Wednesday, December 8, 2010

NEWSPAPER TIDBIT: North Salem Boy Named For An Indian Chief (1935)

An item found in The Republican (Danville, Indiana) - issue of Thursday, June 13, 1935 - page 1, column 3:

Centennial Committee Brings Out Zimmerman Family History

In making researches for the North Salem Centennial celebration to be held in that town July 25 to 28, many interesting stories are being brought to light. Among them is the story of Te-go-re-tan-ico Zimmerman, the nineteen year old lad who lies buried in the wayside cemetery west of North Salem, known as the Zimmerman graveyard. This Indian name was given to him in honor of an Indian chief who saved the life of John Zimmerman, the lad's father.

According to the story handed down, when John Zimmerman was a youth of sixteen, he [along] with another youth was captured by hostile Indians. They were kept for many months by the tribe and were well-treated. The boys were young daredevils who enjoyed all kinds of sports and never lost an opportunity to engage in battle with clubs, fists or any other weapons, so they furnished the Indians with much enjoyment.

Their utter disregard of danger and extreme courage aroused the admiration of the old chief, Te-fo-re-tan-ico [sic], who wished to adopt them. They refused to go into the tribe and the chief gave them their freedom at the risk of arousing the resentment of the tribe. In gratitude, Zimmerman promised to name his first male offspring for the Indian.

Later he married, left North Carolina, migrated to Indiana and secured a vast acreage. The original boundaries of his land extended from the present Frank Waters' farm south to the Mahoney hills. In rearing his family he remembered his promise and gave his son the Indian name. When the youth was nineteen he became ill and died from milk sickness, a disease quite prevalent in Indiana at that time. He was laid to rest on a hillside of his father's farm, and a simple monument bearing his epitaph marks his grave.

John Zimmerman was the great uncle of our local townsman, George Zimmerman, whose father came here to operate a distillery for his uncle. The still was located at the foot of the hill by the Zimmerman graveyard. Whiskey was sold at thirty cents a gallon and kept at the home to accommodate settlers.

The vast acreage secured by John Zimmerman was made possible by land selling as low as $1.25 per acre. One forty acre tract, now owned by Charles Clay, was sold for the consideration of one wagon and team of horses.

[NOTE: According to Plainfield library's Hendricks County cemeteries index, Taco Retanico Zimmerman (1824 - 1844) is buried at Zimmerman Cemetery, which is listed as being near County Road 675N and County Road 775W.]

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