The following data is extracted from Biographical Sketches, Coles County, Illinois - Ashmore Township.
James Zimmerman, farmer and stock-raiser; P. O. Ashmore; a son of Martin and Sarah Zimmerman; was born in Augusta Co., Dec. 8, 1827, and came to the State of Illinois with his parents in 1837, at the age of 10 years; his father, after spending one year in Edgar Co., removed to Coles Co., in 183S, and settled on a farm in the edge of Oakland Tp.; this farm is now owned and occupied by John B. Zimmerman, one of his sons. On the 12th of January, 1854, the subject of this sketch was married to Miss Mary A. McDavitt, a daughter of Nortley McDavitt, of Edgar Co., Ill.; she was born in Hampshire Co., Va., Jan. 13, 1830, and came to Edgar Co. with her parents in 1832; of seven children of this marriage five are living - William R., Roley O., Mary I., Ella E. and Cora N. Mr. Zimmerman began life for himself by working out by the month, and, in 1853, began improving his present home, which was then nothing but the raw prairie; he first entered 160 acres of land, from the Government; to this he has added at various times, until he now owns some 400 acres of as fine land as is to be found in Illinois, with good improvements and well-stocked, etc.; he has made a specialty of stock-raising, raising what grain was necessary to feed his stock, thus consuming the products of the land upon the farm; he has never been an office-seeker, nor an office-holder, but has devoted himself to his business of farming.
Source: Biographical Sketches, Coles County, Illinois - Ashmore Township