Biography of Capt. John C. Zollinger
Erie County, OH Biographies





CAPT. JOHN C. ZOLLINGER. For many years actively identified with the mercantile and manufacturing interests of Sandusky, Capt. John C. Zollinger, a man of excellent business enterprise and judgment, has accumulated a fair share of this world's goods, and is now living retired from active pursuits, enjoying a well earned leisure. He is a veteran of the Civil war, and also one of the oldest native born citizens of Sandusky, his birth having occurred in this city October 10, 1842. His parents, Charles W. and Christina (Smith) Zollinger, of whom a brief account may be found on another page of this volume, in connection with the sketch of Frederick P. Zollinger, were born and educated in Germany.

Educated in the Sandusky schools, John C. Zollinger completed his early studies in the old high school building that stood on the spot now occupied by the courthouse, it having been a two story structure containing four rooms, one being used by the high school, one for the highest grammar grade, and the other two for recitation rooms. With a keen appreciation of the dignity of honest toil, he began work as soon as old enough, at the age of fourteen years becoming a clerk in the dry goods establishment of Everett Cooke & Company, and later entering the employ of C. E. & G. A. Cooke. In 1861 he enlisted in Company G, Sixty fifth Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and subsequently saw service under Generals Buell, Sheridan, Rosecrans and Thomas. He took part in many of the more important engagements of the conflict, including among others those at Shiloh, Perryville, Stone River and Missionary Ridge, participating in all the pitched battles and minor engagements en route from Chattanooga to Atlanta, and after the siege and capture of the latter city again met the enemy in the battles at Franklin and Nashville.

In 1863, his term of enlistment having expired, Mr. Zollinger veteranized, and subsequently, for gallant and meritorious conduct, he was promoted, receiving his commission as captain ere reaching the age of twenty three years. In the spring of 1865 Captain Zollinger was sent with his regiment to Texas, and there on December 25, 1865, he was honorably discharged from the service.

In 1866 the captain was employed as clerk in the office of an express company, and the ensuing few years was engaged in the dry goods business on his own account. He sold out his stock for the purpose of entering into a partnership with Frederick Ohlemacher, and was for ten years engaged in the manufacture of lime, having large quarries at Marblehead, Ohio. Disposing of his interest in the quarries, Captain Zollinger, in company with Louis Adolph, was successfully engaged in the fish business until 1900, but since that time has lived retired from business activities.

In 1866 Captain Zollinger was united in marriage with Paulina Lerch, who was born near Basel, Germany, a daughter of William and Barbara Lerch. Her father was a revolutionist during the uprising of 1848, and when the cause failed he, like Carl Schurz and others of his caliber, emigrated to America. Coming directly to Ohio, Mr. Lerch embarked in the jewelry business at Sandusky, and when well established sent for his wife and Patina, their only child. Prosperous in his undertakings, both he and his good wife there spent the remainder of their lives. True to the faith in which they were reared, they were consistent members of the German Lutheran Church. Mrs. Zollinger, who was brought up in the same religious belief, passed to the life beyond November 11, 1904.

Captain Zollinger is a member of McMeens Post, No. 19, Grand Army of the Republic, in which he is greatly interested. Fraternally he belongs to Science Lodge, No. 50, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, with which he has been connected for upwards of half a century, and of which he is past master; and to Erie Commandery, No. 23, Knights Templar.

From:
A Standard History of Erie County, Ohio
By: Hewson L. Peeke
Assisted by a Board of Advisory Editors
The Lewis Publishing Company Chicago and New York 1916


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