Residence of E. Zimmerman
303 West Fifth Street
Like Charles Eckhart, Elias Zimmerman was a Pennsylvania born rags to riches story whose sons built a manufacturing empire in DeKalb County and Auburn. The Zimmerman business began in Spencerville, but moved to Auburn by 1875, which is about the same time the Eckharts had arrived. Zimmerman and his sons, John and Franklin, initially began with the production of wooden barrels, church pews, and windmills, but by 1891 had largely shifted to making carriages and wagons. With the Zimmermans, the company would become the third major producer of wagons and carriages in Auburn and continued to lay the foundation of the auto industry that would follow. The Zimmermans incorporated their re-focused business venture to become Zimmerman Manufacturing around 1880, and was considered to be the oldest manufacturing operation under continual existence in the city.
The Zimmermans would follow the path of their competitors with their carriage and wagon making giving way to the production of the Zimmerman automobiles from 1907-1914. The Eckharts and the Zimmermans also joined forces to create the Union Automobile for one year. Elias Zimmerman passed away at this home in 1914, and his son Franklin in 1910. As the Zimmermans faded from the scene, its automobile line was discontinued and its assets were acquired by the Auburn Automobile Company.