George Gottlob Zimmerman
George Gottlob Zimmerman, son of Johann George Zimmerman and Rosine Margarete Pregizer, was born 23 July, 1781 in Ludwigsburg, Germany. He was educated in the Universities of Germany. He spoke German, English and French so perfectly that he could pass as a native of all three. He was also a master of the Latin language. During the Napoleonic wars he was drafted into the services, and was soon taken prisoner to Paris. Here he was treated so kindly that he resolved not to reenter the army against the French. When the two countries exchanged prisoners, instead of returning home he managed to escape on a vessel bound for America. Having no money to pay his passage, he was sold as an indentured servant for one year to a tanner in Philadelphia. After serving his time he remained several years with this tanner and then drifted into a little Dutch settlement near Harrisburg, Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Here he took up his profession of a school teacher, his life’s work.
While there he met Juliana Hoke whom he married. She was then 17-1/2 years old, he was approaching thirty five.
Juliana Hoke was born in Wuerttemberg Germany, on November 25, 1798, in a town within 15 miles of the place where grandfather was born. (They did not know each other existed until they met in America.)
Juliana’s father, Lorentz (changed to Lawrence in America) Hoke, a carpenter by trade thought to better their condition financially by coming to America. They crossed the ocean in 1804, the same year as George Gottlob Zimmerman. They made their way about sixty miles west of Philadelphia, to the Blue Ridge Mountain district of Franklin County, Pennsylvania.
Lawrence Hoke invented and patented the first threshing and winnowing machine in the United States while Thomas Jefferson was President. A copy of the patent is held as a relic by our Dr. John Zimmerman Brown, a great grandson. Lawrence Hoke was a devout man, and a scriptorian. He was not satisfied with any of the religious denominations of that time and wished that he had lived in the time of Christ. Through prayer the Lord made known to him that the true Church of Christ was not on the earth, but would soon be restored, and through it he and his posterity would be saved. This he told his daughter on his death bed and he also told her that he himself wouldn’t hear it but that she would. He died at the home of his daughter in 1835, not having heard of the restoration of the gospel although the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized five years before, but the missionaries had not yet reached that part of the state of Pennsylvania. However, through his daughter the prophecy has been fulfilled and all his household have been officiated for in the Temples of the Lord.
Grandma Juliana was educated in America, having come here at the age of six. Her mother’s health was not too good and before her marriage she had to care for her mother’s family. Her mother died two years after her marriage. Grand Mother was the oldest child. She had four brothers only one of whom lived to maturity, and four sisters none of whom joined the Church even though one sister, Katherine, died at the home of Susan Zimmerman Terry in Richmond, Cache County, Utah, where she had lived several years before passing on.
Grandpa and Grandma made their home in Franklin County Pennsylvania for 27 years, having married April 4, 1816. They were the parents of 12 children and reared seven of then to maturity. The family, with the exception of John, joined the Church at a time when persecution was running high. Grandma, who belonged to the United Brethren, was baptized first, January 1843 by Daniel Garn and confirmed by Jacob Foutz, whom she had known when he was a boy. Grandpa, who was a Lutheran, was baptized in June 1845 by Levi Thornton. He said that the pamphlet The Voice of Warning did more to convince him of the truthfulness of the gospel than anything else. The next year they moved to Illinois, but not to Nauvoo.
They gathered with the Mormons fugitives in Garden Grove in 1846. They remained there a few years in order to get an outfit to come to Utah.
In Aunt Linoni’s memoirs she had this to say about Nauvoo. While I was there I went to meetings in the grove and in the Temple when it was dedicated. When we went to Garden Grove mother left all her folks. It was a great trial for her. She loved them all, but she never saw any of them afterwards....We lived in our wagons and tents all summer. In the fall Father and Levi Thornton put up a log house, one room for each of us. Sometimes the snow would sift in through the boards. I remember one night it snowed all night and the wind blew. In the morning the snow was half a foot deep on our bed. Mother brought us dry clothes to put on for ours were covered with snow.
While in Garden Grove Grandpa went to Missouri to teach ‘among strangers’ in order to help us get together enough things for the trek west.
The girls learned to spin and weave and make their own clothes. Juliana went to Missouri to learn to weave coverlets. Aunt Libbie says of this period, We had a lovely time there, there were so many young folks lived there. They did not care to get married until they got to their journeys end. My brother John got married (in 1850) and stayed one year after we left. Elsewhere she writes as soon as our corn was large enough to grate we grated it on graters and made bread of it. Then as soon as it would do to shell we ground it in our hand mills. I have walked miles with a bucket of corn two of us together and ground it to make bread. The mill was fastened to a tree. After a while there was a horse mill put up.
Christina had married in 1843 and was widowed in Garden Grove in 1850.
Aunt Libbie met Suel Lamb for the first time in Garden Grove. She was 15, he was 13. Later the Lamb’s wound up in Lehi also.
On May 17, 1851 they left Garden Grove with the Saints to cross the plains to Utah in Harry Walton’s company which consisted of 67 wagons and about fifty families. Harry Walton had been to California in the gold rush and had gone back east to get his family. While on his way back to California he was hired out as guide of a company. He was not a member of the Church.
Our family for the journey consisted of the following: Grandfather, who was 70 years old; Grandmother, 53; the widowed Christina, 33 and her daughter Sarah Julia Stevens 2; Julia Ann, 22; Elizabeth, 19; Margaret, 14; Susan, 12; and Rosannah, 10.
They had one wagon, one yoke of oxen, one yoke of cows, and a horse, so they had to walk most of the way to lighten the load. After discharging one teamster for being cruel and profane to the animals they secured the services of Albert Clyde. Because of Grandpa’s age and never having been around cattle it was impracticable for him to drive his wagon to Utah. Aunt Libbie tells us that it was interesting to see some of the young inexperienced teamsters get into trouble when the going was tough.
Their supplies consisted of flour, meal, beans, dried bread, crackers, dried apples, sugar and milk with some butter and bacon and a few dried parsnips. On the way one of the men killed a large tortoise which he divided with 5 or 6 families. Our family got some of it and reported it to be very tasty. From time to time they had bison meat which they enjoyed very much.
All of their experiences with the bison were not as enjoyable, however. Oftimes they could hear their roaring noises for miles away and could hear them as they would pass the camps of the way to the watering holes at night. More than once the wagon train was cut in two so the herds of bison, up to 5,000 or more could go rushing through. Stampedes among the cattle and oxen were common things. During one of these stampedes caused by the bison we have this incident reported by Aunt Libbie. One woman by the name of Ellen Weingsley jumped out of her wagon as she did so the next team and wagon ran over her and she never breathed again. . . It was hard for them to leave her behind in a lonely spot. . .She was washed and dressed and some goods boxes put in the grave and she was put in and left.
Our folks had good health all the time and also had their share of narrow escapes. A number of deaths occurred enroute as well as a few births. While travelling they came across many graves left there by the companies that had proceeded them.
There were two good fiddlers and several good callers in the company, so that many enjoyable evenings were spent in dance and song to bolster their courage and make their sorrows lighter.
It is interesting to note that they didn’t seem to mind using buffalo chips to cook on, but when they first reached the sage brush region they did not like either the smoke or the taste that it gave the food. They became used to it somewhat by the end of the journey however.
It is a long time from May 17th to September 25th for a family group of nine who have all their earthly belongings in one wagon, who range in age from a mere child of 2 to a courageous man of determination of seventy summers. Through swollen rivers of late spring and dusty insect infested plains of summer, up the eastern slopes of the rockies, down the precipitous ravines of the Wasatch they struggled. Sometimes they would pass beds of salaratus or natural soda which they gathered to leaven their bread. Oft times they had only the water of stagnant pools to quench their thirst. They boiled the water and then tried to cool it enough to try to satisfy their parched throats.
After staying in Great Salt Lake City a short time they then went on to Lehi. Lehi was settled about a year before and contained about 15 families in the town at that time. Aunt Libbie’s account reads, We lived in one of Samuel White’s rooms the first winter. They let us have half of their house only ours did not have a floor in it. They were willing to live and let live. They did not charge us rent. Father made and mended all their shoes and us girls helped do her washing and would milk and help her. Mother did lots of knitting so we paid our way. The Bishop offered to help us with tithing and donation but we would not take anything. Father got plenty of shoemaking to do. (It should be said here that he learned the trade from his father, who was a master shoemaker and had a number of men working for him back in Germany.) There were good crops raised that summer. Such fine squashes, we dried the tithing squash on shares. In the spring father got a lot and put a house on it. I slept in a covered wagon 2 winters. In the spring of ’53 we moved into the fort.
I want to tell how the girls spent their time in Lehi after we moved into the fort. It was built in a square with the doors inside and a mud wall on the outside of the houses. We had one room, so you see we did not have much room to work in. All the girls in Lehi could spin. The Bishop told the girls they could take their wheels to a large log meeting house and school and spin. Sometimes more than a dozen would spin at a time, (She claims that they didn’t play very much even through they would) talk and laugh and perhaps talk about their beaus. They would spin 40 knots or 12 cuts a day.
In the evenings the young women would stroll arm in arm about the fort, chatting here and there with the different people. And I guess that she (Aunt Libbie) must have seen Suel Lamb a time or two because about a year after he moved to Lehi Aunt Libbie left her home to start a flock of her own.
On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the first company in Great Salt Lake valley Aunt Libbie reminisces in this manner, I remember the 24th of July, 1857 when we went to the head of Cottonwood Canyon to spend a day. There was a company went from all over the country. There were 8 families went from Lehi. My husband, myself, Father, Mother John and wife, (Polly Lamb) and the Bishop and family were in the company. We started in the afternoon of the 22nd, went to the mouth of the canyon and camped for the night then the next morning went up the canyon. President Young, his Councilors, the Twelve, were there with their families and a number of brass bands. The first thing in the morning was to climb onto the highest peaks and put up the flags. There were a number of sawmills in the canyon. They took up lumber and made dancing floors. There was no money spent on this trip. In the afternoon Porter Rockwell and some other men came into camp at breakneck speed on ponies, to inform President Young of Johnston’s Army coming to Utah.
The following is a copy of the invitation to the outing:
Pic Nic party at the head waters of Big Cottonwood.
President Young respectfully invites __________ and family to attend it. Pic Nic party at the lake in Big Cottonwood Canyon Friday 24th of July.
Regulations.. You will be required to start so as to pass the first mill about four miles up the canyon before 12 o’clock on Thursday the 23rd as no person will be allowed to pass that part after 2 o’clock of that day.
All persons are forbidden to smoke pipes or cigars or kindle fires at any place in the canyon except on the campgrounds. The Bishops are requested to accompany those invited from their respective wards and to see that each person is well fitted for the trip with good substantial teams, wagons, harnesses, hold backs and a good driver so as not to endanger the life of any individual. Bishops will before passing the first mill furnish a fill and complete list of all persons accompanying them from their respective wards and to hand the same to the guard at the gate.
Grandfather was an Elder in the Church when he came to Utah, having been ordained December 19, 1847. He was ordained a High Priest in Lehi. They went through the Endowment House March 31, 1852. Because of his advanced age grandfather gave up his profession as a school teacher and settled down in a little adobe house where he cobbled shoes for a livelihood. During his declining years Grandfather Zimmerman was cared for by his daughter Susan Zimmerman Naegle, a young widow who had returned home. He died in 1866 at the ripe old age of eighty-five and was buried in Lehi near his wife who, although younger in years, had preceded him to the other side by some two years, at the age of sixty-six.
Of their 12 children five of them died under six years of age. Of the seven who lived to man and womanhood only one, Christina preceded them in death. She passed away in 1857 at the age of 38.
The other six children all lived to see a new century come in, Rosannah Naegle died in Torquerville in 1906 at the age of 65. John died in Lehi in 1908 at 83 years of age, Elizabeth Lamb in Hyde Park in 1911 at nearly 80, Julia Ann Drury in Fairview in 1915, at 86. Susan Terry in Salt Lake City in 1924, at 85, and Margaret Brown at Pleasant Grove in 1929 after nearly spanning a century, at the age of 93.
(One hundred years after coming to Utah there were 10 grandchildren still living)