Early Beavercreek settler to be honored

For the News-Current

BEAVERCREEK – Dr. George Zimmerman came to Beavercreek in 1805, some 210 years ago, from Maryland to settle with his wife Nancy Durnbaugh Zimmerman and family.

On Sept. 19, 2015 at the Heritage Day Festival sponsored by the Beavercreek Historical Society, Dr. Zimmerman and his extended family will be honored at a 1 p.m. presentation in the barn at Wartinger Park on Kemp Road.

The day will be declared “Dr. George Zimmerman Day” in Beavercreek City and Township.

According to records, he was most likely the first physician to establish residence in Beavercreek Township, Ohio. The family’s log home was built on what was then called the Big Road to Dayton, now known as Dayton-Xenia Road. The home which has continued as a private residence, still stands with white siding and probable additions amid open fields just to the east of the current Beavercreek Fire Station Number Two in the Knollwood area.

While the Zimmerman family’s home was being built, they stayed as guests in the log home belonging to Nancy’s sister, Francis and her husband Philip Harshman. The Harshman’s home is preserved today at Wartinger Park, and will be open for tours along with other early Beavercreek structures dating to the early 1800s during the Heritage Day Festival.

Estate paperwork filed after Dr. Zimmerman’s death at age 39 in 1818 indicates that he was a kind and busy man, as it records 152 open unpaid accounts for his medical services, which totaled $662.43 and three-fourths cents. A widow owed highest amount of $41.75 and the lowest debt was a meager 12 and one/half cents.

In 1830, Jacob Zimmerman, a son of George and Nancy, married Mary Shoup, the daughter of Solomon Shoup who in 1805 had built the first flour mill along the Little Beaver Creek. Jacob and Mary settled on the southeast corner of Dayton-Xenia and Fairfield Roads where they opened a store.

In 1843, he donated a parcel of land on an opposite side of that intersection to build the first house of worship. The settlement that grew up in that area took the name of Zimmerman and continued to be known by that name for many years. The descendants of the family have preserved the Zimmerman Store and Mill Ledger from the 1840’s through 1868 and will have it on display at the Festival.

The Heritage Day Festival hours will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 19 at Wartinger Park, Kemp Road next to the fire station. Admission is free with a $2 charge for children’s activities.

Story courtesy of Beavercreek Historical Society.

Story courtesy of Beavercreek Historical Society.