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Zimmerman, Richard A. 1844-1941 & Gertrude Garrels Family


Posted By: Wilma J. Vande Berg - volunteer (email)
Date: 10/21/2023 at 18:24:54

Zimmerman. R. A. 1844-1941 and Gertrude Garrels Family

This story was taken from page 501 of the Ireton Centennial Book (1882-1982). The story was transcribed for this BIOS by Beth De Leeuw of the Greater Sioux County Genealogical Society. Some research notes were added by Wilma J. Vande Berg .

Richard A. Zimmerman was born in Frieking Bar Kingdom, Province of Oosterfriesland, Germany, Nov. 3, 1844. He came to America in 1852 with his parents, 3 brothers, and 3 sisters.

The crossing on the Atlantic Ocean required seven and a half weeks. Landing in New Orleans, they boarded a freight boat and spent 19 days traveling up the Mississippi River, arriving at Alton, Il. their destination.

Since times were hard and money scarce, each individual had to work. Mr. Zimmerman worked in truck gardens. He said “Never were onions and beet rows so long”. Ten years later found him apprenticed to a harness maker, working for food and lodging. During the Civil War he made harnesses for the government for 18 months.

After the war he returned to Nokomia where he made his first investment in land, buying 80 acres of raw prairie land for $11.50 per acre which he broke and put in wheat. Price of eggs was four cents a dozen and butter five cents a pound.

He married Gertrude Garrels in Illinois. She was born Aug. 13, 1842 at Buerhen, Germany. She came to America when 18 years old, making her home at Mt. Olive, Il.

He had at various times conducted a hardware store, harness shop, mercantile stores, served as clerk in a bank for 2 years, and held 2 terms as councilman. He owned land in Minnesota, Dakotas, and Iowa, as well as property in Ireton.

He had 6 children: Mrs. Martin (Tena) Moeller; children, Richard, Pete, Mrs. Edward (Tillie) Johnson, and John Moeller. John Zimmerman who married Theresa Johnson; children, William A., Mabel, Mrs. Curtis Richardson, and Richard A. Zimmerman. Tillie, Mrs. August Niehaus; children, Gertrude, Mrs. Paul McCleary, Mrs. Harlan (Ella) Groenewald, Arthur Niehaus, and Helen (Mrs. Les Froke), Bertha, Mrs. Court Struck: children, Aaron and Walter Struck, Hannan Zimmerman, and Mary, Mrs. Herman Hagge; children, Neldred, Mrs. Cornie Vander Mei and Leona, Mrs. Earl Brandt.

RESEARCH NOTES: Added by Wilma J. Vande Berg From a family report on ancestry.com submitted by other that this submitter. Obituaries taken from this web page.

Dirk Arends ‘Richard A.’ Zimmerman was born 9 Nov 1844 Ostfriesland, Niedersachsen, Germany and died 29 Aug 1941 Ireton IA. His parents were Ahrent Gerdes ‘Aaron’ Zimmermann 1806-1881 and Trientje Dirks Jelken 1815-1887. He married Gertrude ‘Gerty’ Garles 13 Jan 1871 Macoupin county IL

Gertrude ‘Gerty’ Garles was born 13 Aug 1842 Buerden, Ostenfriesland, Germany and died 6 Sep 1929 Ireton IA. The 1925 census of Sioux county IA lists her father as John Garrels. She came over at age 18 as a single gal with her sister Mrs. Gerdes and an older brother. Parents may have stayed in Germany. Her mother’s name has not be identified in available records.


1. Tena Zimmerman was born 19 Pct 1872 Ireton IA, died 4 Mar 1910 buried Ireton IA Mrs. Martin Moeller, They had four children – Pete Moeller, Richard Moeller of Hawarden, John Zimmerman of Ireton and Matilda Mrs. Edward C. Johnson of Ireton. There is an obit on this web page for Tena.

2. John Zimmerman born Dec 1, 1874 Nakomis IL He died 30 Mar 1947 Ireton IA. . He married married Theresa Johnson 1910 and they had Children – Richard Zimmerman of Cleveland OH, William Zimmerman of Hawarden and Mrs. Curtis Richardson of Ireton. There is an obituary on this web page for John.

3. Matilda Zimmerman, born Dec 12, 1876 Nakomis IL. She married 1904 to August Niehaus. Children were – Helen Mrs. Lester Froke of Sioux Falls, Gertrude Mrs. Paul McCleary of Granada MN and Ella Mrs. Harlan Gronewald of Granada, and Arthur who died Feb 18, 1961. There is an obituary on this web page for Matilda.

4. Hannah Zimmerman born Feb 18, 1879 Nakomis IL died Mar, 1970 buried Pleasant Hill Ireton.

5. Rebecca Bertha Zimmerman born Nov 16, 1881 Nakomis IL . She married Cort Struck 1911, They had two sons – Walter Struck of Ireton and Aaron Struck of Red Wing MN. There is an obituary for her on this web page

6. Mary Zimmerman was born Sep 8, 1885 Ireton IA died Jun 1946 buried in the Ireton cemetery. She married Herman Hagge. Two daughters Mildred Hagge Vander Mei and Leona Hagge. There is an obituary on this web page for Mary.

Hawarden Independent, Hawarden, Sioux, Iowa, USA Thursday, September 4, 1941
R, A. Zimmerman Dies Friday
Ireton's oldest resident, and one of the oldest in Sioux county, passed away peacefully at about midnight last Friday. R. A. Zimmerman has been a landmark in Ireton.
He was born in Yiebing Ost Friesland, Germany, Nov. 1, 1844. He came with his parents to America when he was eight years old. They settled at Alton, Illinois, and Mr. Zimmerman helped his parents in their truck garden there. He was confirmed in the Lutheran faith March 29, 1861, in Madison county, Illinois.
At the outbreak of the Civil war, he went to work for the government, making harness at St. Louis, MO. He married Miss Gertrude Garrels in 1871. The Zimmermans came to Ireton to make their home in 1884, and he has lived here ever since—57 years.
Six children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Zimmerman. The eldest, Tena —Mrs. Martin Mueller—died in 1910. Those who survive the father are John Zimmerman of Ireton, Mrs. Matilda Niehaus of Granada, Minn., Miss Hannah Zimmerman of Ireton, Mrs. Bertha Struck of Fairmont, Minn., and Mrs. Mary Hagge of Ireton. There also are 15 grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren, two sisters, Mrs. John Dirks and Mrs. George Frerick, both of Plymouth county.
Mrs. Zimmerman died 12 years ago. Mr. Zimmerman readied the ripe old age of 96 years, nine months and 29 days. His always was an active life. He was in business in Ireton for many years. Mr. Zimmerman was a believer in Sioux county, and gained many of its acres. He was respected highly by all.
Funeral services were held Tuesday afternoon from the home and St. Paul's Lutheran church, with the Rev. H. W. Krieger in charge. The pall bearers were Henry Breaks, Carl Braaks, Edward Benit, Fred Schuette, Harry Johnson and John Vlotho Jr. Burial was in Pleasant Hill cemetery.

Hawarden Independent, Hawarden, Sioux, Iowa, USA Thursday, Sept 12, 1929
Death Calls Beloved Woman
Mrs. R. A. Zimmerman, familiarly known as Grandma Zimmerman, was suddenly called from this earth to the "mansion not built with hands," late Friday night. Although she had complained of not feeling well for two days, yet no one thought that her earthly pilgrimage was so near its close. She had not been strong for some time; age had been wearing on her physical being. Loving hands and the best of care was given at all times, trying to nurse back and hold her, but it was willed otherwise, so gently and sweetly she closed her eyes to earthly scenes with an abiding faith of being able to see and meet her loved ones over yonder. Mother Zimmerman was one of those home loving wives and mothers, who worked and wrought that her loved ones might enjoy. Kind words, accompanied by kind acts, were always uppermost with her and those who knew her best hear testimony of a well lived life. The aged husband, bereft of wife and helpmate, who traveled down life's pathway with him for almost sixty years, will miss her and the children, privileged to have mother with them these many years, will have fond memories of her. Her friends and neighbors will miss her but not forget All with one accord can say, "Rest in peace."
The funeral was held Tuesday afternoon from St. Paul's Lutheran church, with Rev. J. E. Rich. Schmidt officiating. Throngs of friends and neighbors were present to pay their last respects. Burial was in the Lutheran cemetery.
Gertrude Garrels Zimmerman was born at Buerden, Ostenfriesland, Germany, on the 13th day of August, 1842, and died at Ireton, Iowa, on the 6th day of September, 1929, at the age of 87 years and 24 days. Infancy and childhood were spent in the parental home at Buerden. She was confirmed n the Lutheran faith at Remmels, Ostenfriesland. When eighteen years old, in company with an elder sister, the late Mrs. Gerdes, she came to America on invitation of their brother, the late Luembke Garrels. The sisters made their home at Mt. Olive, Illinois. In 1871, at Mt. Olive, she was united in marriage with Mr. R. A. Zimmerman of Nokomis, Illinois. They lived together in happy wedlock almost 59 years. The first 13 years of their married life were spent in Nokomis, 111., where Mr. Zimmerman had established himself in business. In 1884 the family came to Ireton and in the same year established the home in which they lived these 45 years, a home in which, to the last, the children and their families, and friends and neighbors as well, always found a glad welcome. Mrs. Zimmerman was the mother of six children, all of whom, with the exception of Tena, the late Mrs. Martin Moeller, remain with the aged father to mourn her departure. They are: John Zimmerman, of Ireton; Matilda Niehaus, of Granada, Minn.; Hanna Zimmerman, Ireton, Bertha Struck, of Fairmont, Minn.; Mary Hagge, of Ireton. Also she leaves to mourn her going one sister, Mrs. Hannah Janssen of Ruskin, Neb., 15 grandchildren, nine great grandchildren, a host of friends and acquaintances, and St. Paul's Lutheran congregation of Ireton, of which she was a charter member.

This picture is from the Ireton Centennial book page 502. There is also a picture of the six children of Richard and Gertrude Zimmerman on that page.


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