Biography of Jerry R. Zmunt
Cuyahoga County, OH Biographies

JERRY R. ZMUNT. In the years of his professional activity as a member of the Cleveland bar Mr. Zmunt has gained the success and prestige that offer distinct evidence of ability and also of well earned claim upon popular confidence and esteem. He is now serving as a member of the board of county commissioners of Cuyahoga County, and through this and other official and civic mediums he has given definite expression to his loyalty and stewardship as a progressive and liberal citizen of the Ohio metropolis. Mr. Zmunt has here been active and influential in the local camp and campaign manceuvers of the republican party, and in 1918 he was his party's candidate for representative of the Twentieth Ohio District in the United States Congress. He has developed a substantial and representative law business, and maintains his offices in the Engineers Building.

Mr. Zmunt claims the Hawkeye State as the place of his nativity, his birth having occurred at Mitchell, Iowa, January 21, 1871. He is a son of Vincent and Mary (Zvoboda) Zmunt, both of whom were born and reared in Austria, where their marriage was solemnized and where their first child was born. In his native land Vincent Zmunt served a thorough apprenticeship to the trade of shoemaking, at a period when all shoes and boots were manufactured by hand and when exceptional skill was demanded of artisans in this line. Thus he fortified himself for the making of the highest grade of footwear, and his technical skill proved adequate reinforcement when he initiated his career in the United States, he having come with his wife and their one child, Frank, to this country in the year 1864, the other children, Vincent, Mary, Jerry R., Julius and Oscar, having been born after the family home had been established in the United States. Julius and Oscar are deceased. After living for a time in the city of New York, Vincent Zmunt moved with his family to the West and resided for an interval in the City of Chicago. He then established his residence at Mitchell. Iowa, where he thus gained a measure of pioneer prestige, and there he engaged in the boot and shoe business. In connection with his retail shoe business he maintained a department for the manufacturing of custom made shoes, and this department became one of such importance as to require the employment of three or four skilled workmen. Mr. Zmunt built up a substantial and prosperous business at Mitchell, and was one of the honored citizens and representative business men of that place at the time when he left Mitchell and moved with his family to Iowa City, in order to give to his children the advantages of the University of Iowa. In Iowa City he engaged in the grocery business, in which he continued until his death. His widow came to Cleveland and made her home with her daughter until her death.

In the public schools of his native place Jerry R. Zmunt continued his studies until his graduation from high school, and thereafter he made a record of four years of effective service as a teacher in the public schools, his pedagogic work having been done in Iowa and Minnesota. In the meanwhile he formulated definite plans for his future career, and in harmony with these plans he finally came to Cleveland, Ohio, and entered the law department of Western Reserve University, working his way through by doing janitor's work at the university. In this institution he was graduated as a member of the class of 1896, and his reception of the degree of Bachelor of Laws was almost immediately followed by his admission to the Ohio bar. He has since been continuously and successfully engaged in the practice of his profession in Cleveland, and since 1899 has been eligible for practice in the Federal Courts of the Northern District of Ohio. He has proved his powers as a resourceful trial lawyer and able counselor, and has made the passing years count in ever broadening command of the intricacies of the involved science of jurisprudence, which ever challenges the ambitious student, no matter how broad has been his practical experience along professional lines.

In 1916 Mr. Zmunt was elected to the Cleveland City Council, as representative from the Seventh Ward, and in this office he continued his service until 1922. He was a member of the council during the period of American participation in the World war, when this and all other governmental bodies were called upon to assume far greater responsibilities and more exacting service, and he did his part in making the work of the municipal government efficient during this climateric period, besides being otherwise active and influential in the advancing of local patriotic service. In the council he was assigned to the streets, finance, the appropriations and the judiciary committees. The estimate placed upon his service in this connection was shown in the loyal support of his constituents, and as a member of the board of county commissioners of Cuyahoga County, to which office he was elected in 1920, he finds opportunity for further service of most loyal and appreciable order. As previously stated, Mr. Zmunt was a republican candidate for representative in Congress in the year 1918, and the general trend of political exigencies at the time compassed his defeat.

In the time honored Masonic fraternity the basic affiliation of Mr. Zmunt is with Halcyon Lodge No. 498, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and his maximum York Rite affiliation is with Forest City Commandery No. 40, Knights Templar. His Masonic alliances are extended to Lake Erie Consistory of the Scottish Rite, Al Koran Temple of the Mystic Shrine, and Al Sirat Grotto. He is identified also with various social, professional and civic organizations of representative character in his home city.

Mr. Zmunt married Miss Mary Schovanek in 1893 and the children of this union were four in number: Esther, Vera (who died in 1907, aged five and one half years), Vernon J. and Aithea N. Esther is the wife of Walter Breymaler, a World's war soldier, and they have a son, Robert Walter.

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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