Jacob Zimmerman

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Jacob Zimmerman
Jacob Zimmerman Residence.jpg
Illinois Representative
In office
Wabash County, Illinois County Commissioner
In office
1890s – 1900s
Illinois State Highway Commissioner
In office
1890s – 1900s
Personal details
Born September 27, 1831
Greensburg, Pennsylvania Westmoreland County
Died March 25, 1912(1912-03-25) (aged 80)
Mount Carmel, Illinois Wabash County, Illinois
Nationality American
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Belinda Hinde(1856-1865)
Emma J. Harris(1875-1912)
Children Charles Zimmerman
Frederick Hinde Zimmerman
Herbert Zimmerman
John H. Zimmerman
Parents Henry Zimmerman
Elizabeth Steelsmith
Occupation Illinois Congressman
Newspaper Editor

Jacob Zimmerman (September 27, 1831 – October 17, 1912) was an Illinois state legislator, newspaper editor, and businessman. Zimmerman was a pioneer in the newspaper business in Illinois and Ohio, and a businessman who invested in mining, land, and banks in the Midwest. Zimmerman held a number of elected political offices in Illinois before his death in 1912.

Early years[edit]

Zimmerman was born in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, on September 27, 1831. Zimmerman's father’s family emigrated from Germany and his mother’s family was of Welsh descent. Zimmerman's parents moved from Pennsylvania to Ohio around 1840.

Zimmerman's father, Henry Zimmerman, purchased farmland from the Wyandot Indians where the family lived in Ohio. Zimmerman was educated in the common and select schools of Upper Sandusky, Ohio.[1]

Newspaper business[edit]

At 18, Zimmerman took up the printer’s trade by working at the Wyandotte Pioneer in Upper Sandusky, Ohio. After moving from several different newspaper jobs, Zimmerman eventually ended up in Marshall, Illinois, and bought two different newspapers and consolidated them into one paper. This successful endeavor lead to many other acquisitions of newspapers in the following years.[2]

Zimmerman also served as the editor of The Wabash Democrat.[3] In the diaries of Edmund C. Hinde, Zimmerman was said to have gained a substantial amount of weight after he retired from the newspaper business.[4]

Hinde Farm[edit]

From 1860 until 1903, Zimmerman lived near the Grand Rapids Dam on the Hinde family farm in Wabash County Illinois. He moved to a 160 acre farm in Friendsville, Illinois in 1903 after he gave his son Frederick the family farm as a wedding gift.[1]

Election to Illinois House of Representatives[edit]

In 1878, Zimmerman was elected to represent his district in the Third General Assembly of the State of Illinois and was reelected for a second term.[5] Zimmerman was a registered Democrat.[6] While a member of the legislature, he secured the passage of funds for the erection of a court house in Mount Carmel, Illinois.[2] During his second term he secured the appropriation for placing the statue of Gen. James Shields in the House of Fame at Washington, D.C. for which he was publicly thanked.

Later years[edit]

Zimmerman also served as county commissioner for Wabash County, Illinois and as the Highway Commissioner for the state of Illinois. After his retirement from political office, Zimmerman was active in the Illinois Farmers’ Institute. He frequently gave lectures and held positions of leadership until his death.[7]

Family life[edit]

He married his first wife Belinda Hinde on December 25, 1856. She was the daughter of Thomas S. Hinde who had founded Mount Carmel, Illinois and had been prominent in religious and political circles all his life. Both Zimmerman and Hinde had been involved with the newspaper business. Together, Jacob and Belinda had two children.[8] Their youngest son, Frederick Hinde Zimmerman, established the Grand Rapids Hotel in Mount Carmel, Illinois.[9]

Zimmerman married his second wife Emma Harris on April 13, 1875.


  1. ^ a b Risley 1911
  2. ^ a b "1883 History of Edwards, Lawrence and Wabash Counties, Illinois"
  3. ^ Scott 1910
  4. ^ Diaries of Edmund C. Hinde, California State Library, Edmund Hinde 1850-1909
  5. ^ Illinois 1921
  6. ^ Clayton 1970
  7. ^ Illinois Farmers' Institute 1901
  8. ^ State Historical Society of Wisconsin. Library 1906
  9. ^ Nolan 2011

Further reading[edit]

  • Combined history of Edwards, Lawrence and Wabash counties, Illinois. With illustrations and biographical sketches of some of their prominent men. Philadelphia, J. L. McDonough & co. 1883. 
  • Clayton, John (1970). Illinois Fact Book and Historical Almanac. Southern Illinois University Press. 
  • Hinde, Edmund C. (1850–1909). Personal Diaries at the California State Library. Edmund Hinde. 
  • Illinois (1921). Office of Secretary of State, Blue book of the state of Illinois (Google eBook). The Secretary. 
  • Illinois Farmers' Institute (1901). Annual Report of the Illinois Farmers' Institute, Volume 6. The Institute. 
  • Nolan, John Matthew (2011). 2,543 Days: A History of the Hotel at the Grand Rapids Dam on the Wabash River. Lulu. 
  • Risley, Theodore G. (1911). Illinois, historical; editors: Newton Bateman, LL. D., Paul Selby, A.M.; Wabash County, biographical; editor: Theodore G. Risley. Munsell Publishing Company. 
  • Scott, Frank William (1910). Frank William Scott, Edmund Janes James, Newspapers and periodicals of Illinois, 1814-1879(Google eBook). The author. 
  • State Historical Society of Wisconsin. Library (1906). Descriptive list of manuscript collections of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin:together with reports on other collections of manuscript material for American history in adjacent states (Google eBook). The Society. 

External links[edit]