In 1860, John W. Zimmerman lived with his parents, Conrad and Jane, in Farmer Township, Defiance County. John was the second son of six children at the time and 12 years old.
When he was just 17, he enlisted in Company A, 38th O.V.I. late in the war, on February 28, 1865. He mustered out about five months later on July 12, 1865 at Louisville, Kentucky.
The life of John W. was very hard to follow as he seemed to have eluded the census enumerators, or if not that, he moved. We know from his obituary that after the war, he spent time out west until just a few years before his death. Because of the number of men named John Zimmerman, locating him was difficult.
It appeared this census entry of 1910 might fit the elusive John W.:
Salt Lake City, Utah, 1165 Downington Avenue
Zimmerman, John W., 62, married once, born Ohio, hoist engineer
Zimmerman, Nettie G., 60, married three times, has one child.
They have been married seventeen years, making their marriage date about 1893.
His death certificate did identify his wife as Jennete and his parents as Conrad and Jane. His occupation was listed as miner and hoist engineer. He died on December 12, 1922, in Williams County with the causes listed as dementia and paralytic and chronic nephritis.
His obituary appeared in the Bryan Press on December 14, 1922:
"John Zimmerman died Tuesday about noon at the residence of Mrs. John Hickox, on S. Main St., at the age of 75 years. He lived for years in the west, but returned east two or three years ago after the death of his wife.
Funeral services will be held this afternoon at 1:30 o'clock at the residence, in charge of Rev. Mr. Gatherson, and the burial will be in the cemetery at Farmer."