Biography of John Zurcher

That stanch little republic whose spirit has made her presence felt in all of the countries of Europe, has furnished many enterprising citizens of this country, and among them we wish to mention the esteemed gentleman, whose name initiates this paragraph, and who has demonstrated his loyalty and sterling qualities in that, when the call came for the sons of liberty to defend the flag, he at once left the walks of domestic life and plunged into the carnage of battle, where for the entire term of the Civil war he was foremost and at the post of duty, both in camp service and when the stern realities called for blood to be shed. Of such it is ever a pleasure to be highly prized, to be allowed to review though in brief: the deeply interesting points of their careers.

In the village of Wimmis, Canton of Bern, Switzerland, John Zurcher was born, October 19,1837, and in 1852 he came to this country with his parents, who settled in Ohio, remaining there until the time of their death, and their remains lie buried at New Philadelphia in that state today. At the age of eighteen our subject entered the apprenticeship to a carriage maker in New Philadelphia, and for three years he wrought steadily in this capacity, mastering the intricacies of the trade in every department. When the Civil war broke out he was among the first to offer his services, enlisting in the Thirtieth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Company I, in August 1861. For three years, in all of the arduous, painful and wearing duties of war, he served with a faithfulness and intrepidity and valor that stamped him as made of the qualities that produce the patriot and the champion of liberty. In the fall of 1862 he was wounded at the battle of South Mountains, in Maryland, being discharged some two months later, but as soon as his wounds were sufficiently healed to warrant it he re-enlisted and was again in the field and there continued until the close of the war, being mustered out at Little Rock, Arkansas, in August 1865. Laying down the implements of strife he repaired to his old home in Ohio and quietly went to work at his trade in Cadiz, Ohio, laboring steadily at it in that town and others of the state until 1881, when he came to Butte, Montana, and for one year wrought at his craft there, then migrated to Wallowa county, settling on Alder slope, taking up the land on which Enterprise is now situated, and giving his attention to farming and working at his trade.

In 1870 Mr. Zurcher was married to Miss Helen Hogan, a native of Scotland, whose parents came to the United States about 1853 and settled in Ohio.

To this union have been born the following children: Susannah Agnes, now Mrs. George Holmes, of Cove, Union County: an infant that died when three weeks of age: Helen, wife of F.A. Clarke, of Enterprise: Charles, county clerk of Wallowa county: John, deceased at the age of nineteen: James, at the agricultural college: William, clerk in the F.M.M.Co. Store: an infant that died at Alder: Mary. Nine in all. Mr. Zurcher is one of the most enterprising citizens of the county and is ever on record for those things that are for real advancement and progress, having ever manifested capabilities that are marked and worthy, while his integrity and unsullied reputation bespeak a walk and demeanor that are both upright and commendable. He is a prominent member of the G.A.R. post at Enterprise, and is universally beloved and esteemed both for his own estimable qualities and for the kindly manner in which he is a true neighbor and capable citizen.


An Illustrated history of Union and Wallowa Counties: with a brief outline of the early history of the state of Oregon. Western Historical Pub. Co., 1902.

Search Military Records - Fold3

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest

Scroll to Top