Biography of Mrs. Francis E. A. Zimmerman (w/o James B.)


Zimmerman, Mrs. Francis E. A., who resides with her two sons at Kenmore, Tonawanda, widow of the late James B. Zimmerman, is a native of Niagara county and daughter of Anthony and Elizabeth (Norton) Ames, who were early settlers in Niagara county, at Pendleton Center, where they resided forty years. In 1870 Miss Ames became the wife of James B. Zimmerman, who became one of the most prominent and representative citizens of the town of Tonawanda. He was born in the town on his father's homestead, November 3, 1847. He attended the common district school and completed his course with a year's study in the semi-academic union school at Leckport, N. Y. The Zimmerman family are old settlers in Erie county, Levi, the father of James B., having settled here a few years after the war of 1812, his father having purchased the land in 1815, Levi bought a tract of 140 acres from his father for $12 an acre; he cleared the farm and made a home where he reared his family of six daughters and three sons, five of whom are now living. The first grain he raised he hauled to market at Albany with a team. James B. was during his career a farmer, stock raiser and legislator. His first vote was cast during the campaign of 1868 for the democratic candidate, Horatio Seymour, and throughout his life he was a consistent Democrat. His first appearance in politics was in 1881, when he was elected commissioner of highways by a large majority; he filled the office five successive terms and in 1888 was elected supervisor by a majority of forty-four votes and re-elected each successive year for eight years, with an ever increasing majority vote until he gained 600 majority. During his eight years on the Board of Supervisors he served on all the important committees. To his energies is due the judicious building of the Niagara Boulevard; he was also instrumental in furthering the building of the North Main Street and Kenmore Electric Railway to Tonawauda. He was president of the Erie and Niagara Counties Farmers' Insurance Association. He became a rich man by the sale of his farm in 1892 during the land boom. In 1893 he erected a fine residence in Kenmore, at the cost of $15,000.. He was a Mason. an Odd Fellow and a member of the A. O. U. W., and a willing supporter of the Kenmore Methodist church. To Mr. and Mrs Zimmerman were born three children: Gertrude. wife of Wilbur T. Harris of Buffalo; Eugene L. and Herbert A. Mr. Zimmerman died May 18, 1894.

Our County and its people
A descriptive work on Erie County, New York
Edited by: Truman C. White
The Boston History Company, Publishes 1898


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