"Resident of the Month"
Interviews featuring residents at the Postville Good Samaritan home.

- Z -

Transcribed by S. Ferrall for Clayton co. IAGenWeb
Any notes following the biographies were added by S. Ferrall.


Mattia Zurbriggen

Mattia Zurbriggen was born in northern Italy August 24, 1890, the only son of a world reknown mountain guide who led expeditions in many parts of the world and gained the distinction of being the first man to reach the top of the highest mountain in the Andes in South America.

He was educated in a private school in Stresa, northern Italy close to the Swiss Alps. Because he did not like the exclusive school which his father insisted he attend, he decided to make his own way in the world and walked to Switzerland, a stretch of several kilometers over very rough territory, without telling anyone except his mother. He was only 11 years old and found odd jobs to do enroute to Switzerland.

He learned to be a baker and went on to England where he became a first class baker in a large hotel in London. He met his wife-to-be, a secretary in an employment agency in London, and they were married in 1910. When war threatened they came to America with their young daughter, born in London in 1913.

The decided to learn farming though never having seen a farm. They enjoyed working with the good earth, found it honorable and were proud to share in the work. Then an opportunity came to go back to baking. He operated a bakery first in Elgin, then in Sumner, which was known as the Sumner Bakery. He operated this bakery for 30 years, served three times as mayor, then was Justice of the Peace two terms, finding it necessary to resign from public office due to ill health. He was active in Rotary, was a delegate to Rotary International in Philadelphia and again to the international convention in Lucerne, Switzerland.

Mrs. Roy Knight, Postville; Paul Zurbriggen, Elgin and Gordon Zurbriggen, Cedar Falls are the living children. Mrs. Zurbriggen makes her home with the Roy Knights.

~Postville Herald, Wednesday, October 17, 1973 (column: Resident of the Month, Good Samaritan Center, Postville, Iowa)

~Mattia Zurbriggen's obituary
~Marguerite (Wirz) Zurbriggen's obituary


'Resident of the Month' index