later made this one of the outstanding livestock farms in the community.
Their son, Jerry, married Effie Smith of Washta and they established a home in the community but later moved to Jasper, Minnesota. Another son, Albert, known to all as Bert, finished his school work at the rural school and later attended college at Iowa State University where he took a business course. Bert returned to the home farm later and took over the management. He became a very successful stockman and the farm with its well kept fields and buildings, its beautiful grove of trees and carefully tended gardens was on that people pointed to with pride.
The youngest son, Arthur, was a typesetter and worked in a newspaper office in Kingsley for some time.
Laura and Emma, the daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Zimmerman, completed the schools at Washta and took some courses at Morningside College. Laura taught the country school near their home and also taught in the grades of the Washta school. In 1912 she entered nurses training at Evanston Hospital, Evanston, Illinois. As a registered nurse she did general nursing until she joined the army nurse corps during the first world war. She was stationed at Camp Dodge for the duration of the war. After the war Laura did public health nursing in East Chicago and at Blackwell, Oklahoma, and later became supervisor of a tuberculosis sanitarium at Janesville, Wisconsin. Here she worked until her retirement in 1932 when she returned to the old home at Washta.
Emma remained at home, caring for their aging parents, doing church work and being a gracious hostess to the many friends who came to visit.
The Zimmermans had all given much of their time and talents to further the work of the Methodist Church and Bert was superintendent of the Sunday School for many years. The family often helped the Church through a financial crisis and there were times when the ministers salary could not have been paid but for their generosity.
John returned after many years of working away from home and in later years helped to keep the yards and fence-rows, of the farm, trimmed and neat. He was a familiar figure going to and from town with his horse and buggy, as he did not drive a car.
After Laura returned to the farm she and Emma planned the remodeling of the big ten-room farmhouse that had been built in 1909. They continued to welcome friends and family who came to visit and their Sunday dinners are fondly recollected by the children of former Methodist ministers and many others.
When John's failing health grew worse they moved to Cherokee and Laura, using her nursing skill to the very last, cared for her brother until her death. John lived only one week after she was gone.
Emma still makes her home in Cherokee but returns to Washta for special Church functions and to attend meetings of the Washta Study Club. She will be eighty five years of age this Centennial year.
Jerry and Effie Zimmerman had three children -- Donald, who lives in Quimby. Jack, who lives in Sioux Falls, and Ellen who lives in Jasper, Minnesota.
Madison Biographies maintained by Judy Wight Branson.
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