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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History
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August Zimbal

Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record - Published 1894 by Excelsior Publishing Co., Chicago" Pages 713 - 714

August Zimbal, one of the early settlers and successful business men of Sheboygan County, was born March 31, 1816, near the city of Breslau, Silesia, Germany. His parents, Carl and Mary Zimbal, as well as his four brothers and a sister, died in the Fatherland, thus leaving him the only surviving member of the family.

Mr. Zimbal of this sketch began when quite young to help make his living, and as a consequence received a limited education, attending school, all told, about three and a-half years. At the age of sixteen he was apprenticed to learn the tailor's trade, serving two years, after which he traveled and worked at his trade for some five years. He was fortunate in escaping military service through the good graces of an officer, who struck his name from the list, as there were more men listed than were needed in the service. Before leaving his native land Mr. Zimbal was married in 1844 to Miss Ernestina Kuhnert, a native of the same locality as her husband. In 1850 the family, consisting of husband, wife and three children, shipped at Bremen for New York City, where they arrived after seven weeks sailing. Coming direct to Sheboygan, which was then but a village, our subject remained a few months, and during that time felled trees and chopped wood where the large stone Catholic Church now stands. For some three years before coming to America, Mr. Zimbal ran a tailoring business of his own, but on coming here turned his attention to farming. With the money be brought to this country he purchased in Wilson Township forty acres of land, at $5 per acre, but three years later sold it for $20 per acre. In the same township he purchased sixty acres for $780, and from time to time added to his landed possessions until he had two hundred and twenty-eight acres, well improved. But amid his prosperity his home was saddened by the death of his wife, who passed away in 1870, leaving five children: Emestina, wife of Christian Bollmann, a farmer of Sheboygan Township; Augusta, wife of Henry Friedrichs, a merchant of Sheboygan; Edward, a farmer of Sheboygan Township; Herman, a farmer of Wilson Township; and Bertha, the wife of Anton Friedrichs, also a merchant of the Chair City.

On April 27, 1871, Mr. Zimbal was again married, Mrs. Christiana Drossel becoming his wife. She was born April 2, 1835, in the province of Meiningen, Saxony, and bore the maiden name of Heyer. With her parents she came to the United States in 1852, being six weeks on the ocean. After living in this county some years, her parents moved to Champaign County, Ill., where her father died, and where her mother still lives, aged eighty-four years. In this county the daughter married Martin Drossel, by whom she had three children: Ida, wife of Charles Martinson, of Ohio; Ernst, a resident of Sheboygan Township; and Olga, wife of Ferdinand Brehm, a farmer of Wilson Township. By his second marriage Mr. Zimbal has one son, Oscar, who superintends the large brick-yard in which himself and father are interested. Having purchased the old fair ground, consisting of ten acres within the city limits, Mr. Zimbal moved to Sheboygan in 1884, platted that tract of land, and has been selling lots since, having disposed of all except nine lots. Through this tract passes Zimbal Avenue, named in honor of this pioneer. A part of the land he platted is called Zimbal's Sub-Division.

In 1888 Mr. Zimbal opened a large brick-yard at No. 1725 Maryland Street, which turns out a yearly product of from one million five hundred thousand to two million bricks, giving employment to some twenty-five hands.

In all his business undertakings Mr. Zimbal has been very successful, being accounted one of the wealthy men of Sheboygan. Politically, he is a Republican, and while on the farm served acceptably two years as a member of the County Board of Supervisors.


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