Eliza (Zimmerman) Hey
Daughter of Christoph Frederick and Margaretha Magdalena (Suess) Zimmerman
Life History of
Eliza (Zimmerman) Hey
as she told it to her daughter Elizabeth (Hey) Jones and Grandson Dale Dean Jones
I used to enjoy my mother telling me of her life in Germany as she remembered it at the age of four or five. She was a slender, frail child with large blue eyes and light brown hair. Being the youngest of seven children in the Zimmerman family, she was pampered and spoiled by her parents and older brothers and sisters. The fact that she was the youngest and being so delicate, She was the apple of her fathers eye. He was a gentle, soft spoken man, easy going, much to the concern of Eliza's mother, she being very energetic and conscientious.
Eliza's grandfather Zimmerman was a weaver of cloth. I have some doilies the cloth of which was woven by him. He would be my great grandfather. Eliza Zimmerman lived with her parents in a large two-story rock house in a village. Most of the family houses in the village were large two-story dwellings, ample room for large families. Sometimes the upper story for apartment rentals. They had deep window casings arid curved roofs extending to the main floor. They had doors on either side instead of the usual front door. They had breezeways over the side doors where neighbors could chat. The ample-sized kitchens had large ovens where the baking was done. It was an all-day task as they would bake fourteen loaves which would last about two weeks. It must have been a rewarding day to remove the brown loaves from the oven, smelling the crusty goodness and enjoying the hot slices amply covered with the home churned butter. No grass was seen as all of the yards were bricked, except for a small plot in the back for a garden. Every day the German women swept arid scrubbed the brick yards until they were sparkling clean. Eliza's parents would walk to the acreage carrying hoes to work in their large garden, sometimes with their horse hitched to a. wagon. It would be loaded with vegetables, corn and hay which was tied in bundles.
The Zimmerman family, although quite well to do, were very conservative. Eliza recalls having soup almost every meal including breakfast. Coffee was served only on Sunday because it was expensive. Remembering back, she remembered how some of the neighbor women, who were not so conservative, would stand in their windows, drinking coffee on days which were not Sundays, thereby demonstrating their affluency
In the back yard of each dwelling in the village, were barns where animals were kept. These barns were kept strictly clean. Every morning the town herder came down the street playing a tune on his whistle. This was a signal for each house to open their back gates so the animals could go to the street and follow the herder. From each gate would come cows, pigs, sheep, goats, and geese, all following, more or less in Single file the town herder who continued to play his whistle. The geese flapping their wings, like a white cloud, holding their heads high trying to prove their superiority. The herdsmen had to stay with the group all day in the town field. Late in the afternoon the herder returned with the animals, each one faithfully turning in their own gates. Each knowing exactly where he belonged. The wealthiest families in the village owned fields outside the town. The Zimmerman family were one of these. They had a large acreage and a horse. Families who not so well off used cows or oxen to work their acreages (rented land).
In the fall of 1887, when Eliza was six years old, her parents sold their home, land and possessions and boarded the ship "Greenland". Many large trunks filled with clothing and personal things were brought on the voyage. She remembered quite well the voyage from Germany yo America. It was a two weeks voyage. One day while on deck by the rail disaster almost struck the Zimmerman family. Her mother was combing Eliza's hair when a huge wave almost swept little Eliza into the ocean. How thankful they all were that only the comb fell into the sea.
I remember my mother mostly when she took sick and it was discovered that she had cancer on August 27, 1958. I think that I for the first time in my life really began to know her. And what a fighter she was when she was afflicted with the dread disease. How she kept up her faith in God and trusted him and clinging to the hope that she would someday recover. She did her own work of her large 2. story house and kept it in spic and span order. Not much of a person to complain she would seem to enjoy every day as it came along. Each new day seemed to lift her hopes and spirit. Having faith in God arid the determination to live extended her life span until April 27, 1971.
Poem written in 1961 about Eliza (Zimmerman) Hey titled:"My Mother"
by her daughter Elizabeth (Hey) Jones
Who took care of me when I was small and listened to my call?
And rocked me to arid fro, arid sang so soft and low?
Who wiped my tears away and brought sunshine in my day?
And taught me how to pray and keep me from going astray?
Who taught me the golden rule and sent me to Sunday school?
And greeted each new day with faith and love?
For her I thank God above.
Following comment by Dennis Herbster
My dad, Henry Herbster, used to speak about the Hey family quite often. The family consisted of Elmer and Elisa (Zimmerman) Hey and their children Henry, Elmer, Alma, and Elizabeth. My dad said that the Heys were musically talented. They used to play for dances, Elmer played the fiddle and Eliza played the piano. Some of the children played instruments also, although I cannot remember the instruments. The Hey family lived on a farm on the state line south of Falls City for a time. Elmer Hey did not like farming so the family moved to town, where Mr. Hey ran a pool hall.
If you like this life story, would you consider making a donation to a church or religious affiliated non profit institution or if unable, then to a Space Exploration through a Foundation. Do this in the memory of Eliza (Zimmermann) Hey.
Last Modified August 2016
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