Served: 3 months
Henry was born during 1864 in Hamilton County to Bavarian immigrants, Henry and Anna (Beck) Zimmerer, who ran a boarding house on Clifton Avenue. As an adult, Henry worked as a carriage painter. On May 25, 1887 he married Anna Lurker at St. Joseph Church and started to raise a family. By 1895, the family of four was living at 60 Barton Street.
We do not know when, but he joined the Cincinnati Police Department as a Substitute Patrolman. On May 21, 1895, the Police Commission promoted Henry to Patrolman, and he was assigned to the Tenth District (next to the Workhouse).
Patrolman Zimmerer was completing his tour of duty on August 25, 1895 and, at 2:30 p.m., was headed home. He boarded the Colerain Avenue Electric Car No. 21 in front of the Workhouse.
Two blocks down Colerain Avenue, near Ethan Street, Patrolman Zimmerer saw two men fighting. He stepped out on the running board of the car intent on jumping off at the location of the fight. As he leaned out, he failed to note the Electric Car No. 26 coming in the opposite direction on the next track. Just as he was about to jump, the cars passed each other. The No. 26 struck him, knocking him back into the No. 20, and then he rolled out and fell to the ground.
Citizens carried him unconscious to a nearby house to await the response of Patrol No. 10.
He died in route to City Hospital from a skull fracture at the base of the brain. His remains were removed to the morgue.
Patrolman Zimmerer was survived by his wife, Alice (Lurker) Zimmerer; children, Henry Joseph Zimmerer (7) and Anna Elizabeth “Annie” Zimmerer (3); parents, Henry and Ann (Beck) Zimmerer; and siblings, Michael (Elizabeth) Zimmerer and Anna Ida (John Henry) Ruthemeyer. On August 27, 1895 a cortege of many carriages escorted him to his burial in St. Mary’s Cemetery on East Ross in St. Bernard.
Lieutenant Kane and Patrolman Klosterman arrested John Liston, the motorman of the Electric Car No. 26, on a charge of Manslaughter, as was the custom of that era. He was bonded out that evening and later the charge was dropped. The two men who were fighting were never identified.
Mrs. Zimmerman raised her children until they married. She died 41 years after her husband on February 20, 1936. We believe he has seven great grandchildren still living and great-great grandchildren.
If you have information, artifacts, archives, or images regarding this officer or incident, please contact the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum at Memorial@Police-Museum.org.
© This narrative was revised August 16, 2020 by Cincinnati Police Lieutenant Stephen R. Kramer (Retired), Greater Cincinnati Police Historical Society President. All rights are reserved to him and the Greater Cincinnati Police Historical Society.