Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The Big Bend Country, embracing
Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties, State of Washington",
published by Western Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
EMIL ZELLMER is another striking
example of the ambitious young man coming to the country totally lacking
in financial means who, by his own pluck and business capabilities, tills
the soil and eventually works himself up to a state of prosperity and influence
in his community.
Born on April 16, 1868, in the province of
Posen, Germany, he was a son of August and Ernestine (Wanke) Zellmer, both
also natives of the same province. The father, now seventy years
of age, who is living a life of retirement on a farm in his native country,
has been a man of great prominence in the German army. He was reared
on a farm but early in his career adopted the life of the soldier and soon
succeeded in working himself up in rank until he attained to the office
of commander. He was an officer during the war with Denmark, 1864;
with Austria two years later, and with France in 1870-71. For his
bravery and for his saving of human life he was honored by the crown with
the Iron Cross medal, a marked distinction in the German army. After
his long service Mr. Zellmer resigned his commission to retire to his farm
where he is now living with his wife in comfort on a substantial income.
The brothers and sisters of Emil Zellmer are:
Mrs. Tilla Spilker, Mrs. Minnie Schuldt, Mrs. Bertha Baum, Mrs. Ernestine
Yanke, Mrs. Emma Brandt, Mrs. Helen Kruger and August.
The first fifteen years of Mr. Zellmer's life
were spent on a farm, during which time he received a liberal German education.
In the spring of 1883, in company with his sister Minnie, he sailed from
Hamburg, and twelve days later arrived in New York. They came on
the steamer Frisia, carrying on that voyage one thousand five hundred and
seventy-five passengers, which later was lost in a wreck. From New
York Mr. Zellmer came west to Chippewa county, Minnesota, where he attended
school in order to master the English tongue. In 1887 he came to
Spokane, where he worked at various occupations until coming to the vicinity
of Rocklyn in 1888. As soon as he reached his majority he filed on
a homestead here, which, by working for wages among his neighbors, he improved,
and after making final proof on his claim he sold it and purchased a farm
near Harrington. This he also sold, and bought his present farm in
1903. He now owns four hundred and eighty acres, most of which is
agricultural land, good modern buildings, plenty of water, stock and farm
On November 27, 1892, Emil Zellmer was married
to Elizabeth Bargmann, a native of Holstein, Germany, both of whose parents
are dead. Her brothers and sisters are: John, Mrs. Emma Greenburg,
and Mrs. Maggie Fuller. To Mr. and Mrs. Zellmer have been born five
children: Albert E., Emma E., Edward H., Frida E. and Walter A.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Zellmer are members of the
German Methodist Episcopal church.