Engelbert Zimmerman, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of Engelbert Zimmerman


Among the newspaper men of Porter County, Indiana, who have done so much in the past and are planning so wisely to help forward their section in the future, we are pleased to mention Engelbert Zimmerman. This gentleman is the editor of "The Messenger," of Valparaiso, a breezy sheet, which enjoys a good circulation and is published in the interests of the community, especial attention being paid to local affairs, making it a history of the events that transpire in this locality. Moreover, it reviews most intelligently the public issues of the day, and its advertising columns are well filled and show that the business men of Valparaiso appreciate it as a medium for making themselves known to the people at large. The intelligent and able editor of this paper is of sturdy German stock, his birth occurring in Blumenfeldt, Grand Duchy of Baden, December 10, 1839. His parents, Joseph and Walburg (Neihardt) Zimmerman, were natives of the same place, and the father was a farmer and general merchant. Three children were born to this union: Engelbert, subject; Frank J. and Margaret. About 1847 the family immigrated to this country and during the winter of that year resided in Buffalo, New York. Mrs. Zimmerman was afflicted with inflammatory and sciatic rheumatism, the expenses were heavy, and they had quite a serious time. In the spring of 1848 the family moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana, via the Wabash and Lake Erie canal, and in this city Mr. Joseph Zimmerman began the manufacture of polish. By industry and thrift he made a decided success of this venture. In 1861 he went to Columbia City, Indiana, twenty miles west, and retired from active work. There his death occurred in 1881 when sixty-nine years of age. He was an upright, honorable citizen and was universally liked for his sterling traits of character. Englebert Zimmerman, the original of this notice, was about eight years of age when he came with his parents to America, and he received all his education at Fort Wayne, Indiana, attending St Joseph's Academy and an evening grammar school in that city. His school days ended when he was fourteen years of age, and on the 8th of January, 1854, he was apprenticed for four years to Thomas Tigar, editor of the "Fort Wayne Weekly Sentinel." Mr. Tigar was an old and well trained English printer and young Zimmerman could not have been placed in better hands. At the end of five years he was an expert type setter and compositor and a skillful pressman, having been foreman of the business for one year. Until February 17, 1860, he remained with his employer, and during that time he took only the few legal holidays of those days. His wages the first year were one dollar per week, the second year two dollars per week, and so on up to the fifth year when he received six dollars per week. For his services as foreman he received seven dollars per week. Without the loss of a day, on the 17th of February, 1860, be became foreman and local editor of the "Columbia City (Indiana) News," and this position he held until November 14, of the same year, when he bought the office. Mr. Zimmerman conducted this paper until January 1, 1866, and then returning to Fort Wayne, started the "Fort Wayne Democrat," a daily and weekly Democratic paper. This paper he conducted until November 14, 1868, when he went to Upper Sandusky, Ohio, and bought the "Wyandotte Democratic Union," which he conducted two years. From there he came to Valparaiso. Indiana, and founded the "Weekly Messenger," the first issue being March 7, 1871. Twenty years later, on the 3d of September, 1891, he started the "Daily Messenger." Mr. Zimmerman has ever been a stanch Democrat, and was appointed postmaster at Valparaiso, during President Cleveland's first term, serving from April 24, 1885, for nearly four years. The "Messenger" office is the best equipped for job printing in Valparaiso, and the "Messenger" has always been conducted in a systematic and steady going manner, and the enterprise has ever been a financial success. The "Messenger" is fearless and out-spoken in its advocacy of Democratic principles, has always advanced the best interests of the town, and all improvements, and has been a stand advocate of churches, schools, etc. The office has always done all the printing for the Normal School and keeps on hand a large stock of type and material for that purpose. It issues annually 20,000 Normal catalogues and at least 400,000 circulars. The "Messenger" has recently had a new dress of new type, at a large expense, and the office has all the modern improvements. It was the first to introduce steam-power, with which to run the presses. Mr. Zimmerman is sole proprietor, editor and publisher. On the 11th of August, 1862, he was married at Columbia City, Indiana, to Miss Lucinda H. Watson, of Lima, Ohio, and nine children are the fruits of this union: Arthur F., born in Columbia City, October 11, 1863; Joseph E., born in the same place, December 20, 1864; Clement A., born at Fort Wayne, Indiana, December 10, 1866; Andrew J., born same place, October 9, 1868; Walburg, born in Upper Sandusky, Ohio, April 9, 1870; Grace L., born Valparaiso, June 9, 1871, and died when seven years of age; Horace G., born at Valparaiso, October 9, 1873; Lucinda H., born Valparaiso, May 3, 1878, and died when two years of age; and --------. Mrs. Zimmerman died May 3, 1878, and on the 14th of June, 1880, Mr. Zimmerman married Miss Mary A. McMahon, of Hanna, Indiana. Three children were given them: Bertha F., born in Valparaiso, June 12, 1881; Engelbert, born in Valparaiso, December 20, 1884, and Mary L., born in the same city, September 13, 1886. Mr. Zimmerman's father was a Catholic in his religious views, but our subject is a member of the Christian Church. Socially he is a Mason. He lost his second wife on the 26th of August, 1888.

Source: Goodspeed Brothers. 1894. Pictorial and Biographical Record of La Porte, Porter, Lake and Starke Counties, Indiana. Chicago, Illinois: Goodspeed Brothers. 569 p.
Page(s) in Source: 567-569

This biography has been transcribed exactly as it was originally published in the source. Please note that we do not provide photocopies or digital scans of biographies appearing on this website.

Biography transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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