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Jacob Zollinger Life History Part 5


We left on the 25th of April, our wagons heavily loaded with oats for the mail sta­tions along the way.  Two teams were required for each wagon. I was called as a teamster furnishing my own team of mules, my second team belonging to Daniel Lau. Other team­sters were Alexander Fleming, John Zweifel, and Ulrich Trauber, with Thomas E. Ricks as captain. Tithing credit was $75.00 for a teamster and $150.00 for a man, team and a wagon, the trip taking about five months. We traveled north to Preston, ldaho and followed the Bear River up through Gentil Valley to Soda Springs, Idaho. Here we connected with the Oregon Trail which took a southeasterly course to Montpelier, Idaho and then over the mountain to what is now Cokeville, Wyoming. Above normal precipitation and high water in all the streams we had to cross made traveling slow and difficult.

An unusual experience occurred one day we approached a bluff. I was in the lead and my mules balked and refused to go on. Upon investigation we found a great many dead Indians on the top of this bluff as evidence that a battle had ensued. We made a detour around this hill and continued our journey by way of the Sublette Cutoff and to the Green River where we had to ferry our outfits across. We crossed the Big and Little Sandy Rivers, then crossed the Continental Divide or South Pass, followed the Sweet Water River to Independence Rock and forded the North Platte river east of Casper Wyoming.  The course of the Oregon and Mormon Trail then paralleled the North Platte River into Nebraska.

We reached Omaha in June and camped on the banks of the Missouri River and waited for three weeks for the emigrants to arrive. The steamship with the emigrants aboard put ashore at our camp site. How fortunate I was to be here and not seven miles up stream at it’s usual landing place. I was over joyed to find among the passengers, my sister Anna and her husband, John Ulrich Haderli and their four children. It had been four year since we left Switzerland.  Anna and her family had been living in our old home and had written to us a year previous about losing their property and that her husband had become a member ofthe church and of their great desire to come to Zion. To help them emigrate to America I was able to turn into the Salt Lake Tithing Office, one load of oats and two four hundred pound hogs in exchange for their emigration fees.  All the arrangements for this transaction were made by Sister Lau who was then living in Salt Lake City. Later she and her husband lived in Providence across the street west of Theurer’s Store.

With permission from the captain of our company to take Anna and her family in my wagon, I proceeded to make them as comfort­able as possible. My sister was the happiest woman to be able to come to Zion and be united with the family again. Anna always thought a great deal of me and was glad I was there to meet them. I encouraged them in the gospel and told them how things were in our new home. Before departing she made me bathe in the river while she boiled my clothes to rid me of lice.

We averaged 20 to 30 miles a day on our trek across the plains. We were the first to leave, of our two mule trains, thus having the advantage of good feed and a choice of camp­ing sites. The others were ox teams, four or eight animals to each wagon.

There were also three men in a white top buggy traveling with us, one of them was a son of the Prophet Joseph Smith. We forded all the streams except the Green River and had to use four teams of mules on a wagon to ford the one mile span of the Platte river. The captain of the company did the hunting and provided the venison for the entire com­pany, the teamsters receiving their portion first. After we had crossed the Big and Little Sandy Ricers, my sister’s little girl (Caroline was born on the voyage over the Atlantic Ocean) died. We placed her in a food supply box and buried her along the trail. This was a very trying experience for them. We ferried our outfits across the Green River, crossed a stream called Ham’s Fork and then onto Fort Bridget. By now our mules were becoming thin even though we had sufficient grain to feed them. We had just crossed the Bear River and was approaching Echo Canyon when another of my sister’s girls, Emily, died. (Jacob Zollinger’s original life history and another source say her name was actually Anna.)  We didn’t have a box to put her in so we wrapped her in a blanket and buried her by the trail. It was very hard for them to leave their dear Emily but we had to go on with the company. Down through Emigration Canyon and to the great Salt Lake Valley we traveled. At last we came to rest in the tithing office coral, located where the Hotel Utah now stands. People from a wide area came to welcome their loved ones. The teamsters were released to return to their homes. We arrived in Cache Valley on a Sunday, September 15, 1866 and you may guess how we were received. It was a joyous occasion.


It was in the winter of 1869 that I had one of my neighbors, John Haderli, who was a good carpenter, make me a box for my sleigh and after buying a good team, off I went to court the prettiest girl in Clarkston. She was quite tall, composed, medium complexion and exhibited the qualities of a good home­maker. “Such were the sentiments of Jacob Zollinger as he first met Rosetta Loosli, daughter of Ulrich Loosli and Magdalena Aeschimann, in a church meeting in 1864, shortly after the Loosli’s moved to Providence.” I didn’t go with her too much while she lived in Providence as the family soon moved to Clarkston, Utah, where they built a home in 1866.

The Loosli family emigrated to Salt Lake City in 1860. Rosetta was the oldest of three children. Her two younger brothers were John and Jabez. The family made their home in the Eighteenth Ward in Salt Lake City. For the next four years Ulrich assisted in building the Salt Lake Temple. To his daughter, Rosetta, then ten, came the privilege to en­roll in the Carl G. Maeser’s school and also to be errand girl for the family. She drove their two cows belonging to President Brigham Young, to and from his pasture each day, a distance of three miles. His pasture was in the area where the present Hot Springs are now located. Most every day she took her father’s lunch to him at the temple and went to the tithing office for the family needs of food and clothing which was her Father’s pay in his profession as a cabinetmaker. Years later he made the casket for Martin Harris who died in Clarkston on July 1O, 1875. In telling about their journey to Cache Valley in the fall of 1864, Rosetta said, “When we made camp for the night I had to sleep on the ground and when I awoke one morning I was surprised to find myself covered over with a blanket of snow.”

When I returned from working on the Central Pacific Railroad in the fall of 1868, I made frequent visits to the Loosli home in Clarkston. When Brother Myler and some of his friends would see me coming into town they would say, “This little runt comes to get our girl.” They agreed that she was the prettiest girl in town. We had many good times together and went to the best dances which were then held in Providence. No one liked to dance better than I did and I al­ways saw to it that I had a good pair of shoes for dancing, sometimes dancing until 5 a.m. and then going about my days work full of spirit and with plenty of ambition. Whenever the violinist, Chris “Fiddler” Jensen, was scheduled to play for a dance I could hardly wait. I had one foot already off the floor. On occasions when grand­mother didn’t care to dance I would take one of my Nieces to the dance. Among some of my favorite dancing partners were Verona Tibbitts and Sophia Thorpe, sisters of John and Barbara W. Theurer. At the age of ninety my partner and I were awarded a prize for dancing the “Suvianna” atthe Providence Old Folks party.

On the 9th of May, 1870, in a wagon drawn by a lively  pair of mules, we went to Salt Lake City and were married in the Endowment House by President Joseph F. Smith. It seemed we were meant for each other. Our marriage was not for time only but for all eternity, to arise as husband and wife in the first resurrection.

We lived with our folks for a while until we moved into our own log house. We had a new stove while others only had fireplaces. From some logs which I got out of the canyon and sawed into finishing lumber, Brother Hafter, a cabinet maker in Logan, made us a set of furniture. We had a good team, cows and plenty to live on. We were a happy couple, Ma and I. We had full faith in the gospel and in the Lord Jesus Christ. We made a deal of money and always paid a full tithing to the church. “For quite a number of years grandfather always referred to his wife, Ma.”

Mr. Lindquist, father of the proprietor of the Lindquist Mortuary in Logan, made Ma a rocking chair that she liked very much.  It was in this same easy chair, forty-eight years later, at the age of sixty-seven, that she suddenly passed away.

Many times throughout my life I had been called out to administer to the sick. Shortly after we were married Rosetta was suffering from a painful toothache and had asked me to administer to her, which I did, but the pain persisted. I felt very bad about this and went into another room and called upon the Lord in prayer. She again asked me to bless her and before I had taken my hands off her head the pain had left. Such was her faith. We have witnessed the power of the Priesthood made manifest in our home many times.


Her vegetable and flower garden always had the appearance of being well cared for. No one had a better garden.  In addition to all this, whenever possible, she would help in milking the cows and sharpening the machine knives on the old grinding stone during the busy harvest season. She learned to spin and from the wool we obtained from our sheep, she spun and prepared it to be woven into clothing. In reference to her busy life, grandfather said, “She was the hardest working woman in Providence.”  She was always there to help, whether it was a sore finger, a lame back or clothes needing mending.   She would always say, “Come and I will fix it for you.”


April 8, 1889 to September 1891

At the mission training school in Salt Lake City, Jacob Zollinger was promised in a blessing that he would overcome all things and be successful in obtaining the genealogy of his progenitors. “I left my wife and family of nine children, to go out into the world to preach the ever-lasting gospel and to bear testimony to the truth. Soon after my arrival in the mission field, I was set apart as President of the East-Swiss Confer­ence. As my travels took me over this entire district, I chose to go to Urdorf to see my relations and our old home.  The night before I dreamed that a bear came after me, but I was successful in overcoming him. On calling upon my relations, a minister came to try to confound me. He came after me like the bear in my dream, but he couldn’t confound me.”

Emilee’s Notes:

The author has taken some poetic license with this life history….I will be scanning the original 27 page life history that was typed by Jacob Zollinger soon.  This version is a condensed version with a few added parts for clarity, but I prefer his own words, unadulterated.  I made a map of the route (approximately) Jacob took with his sister Anna and her family.

It brings tears to my eyes to think of this faithful couple losing two of their little girls on this difficult journey.  From Frankhistory.com I have found out a few extra details about Anna and John Haderli.  Their baby Caroline was born on 23 May 1866 on the ship as they crossed the Atlantic Ocean and died on 23 June 1866 right after they crossed the Little and Big Sandy Rivers.  Their 6 year old daughter Anna died as they entered Echo Canyon just days before they reached the Salt Lake Valley.  My heart aches for this family.  According to Frankhistory.com John and Anna Haderli had 12 children but only 4 of them grew to maturity.  Click here to see their family group sheet. Between 1860 and 1871 she gave birth to 7 children and they all died either during infancy or early childhood.  After 11 years of having children and losing them, she finally had two girls Laura Rosalia and Ella Elizabeth to accompany her two older children Louisa and Charles.  (Ella lived to age 90!)


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Jacob Zollinger Life History Part 4


In 1864 the town site was changed and laid out into blocks as it now is. The lots and farming land were divided by the Bishop­ric and in the same year the people moved and began to build their homes in their own lots. Our lot, through a trade with Ulrich Haderli, was a corner lot which is now oc­cupied by my son, Lawrence D. Zollinger.

By 1864 the mines in Montana were oper­ating. Freighters and miners who came into our erea to buy produce opened up an outlet for our farm products. Flour and salt sold for $1.00 per pound at the mines. Eggs were $2.00 per dozen and wheat $6.00 per bushel. From the sale of our produce we bought a wagon and a span of mules.

We rented some land from Daniel Lau and planted it into wheat. With no spring rains it didn’t germinate and we had to re-plant and water it up. After irrigating this crop five times that season, it froze before it was ripe. We then had another problem to contend with. The grasshoppers and sometimes the crickets ruined our grain crop in 1868, leaving only a small corner of wheat un­touched. That year we had only thirty five bushels of grain which we sold for $5.00 a bushel. These ravenous insects infested our fields for a number of years. We tried in every way possible to destroy them but with no success.

In the ward they had weekly teacher’s meetings where all things pertaining to welfare of the community were discussed.  People were appointed to work on irrigation ditches, build roads, bridges, meeting and school houses and to visit the members of the ­ward. A week later they reported their labors after which their new assignments were made.  That is the way the communities were built up by a system of cooperation through which they learned how to live and share with another. In expressing himself in regard to working for the welfare of others, my grandfather said, “I was so busy with community affairs that I never knew the time when I could work for myself.”


The people had no tools to work with and were too poor to buy them. My mother gave me five dollars for a pick which the blacksmith, Fred Theurer, made out of a steel rim of a wagon wheel. This pick was in constant use. When anyone laid it down, another would pick it up and go to work. The 6 mile canal south of Millville was dug with a pick and shovel and was finally finished with the aid of ox teams.  I also helped on the Busenbark ditch west of Providence.

Construction Work


I took a leading interest in building this Canal. It brought water from the Logan River up over the hill into River Heights, then in a south east direction towards Providence. The most expensive part of this canal was the section along the hill side, the soil being a clay sand-shale formation which would not hold water when highly saturated and giving us trouble with the canal bank washing out.  As water master I would walk along this canal several times a day to see that everything was alright. One night I dreamed that the ditch washed out. I awoke, jumped on my pony and hurried to the canal, to find it going out. I ran to the head gate and shut off the water and saved the ditch from a costly break.


We hauled the rocks for the walls from the canyon and the east bench. The rock for the corner stones andthe window frames came from Hyrum. I hauled the lime rock, which was burned for the lime, from Spring Creek Canyon east of Providence. I had a difficult time finding two just the right size and

strength. They were hewn by hand by Jacob Fuhriman Sr. Henry Bullock was the carpenter and the masonary work was done by James H. Brown.


A two story rock building

A large group of us worked on it all summer and had scarcely finished it when school started. I was also one of the first trustees on the school board and had to visit the parents of the children to get the means to pay the teachers.


I helped to build the Tabernacle and the Logan Temple. Wheeling up rock in a wheel­barrow to the second story day after day was hard work. The stone used in building the temple was hauled from Green Canyon, north­east of Logan in Franklin, Idaho. Bishop Fred Theurer and I were among those who hauled the rock with a span of mules. One of my mules was named “Coyote”, he had only one ear.


The following information was taken from the book, The History of a Valley, page 172

” When the transcontinental railroad reached the borders of Utah in 1868, Cache Valley Citizens obtained employment in the construction of the Union Pacific line from Echo, Utah to Promontory and the Central Pacific from Ogden to Corinne and west around the great Salt Lake. These projects provided employment for an esti­mated 5000 persons largely Mormons under contract agreement with Brigham Young who let sub contracts to bishops from Cache Valley on the north to Utah Valley on the south. The pay ranged from three to six dollars per day for men and ten dollars a day for a man and team,”

I worked for the Central Pacific with a team of mules moving dirt to shape the road bed for the laying of ties a few months in the fall of 1868, returning home just before Christmas. That winter I hauled ties out to the railroad. I hauled one load to Corine Utah for which I received 15 cents each. I had a knack for cutting railroad ties. The trees were cut down and cut into lengths and hewn flat on two sides, then pulled by mules to the road for loading. I cut 50 ties in one day. Others cutting 35 or less would watch me to learn how to do it. One observer seeing he was no match for me said, “He can cut more ties than Joe Campbell can saw.”

The Railroad

The summer of 1869 I went to work for the Union Pacific Railroad with a group of men from Hyrum, Utah. We loaded our mule teams and wagons on the train at Corrine, Utah.  I and McBride worked our teams together on the plow building the road bed for the track between Echo, Utah and Fort Bridger, Wyoming. At a 4th of July celebration at Fort Bridger, I had my first and last taste of “Four Roses.” We finished our work there on October 15th and took our outfits and started home, I had two lively teams of mules on my wagon. We followed the Weber River in­to Ogden Valley and then took a course up over the mountain and down Avon Canyon into Cache Valley, using long ropes to let our wagons down in places too steep to drive. Without a trail or road signs to guide us we made it home in good shape.

Emilee’s notes:

Click here for a map of the Providence-Logan area showing the Upper Blacksmith Fork Canal.

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Jacob Zollinger Life History, Part 3

Disaster at sea

Our ship took a southern route along the coast of France, then west along the coast of Spain, then south along the coast of Portugal where we came into view of the City of Lisbon, the fifth of June 1862. The second day out to sea we were caught in a terrible storm which lasted three days. It was impossible for anyone to walk on deck. The children had to be tied in their berths. Both kitchens were broken to pieces and caught fire. Repairs were made but they again caught fire were burned beyond repair. Two children died and were buried at sea.

 YORK HARBOR    July 8, 1862

After passing through quarantine and customs, we left by train the next day for Albany, New York, then to Niagara Falls, over the St. Lawrence River and down through Canada to Chicago. By July 13th we were in Quincy, Illinois and crossed the Mississippi River on the 14th, arriving in St Joseph, Missouri on the 16th of July. Here we stopped over night in a hotel. Jacob Wintch was very ill.  My mother and Sister, Dora, stayed up with him during the night. Dora was to be his intended wife. They fell asleep and someone entered their room and began searching ­through their clothing and other articles in the room. My mother awoke and the intruder left. She reported the incident to the hotel manager and lectured him for allowing such characters to enter his hotel but he didn’t seem a bit concerned.

We left for Florence or Winter Quarters on the 18th, going up the Missouri River by boat, arriving on the 20th of July. We spent eighteen days at Winter Quarters making pre­parations for our trek across the plains. The four yoke of oxen and Schettler wagon, previously ordered through the church, were deliveredtD us and paid for. My father also bought two cows, a sheet iron stove, a tent plow, tools, dried fruit, rice, bacon and flour to take with us on our journey.

The Trek Westward

 August 8, 1862

Our company consisted of sixty teams and wagons. We were among the six outfits inde­pendently owned and we traveled together. We were the last company to go west. At first all went well, then the roads became dusty with eight to ten inches of dust in some places. Progress became slow, feed scarce and the cattle began to lose flesh. Some of the people became sick and had to remain in their wagons. A wagon following our wagon was driven by an Englishman and his wife. She fell asleep and fell under the wheels of the heavy wagon killing her instantly. They stopped and buried her and then went on. On the 7th of September, Sister Wintch died. A few days later a child of Michlaus Jakobs died, and a son of Jacob Neaser, and October 1st, a man from England passed away.


While passing through agrove of Cotton­wood trees along the Platte River, Ferdie and his chum, Henry Mathes, noticed something tied in a bufflo robe hanging in a tree. Out of curiosity, Ferdie climbed up to investigate. To his astonishment he found a dead Indian. The stench made him sick.

Following the incident of the dead Indian, my brother Ferdie joined the rest of the family my mother, my two sisters and his wife Louisa, with what was then called the Mountain Fever. He never walked another step until we arrived in the Salt Lake Valley. My father, sixty-three, drove the two cows and gathered wood for the fires each morning and evening as he walked along, so you may guess that most of the work was left to me. I hired a German woman to cook for us and care for the sick. I got a young­ster about my age,17, to help me with the oxen each morning and evening. Each evening a circle was made with the wagons, the oxen unyoked and kept confined to the inside perimeter, giving better protection against the Indians. I had to put up the tent, set up the stove and make the fire in addition to milking the cows and go after the water which was usually some distance away. With the assistance of a neighbor, the sick had to be carried back into the wagon and so it was day after day.


 Approaching the mountain terrain and on to the south pass, having an elevation of 7550 feet, we moved through snow and exper­ienced very cold temperatures. Many froze their feet. One man, upon reaching the Salt Lake valley, had to have his toes amputated and on the 5th of October a man named Looser died. A day or so later, the Bachofen baby died at birth.

Our travels took us across the Sweet River several times. We had to carry some of the people across this river on our backs. There was five inches of snow on the ground so you might guess the water was very cold.  When we reached the Green River the snow was gone. We came down Echo Canyon and camped a number of miles south of what is now Coalville, on October 27th. I forgot to unyoke one pair of oxen and the next morning they were gone. Someone had stolen them, but we managed to keep going and on the 30th of October we arrived at the mouth of Emigration Canyon. Many people came to see if any of their relations were in our company.  One man came all the way from St. George, Utah.  On the 31st, we drove into the city and we camped in Emigration Square. The cattle were turned out to graze in the church pasture but being so late in the year the feed was about gone. Thirty five people had lost their lives in our company.

Salt Lake Valley

October 31st to November 7, 1862

We were strangers in a strange land. We didn’t know a soul. Ferdie and his wife, Louise and my sister Dora were able to get out of the wagon for the first time. How glad they were. Mother and Elisabeth, my sister, were not so fortunate, Elisabeth’s legs had been cramped for such a long time in the crowded wagon box that it took four months of constant massaging with bear grease before she could again gain the use of her legs.  My mother had been so sick and helpless, but in time she was able to walk. Because of her great faith the power of the Priesthood was made manifest many times in her life. This was generally through the adminis­trations of Brother Ballif who we became acquainted with as a missionary in Switzerland. In her Patriarchal Blessing, a few years later, she was promised that sixteen years would be added to her life.

While in Salt Lake we received an invi­tation from Brother Ballif to come to Cache Valley which we accepted. It was delivered by Jacob I. Naef, who had come to Salt Lake business and also to take emigrants back Cache Valley. It took seven days to make rip. Traveling was slow with only two yoke of oxen, having lost one on the way.


PROVIDENCE – The six and one half month journey ended. November 15, 1862

We arrived late at night and camped on the south end of town which was at that time a fort. How glad we were that our journey was ended and we could stop and rest. Nobody knew how tired we were. We were thankful to the Lord for sparing our lives during this long journey.

The next morning, among the people who came to see us, was a man by the name of Ulrich Traber who offered us his one room house, a log cabin, for a yoke of oxen. My father accepted his proposition and we moved right in. Here we all spent the winter of 1862 and 63. The people were very poor and had no money to purchase the things they needed so they desired to trade us out of some of the articles we had brought from Switzerland. Judging from the amount of goods we had they considered us rich.

In 1863, my parents bought a piece of land north of town giving a tent and a pair of boots as part payment. That season because of the drought we only raised 150 bushels of wheat and oats. We did have a fine garden, however, and my father liked to fish and kept us supplied with fish which he caught in his traps.

In the fall of 1863 I took the tithing grain to Salt Lake. I drove the same yoke that my father purchased at Winter Quarters prior to making the trek across the plains.

My father loaned Apostle Rich some money and in exchange he gave us a number of sheep. The wool which we sheared from our flock of sheep was spun and woven into cloth. Every­one had clothes made of the same material.

I loaned Ulrich Traber a yoke of oxen and a wagon in 1863, so he could take a load of his wheat to Salt Lake for which he got thirty five cents per bushel. It took a week to make the trip. With the money he bought a little sugar, some matches and enough Calico at seventy five cents a yard to make his wife a dress. A man could easily carry under his arm the little bundle it made.

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Jacob Zollinger Life History Part 2

MORMONISM comes into our lives


During the summer of 1861 my father hired two carpenters to remodel our house. One of them, who considered himself abible scholar, tried to persuade my parents to join his church but they were not to be moved. The town Minister who lived across the street from us had in his employ a young lady by the name of Mary Horlacher. Through her daily visit so our home for their supply of milk, Mary and our family, especially my sisters, became very good friends. Then one day Mary decided to quit her job and return to her home. Her parents, in her absence, had accepted the gospel and were baptized. The Minister, needing her services again, insisted on her coming back to work. In her old job again, Mary made use of every oppor­tunity to share the knowledge of her new found religion with us. My parents became interested. They began attending the meetings of the Elders in Zurich. Mother knew that this religion was much different than anything she had heard of. Their baptismal date was set for November 20, 1861. Ferdie and I were finishing the apple harvest that day when we noticed our parents walking along the public pathway that led in the direction of the Limmat River. Ferdie surmising what they were up to and being pre­judiced against this new religion, began to swear and curse and threatened to stop them from going.   But the Lord blocked his way, for he met with an accident.

It was the custom in those days for the farmers to help each other with the thresh­ing of their grain. To keep it dry it was stacked in the barn. Ferdie was asked by a neighbor to come and help him. That evening while coming down a ladder, he slipped and fell injuring his leg. As a result he was confined to his bed for five or six weeks. Never did an opportunity to study and re­flect on the teachings of Mormonism present itself in a better light than it did then. Ferdie was soon convinced of the truth and desired to be baptised.

My parents, now members of the Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints, had in mind to sell the farm and home and emigrate to America. This would have been impossible had my brother Ferdie decided against join­ing the church. The Lord had his hand in it and directed matters for the good of all.

THE DAY OF MY BAPTISM – December 16, 1861

In my early youth I cared little for religion. My uppermost desire then was for enjoyment and that was only on Sundays when we boys got together. Since by brother Ferdie was laid up, it fell to my lot to look after the feeding of the stock and the milking. I was in the barn doing the farm chores when the Mormon Elders came to our house. My mother came out and said that Ferdie and my sister Dorothea, were going to be baptized and that she wanted me to go along too. I said that there was plenty of time for me, but I did as I was told. That evening my mother in­vited the town officers and neighbors to a meeting. The officers were the only ones who came into the house. The other people stayed outside until the meeting was over. After the meeting we walked about a mile to the mill race on the Limmat River. Ferdie walked with the aid of his crutches. There was four inches of snow on the ground and it was cold. One of the Elders went into the cold water something I had never seen before. When Ferdie came out of the water he did not have any need for his crutches. He was healed and walked as before. As for me, they never gave me any change of clothing, so I had to walk home in my wet clothes, but to my amazement, instead of freezing and being cold, I was not only warm but hot. So anybody can guess right there was the power of God made manifest, faith was planted in my heart a a real foundation was laid, I could not get away from it if I wanted to. I know it was the power of God. The baptisms and confirmations were performed by Elders Gerber and Miller. The next morning Ferdie loaded the wagon with 200 pound sacks of potatoes. The neighbors were astonished and wondered what had taken place, for the day before he was unable to walk without crutches.


Ferdie would have been the 3rd member of the family to be married, but since his fiancee would not join the church the marriage was called off. Shortly thereafter, in a meeting, he met Louisa Meyer and they became engaged to be married. She was the oldest in her family. When her father died and her mother re-married, she left home to work in the city as a weaver of silk. She stayed with her Aunt who had been bedfast for many years with rheumatism. When she was baptized she had to be carried down into the water and was healed by the power of the Priesthood and the next day she walked to Zurich a distance of twelve miles. She emmigrated to Utah and married “Troubadoni” Stachli. He was nicknamed this because of his interest in music both in Switzerland and in St.George, Utah. He joined the church in the fifties.

Preparing to leave Switzerland

To a well-to-do farmer as my father was, the decision to sell all his property which represented almost a lifetime of accomplish­ment and hard work and to go to a strange land, was a most difficult one to make, but my mother, being more of a boss, assured my father that it was the right thing to do. We chose to dispose of our property by means of two public auctions, one before Christmas and the other in January of 1862. Notice of these had been posted according to law prior to the date of sale. My brother-in-law, J. Haederli, not as yet a member of the church and not wanting us to leave, persuaded the people not to bid, but the Lord knew the desires of my father and mother and took a hand in the matter. The people changed their attitude and everything was sold at a good price.

This was the year I was to receive my spiritual avocation into the Protestant church. I always attended the Lutheran church but on confirmation day I would not go. No one could make me go.The minister sure made a fuss about it. The Catholics and the Lutherans met in the same church building in Urdorf because the nearest Catholic town, Uetikon, was two or three miles away. Neither would my mother got to church in Urdorf, say­ing it was all “humbug” and stayed home and studied the scriptures.  She was a chosen woman, firm and true to the Lord.

Looking ahead to the time when they would make the long journey across the plains from Florence, Nebraska or Winter Quarters, to the great Salt Lake Valley, they ordered four yoke of oxen and a wagon through the church office in Bern. Having made all preparations, including new suits made for them by a tailor, they were ready to leave.


On the 30th of April, 1862, my parents, my brother Ferdie and his fiancee, Louisa Meyer and I, my two sisters, Elisabeth and Dorothea, bid farewell to our loved ones and our fatherland. It was hard to say goodbye to my sister Anna Haederli and family.  I did cry, but we left for the gospel’s sake and we had faith in the Lord.

From Urdorf we traveled by Zurich. There we had our picture (Tin type). On the second of May we were Switzerland and the next day in Paris, France.  Here we spent the day sight seeing. None of us had ever been away from home before.  My mother was dressed in her old fashioned clothes and bonnet two hundred years behind the times, people were staring and laughing at us while others would point their finger and say, “look”. You can guess what a spectacle we made of ourselves. The city people had never seen a bonnet just like my mother’s neither had I.

We arrived at the sea port town of La Havre, France, on the 4th of May. The ship we had booked passage on had left the day before so we had to wait for two weeks for another. Here the marriage of my brother Ferdie, to Louisa Meyer, took place, which was on the 12th of May, 1862.

We left La Havre on the 15th of May, on the freighter, Windermere, manned by a very rough group of Irish Sailors. Some remodeling was done to accommodate the 109 people seeking passage. Two kitchens were improvised where the passengers could cook their meals which consisted mostly of potatoes.  Berths, three high, were provided for sleeping quarters.

Brother Serge Ballif, an early convert to the church from Lousanne, Switzerland, and who gave up a good position and comfortable home in order to devote himself to Missionary work, was in charge of our group.  Among this group of saints from Switzerland and France, was Ferdie’s chum, Henry Mathes and his sweetheart, who were later married in America and Brother and Sister Wintch and their two sons. Their son Jacob was in love with my sister Dora and they would have been married had he not became ill and died at Winter Quarters August 8th, 1862.

Picture taken April, 1862, in Urdorf, Zurich Switzerland a month before the family emigrated to America. From left to right, front row. John Ulrich Haderli, Anna (Zollinger) Haderli, Elisabeth (Usteri) Zollinger, Johannes Zollinger. Second row. Jacob Zollinger, Elisabeth (Zollinger) Neeser, Dorothea (Zollinger) Lau, Louise (Meyer) Zollinger and Ferdinand Zollinger at the right behind his bride. The other two gentlemen are friends of the family.

Emilee’s notes:  What an amazing story of faith and conversion!  Jacob was 16 years old when he was baptized and his brother Ferdie was 32.

It can be a little confusing to read a person’s life history when you do not know the person and those they include in their story firsthand.  I like to keep my family tree handy so I know who is who.

Here is an abbreviated family group record of Jacob’s immediate family:

Father:  Johannes Zollinger

Birth: 4 June 1795  Urdorf Zurich, Switzerland

Death: 18 February 1875  Providence, Cache, Utah

Mother: Elisabetha Usteri

Birth:  4 July 1809  Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland

Death: 18 November 1881 Providence, Cache, Utah


1.  Johann Ferdinand Zollinger

Birth: 18 October 1829  Urdorf, Flundern, Zurich, Switzerland

Death:  16 December 1912  Providence, Cache, Utah

2.  Anna Elizabeth Zollinger  (married John Ulrich Hans Haederli)

Birth: 11 November 1831

Death:  25 October 1901

3.  Johannes Zollinger

Birth:  25 October 1833 Urdorf, Zurich, Switzerland

Death: 25 November 1833 Urdorf, Zurich, Switzerland

4.  Anna Barbara Zollinger  (married Konrad Meyer)

Birth:  27 January 1835

Death:  5 December 1857

5.  Elisabetha Zollinger (married Jacob Neeser)

Birth: 18 October 1837 Urdorf, Zurich, Switzerland

Death:  14 January 1884 Malad, Oneida, Idaho

6.  Dorothea Zollinger  (married Daniel Frederick Lau)

Birth:  3 February 1841   Oberurdorf, Oneida, Switzerland

Death: 26 September 1925  Soda Springs, Caribou, Idaho

7.  Jacob Zollinger  (married Rosetta Loosli)

Birth:  3 July 1845  Urdorf, Zurich, Switzerland

Death:  11 July 1942 Providence, Cache, Utah

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Jacob Zollinger Life History Part 1

I was given a binder of information from my mother’s side of the family and in this binder I found a very valuable and precious life history.  I loved reading it so I want to share it with all of you.  I scanned it and converted it to text so that it could be searched.  I have pages 9-22 so there may be more out there that I don’t have.  I will publish it in parts to keep it at a manageable reading length.  Enjoy!

Origin of the Zollinger name

The Von Zollikon of Lutikon owned many Large possessions which in 1488, fell into the hands of an old woman. She made a dona­tion of goods to the church of Hombrechtikon for the salvation of her soul. The many who had been living on these estates then became rentors and not owners as before, having to pay fees to the church. In 1432, Johns de Zollikon de Gruningen, had many possessions in Itzikon near Gruningen and a cousin, Johannes de Zollikon de Lutikin, in 467, lived on the farms in Lutikon.

 Later the name changed and the noble (Von de) disappeared. The following surnames then came into use in the 15th cen­ary: Zollicon, Zollingcon, Zolliker, Zoll­yker, Zolligker, Zolliger and Zollinger. Here in Lutikon, my llth great grandfather was born in 1486 and in 1500 the surname Zollinger was found in Hombrechtikon, the birth place of my 9th great grandfather, Jacob Zollinger, in 1540.

 No mention is made of nobility, knight-food or noblemen after 1268. “However, the -record states that a Herman Von Zollikon, citizen of Gruningen, possessing a large area of the hills of Zollikon then called Zollikerberg, sells this forest area to the monastery of Oetenbach in 1449.

 In 1408, the town of Gruningen became, by purchase, a part of Zurich, the people became ordinary citizens and there were no more Von Zollikon in Gruningen after that. That is to say, nobility passes andthe name changed. The noble (Von de), meaning the noblemen of the housed Zollikon, disappear.”

In his book, ” A Guide To Genealogical Research,” Archibald F. Bennett indicates that the surnames now in use were derived from five different sources: 1. Patronymics or Sire names, 2. Place or locality names, 3. Occupation, trade or professional names, 4. Descriptive or nick names, 5. Names of animals and natural objects.

In our historywe have an example of a locality name. The name Usteri was taken from the town of Uster. The oldest ancestor of Elizabetha Usteri, my great grandmother, was Hans Von Usteri, born in Uster about 1460. After he had moved to Zurich the people called him Hans of Uster. He took the name of Usteri from the town of Uster where the family originally came from.

The following are surnames of people of Swiss descent, living today, whose surnames were derived from one or another sourcethat is mentioned above:

Fuhriman – teamster                        Schmidt-blacksmith

Kaufman – salesman                         Kuhfuss – cow foot

Hauptman – headman                         Spuhler – Singer

Schiess – sharp-shooter                    Ech – corner

Rinderknecht – cow servant                 Vogal – bird

Stauffer – a steep place on the mountain        Niederhauser – of the lower houses

Hockstrasser – an elevated place

Theurer – expensive article

Baumgardner – tree gardner

My progenitors,from my llth great grand­father, who was born in Lutikon, Zurich, Switzerland, down to my great grandparents, Johannes and Elisabetha Usteri Zollinger, are a matter of record on proven pedigrees and on family group records. Johannes and Elisabetha were the parents of seven children, Jacob Zollinger, my grandfather, being the youngest.

In the history which follows, given by my grandfather, Jacob Zollinger,then in his ninetieth year, I have made some insertions such as dates, names of individuals and places not before mentioned. I have also, when I thought necessary, altered his word­ing to give better connotation. In doing so I have exercised the greatest of care to con­vey the meaning intended. Other facts and experiences remembered by his son, Lawrence D. Zollinger, are also added. Every effort has been made to present exact historical information and wherever possible the words of grandfather, Jacob Zollinger, are quoted as they came from him. They will be found set apart in quotation marks.


My parents, Johannes and Elisabetha Usteri, were a very religious people. My mother came through a line of very prominent people who lived in the town of Zurich for 400 years. Three of her ancestors were ministers of the gospel, four were professors of theology and five were university pro­fessors. Other relatives were merchants, members of the city council, millers, doctors captains and a poet. My grandmother was a very prayerful woman and every time she came to see us she always told my mother to always attend to her prayers.

My early life on the farm


My parents taught us children to work and to be obedient. We had to go to school five and one half days a week and also had to take some lessons from the minister that didn’t interest me at all. In my early youth I had little time to play as I always had to help at home. At the age of twelve I attended school only one day a week and spent two hours with the minister and the rest of the week was spent helping my father on the farm milking cows, feeding cattle and other work that a boy of my age could do. My father kept cows because they were the most profit­able animals. With them he did all the work on the farm as well as selling the milk which they produced.

At the death of my grandfather, Heinrich Zollinger, my father inherited part of his father’s farm, Then he purchased two thirds of the Zollinger home which was at this time more than one hundred years old. We shared our large house in Urdorf with my sister’s family. The other half was occupied by our cousin and her family. The church and the cemetery were just over the wall from our house. I remember there were two large walnut trees growing in the corner of the church yard. Buried in this area were all the suicides. On the west side of the wall was a row of prune trees. My chums and I would pick up the ripe fruit on our side of the wall but were afraid to get the fruit on the other side.

My father bought more land and from his farm he sold cattle, grain, potatoes, peas, prunes and apples. From a grape vineyard located on a sunny slope, which produced excellent quality grapes, we made and sold wine. The produce from the farm, at first, had to be transported to market, a distance of six miles, by father and the older girls, on their heads.

My mother thinking there wasn’t enough money coming in, began weaving silk for a large firm in Zurich. The girls were also taught to weave and there were also some men who kept the looms in good repair. As a

rule no one outside of the city was allowed to do this kind of work, but as no one ob­jected, the business became a profitable one. The woven silk material was sold in 35 yard lengths.


One of the things I liked to do was to go swimming on Sundays with my chums.  On one particular Sunday, as soon as the preacher said amen, out the door we went to the river near by to swim. This was of course against the wishes of my mother. She was always quite strict with me and had told me to stay home that Sunday. When we boys were prepar­ing to leave the swimming hole a group of younger boys came to swim. One of these boys, a cousin of mine then eleven years old, also had the name of Jacob Zollinger. He got too far down in a whirlpool and was drowned. When the news of his death reached the near­by town of Dietikon by the river, my parents who happened to be there on business, think­ing it was I, became very much alarmed. As you may guess they thought it was I who was drowned. However, they were very much re-leaved upon returning home to find me safe and sound. I got a good slapping from my mother.


Not everyone could afford a wedding wit all the old fashioned customs.  When my eldest sister, Anna, was married to Hans Ulrich Haederli, they put in their order to the cabinet maker to have him make them a wardrobe, bedstead, chairs and table. They then engaged the miller who had four fine horses to go after their furniture. On the way back the wardrobe fell off and was broken. The cabinet maker who was along went back and took his wife’s wardrobe to replace the one broken. Anna Barbara, next to the oldest of my sisters, rode in the wagon with the newly weds, south to the city limits, the groom throwing money to the children who followed. The young couple then paraded to the hotel. A sucession of parties were given in their honor which began at the hotel and then moved from house to house for a period of three days. Almost a year later, Anna Barbara was married to Konrad Meyer, October 12, 1857. She died 7 weeks later, December 5, 1857 at the age of twenty-two. My brother Johannes was one month old when he died.”

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