Biography of Zimri Dwiggins
Chicago, Cook County, Il Biographies

DWIGGINS, ZIMRI. - Born in Grant county, Ind., Aug. 31, 1848. Son of Daniel and Mary (Starbuck) Dwiggins; of Scotch descent. Both families trace their records far back into colonial history, and it is claimed that one of the early ancestors on the mother's side was the first one married in the colonies, his bride being a Miss Stuart, a direct descendant of the royal family of Scotland. One of the families was also among the original purchasers of Nantucket Island in 1659; other portions of the family located in North Carolina, and were among the largest slaveholders of those days. The father was born in Guilford county, N. C., May 25, 1807, and went with his family to Ohio, but in 1836 moved to Grant county, Ind.; was a farmer, a man of sound sense, lived a life of great usefulness, was highly respected, was a most pronounced abolitionist, and at one time was connected with the famous "underground railroad," which was used in assisting runaway slaves to reach Canada. Zimri Dwiggins was educated in the common schools and in the State Normal school at Terre Haute, Ind. Immediately upon leaving school he was associated with his brother in the practice of law, studying and practicing at the same time. This partnership existed from 1871 to 1885, and was so successful financially as to enable the brothers to organize the Citizens' State bank at Rensselaer, Ind., of which Mr. Dwiggins was made president. The organization of this bank opened up a new career for him. Since that time he has been instrumental in organizing forty six banks, in which he still holds an interest, among which may be mentioned the Citizens' State Bank of Rensselaer, Commercial Bank of Oxford, Citizens' National Bank of Attica, all in Indiana, and the Columbia National Bank of Chicago. He came to Chicago in 1886, at which time he organized the last named bank, first under the name of the United States National Bank, having a capital of $200,000; at the end of two years the stock was in creased to $500,000, and on Feb. 16, 1891, the name was changed to the Columbia National, the capital stock being in creased to $1,000,000. Mr. L. Everingham was elected president, Col. W. G Bentley vice president, and Zimri Dwiggins cashier. This institution enjoyed a season of great prosperity, and upon the resignation of Mr. Everingham, in November, 1892, Mr. Dwiggins was unanimously elected president. It may be stated that the financial difficulties experienced by this institution in no way reflect upon Mr. Dwiggins or the management of the concern; the troubles were entirely due to intimate relations with the Chemical National, which, in failing, dragged in its wake not only the Columbia National but precipitated the western country into almost a financial panic. Mr. Dwiggins is an excellent example of the self made man; his prosperity is due wholly to his intense industry, broad intelligence, and upright business methods; he made the subject of banking a serious study, and has been uniformly successful; is a member of Emanuel Baptist church; is a member of the Union League, Chicago, Washington Park and Bankers' clubs. Was married in 1874 to Miss Estella M. Purcupile, daughter of Archibald Purcupile, a merchant of Rensselaer, Ind. Four children have been born - twins, April 23, 1875, one of which, Elma, died at the age of three months, while the other, Linda, is still living; another daughter, Ona, born July 7, 1881, died March 5, 1886; a son, Frank P., born July 6, 1886.

The Handbook of Chicago Biography
Edited by John J Flinn.
The Standard Guide Company
Chicago 1893


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