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Blacksmith, Lisbon; born in Pennsylvania in 1811; came to this county in 1850; has worked at his trade over forty-eight years. He married Miss Rebecca Wissor in 1837; she was born in Pennsylvania and died in 1858. He afterward married Mrs. Nancy E. Easterly, in 1860; she was born in Pennsylvania and died in 1870. Has one child by his first marriage - Lewis E.; lost four - Susan, David H. Mary, J. Wesley. J. Wesley enlisted in the army during the rebellion, and served nearly four years. Lewis E. enlisted first in the three months service and afterward in the 13th Iowa and served three years.

Source: Anonymous, The History of Linn County, Iowa: containing a history of the county, its cities, towns, &c., a biographical directory of its citizens, war record of its volunteers in the late rebellion, general and local statistics, portraits of early settlers and prominent men, history of the Northwest, history of Iowa, map of Linn County, Constitution of the United States, miscellaneous matters, &c. ; illustrated. Chicago: Western Historical Co., 1878, page 720.

Note: On page 295 of the 1911 History of Linn County, Vol. 1, there is an entry originally recorded in the Lisbon Church records: "October 28, 1860, "Mrs. Easterly married to David Ziegenfus."

Submitted by: Terry Carlson


This well-known contractor and builder of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was born in Bohemia September 17, 1860, and was only four years old when brought to this country by his parents, Jacob and Anna (Petrovitsky) Zitka, who were also natives of Bohemia, where the father followed the millwright's trade until his emigration to the new world. Locating in Chicago, he worked as a carpenter in that city until 1869, when he came to Cedar Rapids. Here he engaged in contracting and building on a small scale for several years, but is now living a retired life. He is a well preserved man for one of his years, and is held in the highest respect. His wife died in Cedar Rapids in 1882. To them were born five children, namely: Carrie, wife of M. Stolar, a farmer of College township, this county; Louis J., the only son; Rose, who lives with her father in Cedar Rapids; Mary, a graduate of the public schools of this city, and now principal of the Madison school; and Anna, principal of the Taylor school.

The public schools of Cedar Rapids afforded our subject his educational advantages. At the age of fourteen years he commenced learning the carpenter's trade under his father's direction and worked with him three years. For the following ten years he was in the employ of L. Wallace & Son, and during that time became thoroughly familiar with every branch of the business. During the last six years he spent with that firm he served as foreman, and was given entire supervision of every department of their work. In 1886 Mr. Zika formed a partnership with F. J. Brown, and for nine years they engaged in contracting and building under the firm style of Brown & Zika, but since then he has been alone in business. He does general contracting and has been quite successful, although he started out with no capital save that which he saved from his wages. He took his first contract in June, 1886. He purchased lots on Sixteenth avenue and erected thereon two residences, and has also built two houses on First street for himself.

In September, 1886, Mr. Zika was married, in Davenport, to Miss Julia Lewis, who was born in McGregor, Iowa, in 1868, but was then living in Davenport where she had attended business college for eight months, taking a full course. He brought his bride to Cedar Rapids, where they have since made their home. They had five children, but Raymond, the only son and second in order of birth, died in 1895. The daughters are Addie, Mabel, Pearl and Esther. The two oldest are now in school. Mrs. Zika's parents were Henry T. and Sarah A. (Johnson) Lewis, natives of New York, who came to Iowa in 1859, and first settled near Independence, but later removed to McGregor. The father, who was a farmer by occupation, entered the service of his country when the Civil war broke out as a member of Company G, Twenty-first Iowa Infantry, and while in the army contracted disease, from which he died at his home in McGregor in 1868. Mrs. Lewis was living with our subject in Cedar Rapids at the time of her death in 1892. In the family were four children: Helen, wife of M. Templeton, of Ames, Iowa; Charles and Edward, both residents of Davenport; and Julia, wife of our subject.

Since attaining his majority Mr. Zika has always affiliated with the Republican party, and has been a delegate to city and county conventions. Although never an office seeker, he has always been devoted to the interests of his party, and in 1893 was elected to the city council from the sixth ward. He was a member of the finance and park committees, and served his people faithfully and well for two years. Since 1898 he has been a member of the school board. He gives to the support of church and charitable work, and is an honored member of Crescent Lodge, No. 25, F. & A. M., and John Huss Lodge, No. 51, I. O. O. F.

Source: The Biographical Record of Linn County Iowa, Illustrated, Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1901, pages 53-54.

Submitted by: Terry Carlson


This well-to-do and successful farmer, whose home is on sections 18 and 19, Franklin township, was born in Austria, November 10, 1849, and was five years of age when he came to the United States with his parents, Jacob and Barbara (Pesek) Zinkula, also natives of Austria. The family located in Johnson county, Iowa, where the mother died April 12, 1884, but the father is still living at the age of eighty years. In their family were four children, namely: Joseph, who married Josephine Kral and resides in Cedar township, Johnson county; Martin, our subject; John who married Frances Krob, and lives on the old homestead farm in Johnson county; and Mary, wife of John W. Brush, of Bertram township, Linn county.

On first coming to this country the family located in Iowa City, where they spent eight years and our subject attended public schools. They then removed to a farm in Cedar township, Johnson county, where the father purchased sixty-eight acres of land, and Martin assisted in its cultivation until twenty-two years of age. On the 8th of February, 1872, in Iowa City, he was married by Father Emmons to Miss Josephine Vetengle, who was born in Bohemia, Austria, August 15, 1853, and they have become the parents of four children: Mary F., born in Cedar county, Iowa, March 11, 1875, was married April 27, 1898, to James Marshek, a farmer of that county; Emma F., born March 12, 1880; Ludwig, born March 10, 1889, and George, born March 1, 1891, are all three at home.

James Vetengle, Mrs. Zinkula’s father, was born in Bohemia, in 1817, and married Josephine Ruschek, also a native of that country. In 1866 they emigrated to America and took up their residence on a farm in Johnson county, Iowa, but later lived with Mrs. Zinkula, at whose home the mother died January 13, 1884, at the age of sixty years. The father is still living, however, and continues to reside with our subject and his wife. In the family were three children of whom Mrs. Zinkula is the youngest. The others were James, who married Rosie Bebee, and resides in Cedar county, Iowa; and John, who married Josephine Majer, and died in Linn county, November 1, 1889.

After his marriage Mr. Zinkula bought seventy acres of land in Cedar county, a log house being the only improvement upon the place at that time, but he soon placed the land under a high state of cultivation and erected a good set of farm buildings thereon. At the end of fifteen years he sold that farm and purchased one hundred and twenty-three acres of land on sections 18 and 19, Franklin township, Linn county, upon which he built a commodious and pleasant residence, a large barn and other outbuildings, making it one one of the best improved farms in the locality.

When Mr. Zinkula first came to Iowa there were no railroads in the state, and the family made the trip from Davenport to Iowa City in a covered wagon. At that time a large number of Indians used to visit the latter city several times each year. Many of the early settlers lived from five to ten miles apart, and would have to drive to Davenport to mill, it requiring one week to make the trip. All farm work was done with oxen, and it usually took four yoke of cattle to break prairie. After his marriage Mr. Zinkula did his trading in Iowa City, and although the distance was only sixteen miles he would start from home about one o’clock at night and arrive there at one the next day with his team of oxen. In early days wild game was plentiful, including wild goats and hogs, besides feathered game, and wolves often prowled round the house and night, stealing chickens, etc. At one time they attacked a young man, Joe Brand, who fought them off by shaking his coat at them until he reached the house, when his friend ran out with a gun and dog and saved his companion. When they first began farming all the planting, cutting of grain and hay was done by hand as it was some years later before farm machinery was introduced into this section of Iowa. Such was the life of the early pioneers in this section of the state. Mr. Zinkula is a wide-awake, progressive business man, who has prospered in his farming operations, and besides his home place he now owns a tract of seventy-four acres of land east of his farm. He votes the Democratic ticket, and is a member of St. Peter’s and St. Paul’s Catholic church in Johnson county.

Source: The Biographical Record of Linn County Iowa, Illustrated, Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1901, pages 95-6.

Submitted by: Carrie J. Robertson of Marion

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