Biography of John Zipp
Cuyahoga County, OH Biographies

JOHN ZIPP. A native son of Cleveland who has raised himself by industry, integrity and strict fidelity in all his relationships to a position of prominence and success in the commercial portions of the city is John Zipp, manufacturer, for many years head of the Zipp Manufacturing Company.

The Zipp family home at the time of his birth, on December 13, 1857, stood on Webster, then known as Columbus Street, in Cleveland. He was a small boy while the great events of the Civil war were taking place, and he was attending the public schools before the war was over. Most of his early education was acquired in the old Brownell School Building. It was inclination as well as necessity that turned him early into lines of. commercial endeavor. He clerked in a grocery store, also did bookkeeping, and for seven years was employed by the Water Street firm John H. Gause and Company, that period of his life bringing him some capital. but chiefly experience, acquaintance and credit as a basis for his independent start.

Mr. Zipp on September 1, 1885, founded and began the manufacture of baking powder, flavoring extracts, crushed fruit and syrups, a business that under his energetic and wise guidance has had a remarkable growth and development into one of the largest concerns in Ohio. In 1896 the Zipp Manufacturing Company was incorporated with a capital of $100,000, the products being now confined largely to the manufacture of flavoring extracts, crushed fruits and fruit syrup. Mr. Zipp is still president and active head of the business. Practically his entire business experience has been within a radius of a few blocks from the location of his company. In that community he was born and has lived a busy and honorable life.

Mr. Zipp is a republican in politics, is a member of the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce, the Willowick Country Club, the Tippecanoe Club, the Cleveland Athletic Club, the Early Settlers' Association, and in all these organizations his name is spoken with respect and admiration for his splendid qualities of character.

In 1881 he married Miss Catherine Emig, a native of Mansfield, Ohio. There are two children. Helen is the wife of Frank L. Fisher, secretarytreasurer of the Zipp Manufacturing Company. The son, John III, is a student in Baldwin Wallace College at Berea, Ohio.

The father of the Cleveland manufacturer and business man whose career has been briefly sketched was John Zipp, Sr., one of the earliest of the German immigrants to settle in Cleveland. He was born in Germany, in 1823, acquired a fair education and learned the trade of stone mason in his native land, and in 1843, at the age of twenty, came to America, locating in Cleveland. A man of industry and ambition, he readily found employment at his trade, and in time began taking contracts for masonry construction. At first he was foreman for one of the early contractors of the city, Mr. Warner, who handled a great deal of building work in Northern Ohio. As foreman he assisted in constructing a number of conspicuous buildings, including the old stone church still standing on the square, and the old postoffice of Cleveland. Many others he helped construct have long since been torn down and made way for modern structures. His own work as a contractor was characterized by the best skill of the building trades of that day. At the time of his death he held the contract for stone work on the old Case Block.

John Zipp, Sr., also was in business as a coal, stone and wood merchant, having his yards at the foot of East Ninth Street on the canal. Any contract that he undertook he carried out with scrupulous fidelity, no matter how many difficulties were involved. He had come to America with the express purpose of building a home and founding a family in this new world, and he brought with him and exemplified not only the sturdy virtues of the fatherland, but also a fine degree of morality and civic pride and public spirit. He was a consistent member of and held various positions in the German Reformed Church, and always voted the democratic ticket.

John Zipp, Sr., married not long after coming to America, Miss Catherine Kreckel, who was born in Germany in 1823, the same year as her husband, and also came to this country in 1843. Her father soon after his arrival built a house still standing at the lower end of Scoville Street, near Ninth, then known as Parkman Street. This home was then on the outskirts of the city, and some members of the Kreckel family objected to living there since it was "out in the country."

John Zipp, Sr., died in January, 1864. He had been in America only twenty years, but had succeeded well in his ambition to achieve a fair degree of material wealth. His widow survived him until May, 1890.

A History of Cuyahoga County
and the City of Cleveland
By: William R. Coates
The American Historical Society
Chicago and New York, 1924

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