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The History of Renville County, Volume 2
Compiled by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge
John Zimmer, a farmer of Flora township, was born in Germany, September 26, 1864, son of Peter amd Gertrude Zimmer. His parents were married in Germany and left for America when John was one and a half years old, coming by sailing vessel and spending four weeks on the water. His father first settled in Wisconsin and farmed there for a time and then left for Minnesota, coming to Renville county, to which place he drove with ox team. He located on a farm here and began farming, using oxen to break up the land. He suffered much from the grasshoppers which destroyed his crops. There were nine children in the family: Willam, Peter, John, Louie, Michael, Nicholas, Kate, Mary and Anna. He died in 1880 at the age of forty years. His wife married again, to August Olich, there being one child, Adolph, by this union. Adolph and his mother reside at Glencoe, McLeod county.
John Zimmer grew to manhood in Renville county and began to work for himself at the age of twenty-seven years. He worked out among the farmers for about a year and then located 160 acres of land in Flora township. It was all wild prairie land with no buildings nor hedge. He has improved the farm and built modern buildings and a modern house with steam heat and electric lights. He raises a good grade of stock.
Mr. Zimmer was married April 29, 1892, to Anna Brandt, born in Germany, Oct. 3, 1874, and came to America when she was an infant. Her parents, Charles and Amelia (Manthei) Brandt came in 1875. They settled in Nicollet county and later in Renville county, locating in Troy township, where he lived until his death in 1913, at the age of sixty-six years. His wife is still living at the age of sixty-two years. There were ten children in the family: Anna, William, Amelia, Herman, Charles, Frank, John, Mary, Esther and Clarence. Mr. and Mrs. Zimmer have three children: Elsie, born Jan. 15, 1894; Selma, born March 5, 1897; and Clifford, born Sept. 20, 1898; all at home.
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