Jefferson County Historical Society

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Martin Zimpfer, dealer in general merchandise, machinery, etc., hotel
proprietor, saloonist, and postmaster at Antonia, was born in Baden,
Germany, in 1849, and when but five years of age, in company with the
family, except the mother, who died just before reaching the sea coast, 
came to the United States and settled in Jefferson County, and here the
father died about four years later, leaving four children, Martin being
the second.  The parents' names were Martin and Christina Zimpfer, and
the father was a farmer and general trader.  Martin was thrown upon his
own resources at the age of nine, and grew to manhood without any 
education except what he picked up by his own efforts.  He was a close 
observer, quick to learn, energetic and persevering, and in a few years
had a fair knowledge of general business, which, together with a few 
years of practical experience, has made him one of the most successful
and enterprising business men of Jefferson County.  His immense business 
is all the result of his own efforts.  He began for himself by 
working for farmers, chopping wood, hauling charcoal, etc., and worked
four years for Capt. Anton Yerger, and two years as a teamster for
Joseph Yerger.  He was also coachman for two years in St. Louis, and
after that was teamster for some time. In 1880 he returned to Jefferson 
County and engaged in merchandising with Joseph Yerger, he having
charge of a store at Sandy Creek, and Mr. Yerger of a store at Antonia.
This continued until March, 1881, when the property at Antonia was 
destroyed by fire, and Mr. Yerger killed by an unknown party. Mr. Zimpfer
then removed his stock from Sandy Creek to Antonia, where he rented a
room, but in 1884 he erected a large two-story store and hotel building
where he has since been carrying on an extensive and thriving business.
He was postmaster at Sandy Creek, and has been postmaster at Antonia
ever since he first came there.  October 29, 1884, Mrs. Louisa Yerger,
widow of Joseph Yerger, became his wife.  The result of this union was
the birth of two children, one now living, named Ida.  Mrs. Zimpfer
died January 6, 1887, and August 21 of the same year he married Miss
Josephine Kassel, a native of Jefferson County, and the daughter of
Adolph Kassel.  Mr. Zimpfer is strictly Independent in his political
views, and cast his first presidential vote for Gen. Garfield.  He is a
member of the Sons of Hermann and of the Masonic fraternity.