Bio: Zimmerman, George F (1886 - 1953)

Contact: Dolores Mohr Kenyon


Surnames: Zimmerman, Crocker, Nourse, Allen, Andresen, Kleckner, Lauscher, Musil, Unger, Rosekrans, Bergemann, Devos, Koehler, Harvey 

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI.) March 5, 1953 

Zimmerman, George F (12 October 1886 - 2 March 1953) 

Business in Neillsville to be suspended in honor of community leader  

Funeral rites for George F. Zimmerman, businessman of Neillsville, will take place at the Masonic Temple at 2 p.m. Thursday. The service will be Masonic, with A. L. Devos in charge.  The officiating clergyman will be the Rev. William Koehler of Zion Reformed Church.  In respect to Mr. Zimmerman and to the family the business places of Neillsville will be closed from 1 to 3 p.m.  

The end came suddenly for Mr. Zimmerman at 10:30 a.m. Monday morning, March 2.  He was in Rochester, Minn., in the care of the Mayo Clinic, having been  taken there the previous day by his friend and physician, Dr. Milton Rosekrans.  He had in recent months been indisposed, with some indications of heart difficulty, but the abrupt termination was unexpected. Early Monday a message came to Mrs. Zimmerman telling of an attack, and suggesting the she go to Rochester. She set out quickly, with John Bergemann as driver and escort, but the end had come before she could reach Rochester. 

Old Family Here 

Mr. Zimmerman was a member of a business family with more than half a century of activity in Neillsville.  When his farther, J. G. Zimmerman, bought out his partner in what was known as the Big Store, he sent for his son George, who was then homesteading and working for a lumber company near Tacoma, Washington. Returning to Neillsville, George became a member of the firm of J. G. Zimmerman & Sons.  In addition to George, J. G. Zimmerman had as his associates two other sons, Joe and Harry. This association continued 20 years, until the sale of the Big Store was made to the Farmers Store Co. 

For a time thereafter George and Joe Zimmerman continued with the Farmers Store, George being manager of it and then Joe.  Upon leaving the Big Store, George continued his residence in Neillsville, selling life insurance.  In 1936, George and Joe formed the partnership of Zimmerman Bros. and set up the men’s clothing business which is conducted in their building at the business center. 

Student of Business 

George Zimmerman was a trained businessman; a persistent student of business methods and trends. Born in Avoca, Wisconsin, October 12, 2886, he came with the family to Neillsville in 1901, graduated from the local high school and went to business college in La Crosse.  Completing the business course, he went to work for the R. Connor Co., lumber concern in Marshfield.  Then he went to the Pacific coast in the employ of the Milwaukee Road, and presently took up a homestead, of which he had only recently disposed.  The homestead was not far from Yakima, and for a time George taught school in that area.  He was the employ of a lumber company in Tacoma when his father, in 1910, asked him to return to Neillsville.  

Conservative, Honest 

Some of Mr. Zimmerman’s characteristics as a businessman were told Monday evening to the Kiwanis Club, of which he was a charter member.  The speaker was Wells F. Harvey, who had often discussed practical economics with Mr. Zimmerman.  Mr. Harvey said that George was a careful student of business, reading one or more business dailies and following service devoted to business and investment trends.  He perhaps led the local field as a careful student along this line.  His studies and observation had led him to be conservative, and it was said of him that he exemplified that integrity of character which is an essential of success in business.  His skill was of continuous advantage in the business of Zimmerman Bros. and in his connection with the Neillsville Bank, of which he was a director. 

Active in Community 

George Zimmerman was active in the civic and social life of the community.  He has served at various times as a member of public bodies, and had been greatly interested in the Masonic organizations.  He was a member of and had held practically all the chairs in the three local Masonic bodies - the Blue Lodge, the Chapter and the Commandery; he was a member of the Consistory at Eau Claire and of Zor Temple of the Shrine at Madison.  Of the latter he was a past potentate.  He was a charter member of the Moose here and of the Elks at Marshfield. 

Mr. Zimmerman was married on his birthday in 1913 to Blanche Crocker, a Neillsville girl. She survives him, as do their two children, Jack of Detroit and Ruth, Mrs. Jess Nourse, of Ypsilanti, Michigan.  Also surviving are three grandchildren, and the brothers, Joe of Neillsville and Harry of Madelia, Minn. 

Pallbearers will be W. H. Allen, Dr. M. K. Andresen, A. J. Kleckner, Ivan Lauscher, James. A. Musil and Adolph Unger.



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