Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record - Published 1894 by Excelsior Publishing Co., Chicago" Pages 304 - 305
John Zinkgraf, one of the pioneer settlers of Sheboygan County, was born at Neustadt, on the Hardt, Bavaria,
Germany, May 23, 1826. His parents, Peter and Catherine (Schonish) Zinkgraf, spent their entire lives in the
Fatherland, where the husband carried on a vineyard. Of their four children, all came to the United States, but only
two are now living: John, whose name heads this article; and George, who lives in Plymouth.
John Zinkgraf was reared in his native land, receiving a good education. When he was fifteen years of age he began
to learn the cooper's trade, serving an apprenticeship of three years. When the Revolution of 1848 broke out, he
took part in that uprising", and, as a result, found it best to come to the United States. Accordingly, in 1849, he
sailed from Havre, France, to New York, being only twenty-eight days in crossing. The voyage was made on the English
vessel "Nicholas Biddle," the same boat on which his fellow-townsman, Karl Knimrey, came. For some time after coming
to this county Mr. Zinkgraf worked at his trade in Sheboygan and Plymouth. In 1851 he bought forty acres of land on
section 16, in the town of Plymouth. This was covered with heavy timber, but he built a log house and began the work
of making a farm. Later he purchased another forty acres. Of this he has made a good farm, making all the
improvements, and he has cleared sixty-five acres.
Mr. Zinkgraf was united in marriage to Miss Mary Koebel, October 26, 1854, the ceremony being performed in the town
of Plymouth, the residence of the bride. Mrs. Zinkgraf was a daughter of Peter and Margaret Koebel, whose biography
is given in connection with that of George Koebel. Of this marriage there were ten children born, as follows: John,
a traveling salesman for a Chicago house; Peter, a resident of Los Angeles, Cal.; Henry, a farmer in the town of
Plymouth; Carl, who is also a farmer, but resides in Washington; Mary, who became the wife of Albert Helmer, a
farmer of Plymouth Township; Julius, at home; Emma, a resident of Chicago; and Anna, Mina and Elvin, who are yet at
home. Mrs. Zinkgraf was called from among the living October 20, 1891.
Mr. Zinkgraf is a Republican in his political sentiments. He is one of the old landmarks in this county, and has
always been a hard-working man. Coming to the county when it was new, he has experienced the privations and
hardships incident to pioneer times, but it is to such men of energy and purpose that the country owes its
advancement, its fine farms and beautiful homes, its prosperous towns and cities.
Copyright 1997 - 2009 by Debie Blindauer
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