Much of the civilization of the world has come from the Teutonic race. Continually moving westward, they have taken with them the enterprise and advancement of their eastern homes, and have become valued and useful citizens of various localities. In this country especially have they demonstrated their power to adapt themselves to new circumstances, retaining at the same time their progressiveness and energy, and have become loyal and devoted citizens, true to the institutions of "the land of the free," and untiring in promotion of all that will prove of benefit to their adopted country. The German element in America forms an important part of American citizenship, and, while they cannot attain to the highest civil office in the gift of the people, they have given ample evidence of their power to sustain and uphold the government of the republic and to become the factors in various communities to whom the locality owes its progress and prosperity.
Mr. Timmer is a native of the fatherland, his birth having occurred in Hanover, in the village of Bentheim, on the 12th of March, 1830. He was reared on a farm, early becoming familiar with all the duties and labors that fall to the lot of the agriculturist. He came to America in 1853, hoping to benefit his financial condition in the new world. Taking up his abode in Miami county, he learned the cooper's trade at Troy, and for thirty years was engaged in that business. In 1855 he removed to Tippecanoe City, and after working for a year in the employ of others, he opened a shop of his own, securing two workmen to aid him in executing the orders given him. He did all kinds of coopering work, and his business steadily increased so that he furnished employment to seven or eight workmen. The output of the factory was quite extensive, the excellent workmanship and honorable business methods pursued therein winning liberal patronage. During the existence of the sugar factory he employed from twenty to twenty-five men, and continued the conduct of his industry until 1883. In the meantime he had spent three years in California, going to that state in 1859. He engaged in gold mining with satisfactory results, and in 1862 returned to Tippecanoe City, where he resumed his business. He is a man of resourceful ability, enterprising and energetic, and has not confined his ef-forts to one line, but has been interested in various concerns. He was one of the incorporators of the wheel factory, and was a director until he sold his stock, and in connection with two partners, Fred Huber and Morris Huffman, he rebuilt the malt house, which was operated with fair success for ten years. He also became a stockholder in a paper mill, and on its establishment was made a member of the board of directors. He was thus connected with the enterprise for three years. He was also one of the original stockholders in the bank, and maintained his association with the institution for a year. He was one of the first to subscribe to stock when the Glucose Company was organized. After disposing of his various industrial and commercial connections he invested his capital in farming land, and is now the owner of three hundred and fifty acres, all in Miami county. This property he rents and it brings to him a good income.
On the 13th of July, 1855, Mr. Timmer was united in marriage, in Dayton, Ohio, to Miss Wilhelmina Kettlehager, a native of Hesse, Germany, who came to America in 1852 with her parents, Conrad and Justina Kettlehager, who located in Tippecanoe City. The father was a carpenter, and died at the age of seventy-two years. In his family are six children who yet survive: Charles and Henry, who are residents of Tippecanoe City; Frederick, a resident of Dayton; Caroline, who is also living in Dayton; Riga, of Troy; and Mrs. Timmer. Unto our subject and his wife have been born the following children: Caroline, a resident of Piqua, Ohio; Matilda, wife of W. H. Myers, of Dayton; Wilhelmina, wife of S. E. Musselman, of Piqua; Bernard, who is connected with the bent wood manufactory at Troy; Fanny, wife of T. S. Conway, of Tippecanoe City; Ella, at home; Edward, who is engaged in the hardware business: Justina, at home: and Albert, who is also engaged in the hardware business. All have been confirmed in the Lutheran church. While his sons were young, Mr. Timmer, in order to teach them habits of industry and economy, gave them the task of raising tobacco, and thus they made their start in life.
In his political views Mr. Timmer is a stalwart Democrat, unswerving in his advocacy of the party and its principles. He is one of the original members of the German Lutheran church, which was originated about eighteen years ago, and has served on the official board. His labors contribute to its support and indicate his interest in the work. As a citizen he manifests a deep interest in everything pertaining to the public good, and his efforts along material, social and moral lines have been very effective and beneficial. Mr. Timmer has won the proud American title of a self-made man, for his success has come to him entirely as a result of his own well-directed efforts, his keen discernment in business affairs and his reliable dealing. His word is as good as his bond, and his reputation in commercial circles is indeed enviable.
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