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Whatcom County
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Zane, Albert Jackson

    Especial interest is attached to the records of those pioneers who in the early half of the nineteenth century braved the dangers of the unknown west, the perils from wild animals and the even more savage Indians, devoting their lives to the redemption of the Pacific coast region. Such a one was Albert Jackson Zane, a man widely known and universally honored. He was one of the early miners of California and for twenty-five years a resident of Whatcom county, marching in the front rank of those men of rugged strength and courageous spirit who evolved out of the uncharted wilderness and vast forests the fertile land and magnificent farms of this great empire.

    Mr. Zane was born in 1835 at Zanesville, Ohio, which was named in honor of the family, and was a son of Isaiah and Penelope (Means) Zane, the former a native of West Virginia. The mother was born in South Carolina and was a cousin of "Stonewall" Jackson, one of the distinguished generals of the Civil war. Members of the Zane family were active participants in the Revolutionary war, and prominent among these loyal defenders of American liberty were Captain Silas Zane, commander of Fort Henry, in West Virginia, and the courageous Elizabeth, or Betty, Zane, the story of whose heroism during an attack on the fort in 1782 by a party of British and Indians is an inspiring incident in our early history. Albert J. Zane was educated in the public schools of his native town and in 1852, when a youth of seventeen, accompanied the family on the overland journey to California. The father and one of the sons died en route of cholera, and another son, Joel, then took charge of the party. Leaving the main section of the emigrant train, the family proceeded on their toilsome journey toward the Pacific coast and after many exciting experiences finally reached Sonoma county, their destination.

    Albert J. Zane was one of the early prospectors of that district and operated the Great Eastern quicksilver mine in Sonoma county. In 1890 he came to Washington, acquiring a farm in Whatcom county, and subsequently increased his holdings until he at length became one of its largest landowners. He was one of the pioneer dairymen of this region and played a leading part in the upbuilding of one of the chief industries of the state. A firm believer in scientific methods, he kept always abreast of the times and through diligence and wise management converted his private property into a public asset. He was a great lover of fine horses and was the first to introduce racing stock into the county, maintaining his own track. He was a man of progressive spirit and keen intelligence, destined to lead in everything that he undertook. Actuated by high ideals and strong purpose, he never faltered in his choice between right and wrong, and his death on the 20th of February, 1915, was deeply deplored.

    On September 26, 1869, Mr. Zane was united in marriage to Miss Minerva Sears, a daughter of Joel and Wealtha (James) Sears, the former a native of Indiana and the latter of Tennessee. Her parents came to California in 1866 via the Isthmus of Panama and were among the early agriculturists of the Golden state. Her uncle Franklin Sears, had settled in California in the year 1836 and aided in raising the bear flag, a portion of which was made from a skirt worn by the wife of his brother John. To Mr. and Mrs. Zane were born three children. Georgia, the eldest, married Henry Randolph bull, who for thirty-five years has been superintendent of schools at Healdsburg, and they have one child, Elizabeth Zane. Clara Bell is a teacher of music in Bellingham. Albert H. is a resident of Whatcom county and has a wife and four children. Mr. Zane's widow and unmarried daughter are now operating the dairy, which is one of the best in this section of the state, and the home ranch contains three hundred acres of rich and fertile land. They are capable business women, well informed on all matter pertaining to the diary industry, and the family is highly esteemed in the community.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 494-497

Zender, Peter

    Among the men of foreign nationality who have profited by the countless opportunities offered by the Pacific northwest is numbered Peter Zender, a pioneer of Whatcom county and one of the progressive agriculturists of Deming township. A native of Germany, he was born May 16, 1860, and his education was received in the fatherland. In 1884, when a young man of twenty-four, he came to the United States in the hope of bettering his fortune, and first located in Michigan. At the end of two months he went to Wisconsin, where he lived for four years, and then spent a year in Minnesota. In 1889 he came to Whatcom county and took up a homestead in Columbia township, casting in his lot with its early settlers. His claim was situated in the midst of a forest, in which were deer, bears, and many other kinds of game. He was  obliged to carry his supplies on his back for a distance of thirty miles, traversing a narrow trial, and it was two years before he was able to afford the luxury of a cow. After arduous effort he succeeded in clearing his place and preparing the land for the sowing of seed. His well cultivated fields yielded good harvests, and he continued to operate the ranch until 1906, when he sold the property. In 1908 he bought a tract of ninety-five acres in Deming township, and a portion of the land lies in Columbia township. He has the best home and barns in this section of the county and take justifiable pride in his farm, which is supplied with many modern improvements. He specializes in dairying and stock raising and his work is carefully planned and systematically conducted.

    In 1888 Mr. Zender was united in marriage to Miss Anna Mary Meyer, also a native of Germany, and five children were born to them, namely: Christina, the wife of Thomas Burke, a well known farmer of this locality; Ida, deceased; Antone, at home; Jacob, who operates a portion of the homestead and has a wife and three children; and Henry, who is also cultivating a part of his father's ranch and has a wife and two children. Mr. Zender casts his ballot for the candidates of the republican party and served for six years on the school board. Honest, industrious and public-spirited, he has exerted a strong influence for good in his district, and an exemplary life has won for him the unqualified esteem and confidence of his fellowmen.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 891-892

Zimmer, John

    John Zimmer is one of the pioneer farmers, dairymen and landowners of Mountain View township, his well kept place being on rural mail route No. 2 out of Ferndale, where he has resided for more than thirty years. He is of European birth but has been a resident of this country since the days of his boyhood. He was born December 26, 1859, on a farm in Austrian Silesia, a crown land and titular duchy, until 1849 attached to Moravia and now a part of the republic of Czecho-Slovakia, and is a son of Ferdinand and Clara (Parsch) Zimmer, the latter of whom died there in 1901. The father came to America following the death of his wife and his last days were spent in Whatcom county. He died in 1912 and is buried in the Mountain View cemetery.

    Reared in Austria John Zimmer attended the gymnasium, or high school, and in 1876, when sixteen years of age, came to America and settled on a farm with his uncle in Platt county, Nebraska, where he made his general headquarters until his marriage in 1886, meantime working in Iowa, Minnesota, Wyoming and Colorado. For a few years after his marriage he was located in Colorado and in 1892 came to Whatcom county. He bought a five acre tract of timber land in Mountain View township, a part of the place on which he is now living, and there established his home, taking onto that place the first two-horse team found on that side of the Ferndale settlement. The highway had not then reached that point and his goods were hauled in by sledge over the old woods trail. Mr. Zimmer cleared that tract and then bought additional land until now he has a well improved place of forty acres, twenty-five acres of which is cleared and under cultivation.  On this place he has a fine cherry orchard of one hundred and sixty trees. His principal attention is given to his dairy operations, with a fine herd of Jerseys, and he is a member of the Whatcom County Dairymen's Association. Mr. Zimmer has ever given helpful attention to local civic affairs and has rendered public service as a member of the school board in his district. He is affiliated with the Woodmen of the World and he and his family are members of the Roman Catholic church.

    In July, 1886, at Kearney, Buffalo county, Nebraska, Mr. Zimmer married Miss Pauline Zimmer, a Silesian, born in the same neighborhood as her husband, and who has been a resident of this country since the days of her childhood, her parents, Carl and Paulina (Reisel) Zimmer, having come here with their family in 1880 and settled in Nebraska. Carl Zimmer was a cousin of Ferdinand Zimmer, father of John Zimmer. In his home land he was a hotelkeeper but upon taking up his residence in Nebraska became a farmer and there he and his wife spent their last days. John and Pauline Zimmer have four children: Clara and Nora, at home with their parents; Carl, connected with the operations of the shingle mill in Bellingham, who married Miss Mary McDonald and has a daughter, Mildred; and Roy, who is aiding his father in the work of the home farm.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 812-813

Zobrist, Fred

    Fred Zobrist, Acme's pioneer merchant, is also classed with the foremost agriculturists of the township, and his success is doubly creditable owing to the fact that it has been won through the stimulating friction of battling with difficulties. He was born in Switzerland in 1859, and his parents were Peter and Magdalene (Brawent) Zobrist. He was educated in his native land and when a young man of twenty-two joined the tide of immigration to the United States. He lived for some time in Indiana and went from that state to Ohio. He came to Whatcom county, Washington, in 1886 and made a payment on a relinquishment of eighty acres at Custer. He was expecting funds from Ohio but failed to receive the money and at the end of three months was forced to abandon the property after clearing some of the land, as he was unable to complete the payments.

    Mr. Zobrist then went to Seattle and when he reached that city had only a quarter left. He secured a room at the old Swiss Hotel and obtained a position as pantry boy at the New England Hotel. He started at fifteen dollars per month and his salary was soon increased to forty dollars monthly, owing to his familiarity with the work. He was afterward employed in a dairy, and after he received the money due him from Ohio he returned to Custer, offering to complete the payments on the land. The man holding the property had doubled the price and Mr. Zobrist withdrew his offer, threatening to file suit unless the amount of the first payment was returned to him, which was done. In 1886 he preempted a quarter section at the head of Lake Whatcom, near the present site of the town of Park, and proved up on the land, which he cultivated for three years, also owning a store which was patronized by the early settlers of that locality. He then bought a relinquishment of one hundred and sixty acres where the town of Acme is now situated and then homesteaded it, and he opened the first store in this locality. He carries a fine line of general merchandise and is always prepared to supply the needs of customers. He gives to patrons good value for the amount expended, being satisfied with a reasonable profit on his sales, and through wise management and honest methods has built up a large trade. In the early days he transported his supplies across Lake Whatcom by rowboat and thence by packhorse to his store at Acme. Mr. Zobrist is one of the largest landholders in the township, owning more than eight hundred acres, and raises the crops best adapted to this region. He reserves a considerable portion of the land for pasture and operates three dairies. He specializes in blooded Holsteins and has one hundred and twenty-five head of fine cattle. The products of his dairies rank with the best in the county and their quality is the direct result of system and science in their preparation. He has made his private property a public asset and ranks with the most progressive and successful agriculturists in the county.

    In 1887 Mr. Zobrist married Miss Mattie A. Custer, a native of Indiana, and eight children were born to them: Ida, the wife of Oscar Everetts, of Tacoma; Gertrude, who as united in marriage to Ross McDonald, of Seattle; Esther and Fred, at home; Paul, whose home is in Acme; Mildred, the wife of Dr. Guy Beesley, a prominent dentist of Port Angeles, Washington; Herbert, who is a civil and electrical engineer and a graduate of the University of Washington and is now in Seattle; and Ralph, who is taking a course in art at the State University.

    Mr. Zobrist is an accomplished linguist, speaking German, French and English, with fluency, and is also able to converse in the Swedish, Dutch and Italian languages. He is identified with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and in politics is a republican with independent tendencies. He served on the school board for a considerable period and for sixteen years was postmaster of Acme, performing his duties with customary thoroughness and efficiency. He never undertakes a task unless he considers it worthy of his best efforts and has left the impress of his individuality upon his work, possessing all of the qualities of the leader. He has an intimate knowledge of pioneer life in northwestern Washington and his conversation spans the past in interesting reminiscences. Mr. Zobrist numbers his friends by the hundreds and the most envious cannot grudge him his success, so honorably has it been won and so worthily used.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 788-789

Zurn, George

    There are few farmers of western Whatcom county who have met with more encouraging success than has George Zurn, one of those strong, sturdy characters who have contributed so largely to the material growth of the locality in which he resides. He is a progressive and up-to-date farmer, and as a public-spirited and enterprising citizen he has been an important factor in promoting the development of his section of the county. Mr. Zurn was born in Germany in 1875 and is a son of George and Margaret (Andres) Zurn, both also natives of Germany, whence they came to the United States and located in Iowa about 1893. The mother died in Whatcom county in 1924. The father was a carpenter and followed his trade until 1908. Our subject is indebted to the public schools of his native land for the major portion of his education, though he also attended night school after coming to Iowa. He remained in Iowa until 1900, when he came to Lynden, Whatcom county, and was here engaged in carpenter work until 1908, in which year he bought his present farm of twenty-five acres. The place contained a small orchard, but otherwise the land was uncleared, the removal of the timber and brush being undertaken by Mr. Zurn after he moved onto the land. He now has about fifteen acres of the land cleared and is devoting his main attention to poultry farming, in which he has met with very encouraging success. He keeps about one thousand laying hens, for which he has well built houses, and also gives some attention to dairying, keeping a number of good milk cows, as well as to the raising of fruit, his orchard being in good bearing condition. A carpenter by trade, he put his knowledge of structural work to good use, and practically all the buildings on the place were built by him, all of them being substantial, well arranged and up-to-date.

    On April 10, 1904, Mr. Zurn was married to Miss Anna Peters, who was born in Germany, a daughter of John and Henrietta (Rambach) Peters, the former of whom died in November, 1906. Mrs. Zurn's mother, who also was a native of Germany, came to the United States and located in Nebraska. She came to Whatcom county at the same time the subject came here, and she is now living in Ten Mile. Mr. Zurn is a member of the Whatcom County Dairymen's Association and the Whatcom County Poultry Association. Whatever success he has attained has been owing entirely to his individual efforts, his energy and natural ability. From a small beginning he has gradually attained well merited prominence in his adopted country, which entitles him to the high esteem which he enjoys among his neighbors, all of whom repose in him the utmost confidence.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 276


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