Cletus “Clete” Zimmermann attended St. Paul School from 1911-1919. He attended and graduated as valedictorian from Quincy College of Business in 1922.
Zimmermann’s first position was with Spengel’s Furniture Store as a bookkeeper and salesman.
He next went to work for Wicks Organ Co. He started as a stockroom clerk in 1922 and ended as sales manager and corporate secretary after 20 years.
After leaving Wicks in 1942, Zimmermann acquired a 1/3 interest in Highland Machine. Upon the death of one of the partners, Zimmermann became sole owner of the company.
In 1945, he was elected to the board of directors of the First National Bank and served in that capacity for 30 years until his retirement in 1975.
In 1947, Zimmermann and his brother, Harold Zimmermann, purchased greenhouses and land, and one year later, opened Petite Floral Co.
Clete Zimmermann also purchased Community Lumber Co. in 1954. While in the lumber business, he started the purchase of land and established Zimco Enterprises, which developed a number of subdivisions in Highland, including Alpine Acres, Swiss Village, Town and Country, Petite Acres, Lakeland Terrace, Community Acres and others. After 40 years with Highland Machine, Zimmermann sold his interest and retired, but still served as chairman.
Zimmermann donated the land to the city of Highland, which is now Merwin Park.
He was a member of the Knights of Columbus, serving as Grand Knight from 1925-1927. He helped found and promote the Highland Manufacturers Association and was instrumental in the development of Highland’s outdoor community swimming pool. He was also a member of St. Paul Church, Holy Home Society, Highland Chamber of Commerce, Kings House Retreat Center and the Highland Country Club.
He passed away in 1990 at the age of 85.
Other business category nominees are longtime funeral director Robert Dauderman and Clinton Rogier, former chairman of Madison Mutual Insurance.
HIASAA Hall of Fame Voting Procedures
When is voting? Voting will take place from May 1-31. All ballots must by in the hands of Highland Illinois Area Schools Alumni Association (HIASAA) by May 31.
Who can vote? Any alumni of any school within the boundaries of the Highland School District or any employees of these schools. Need not have graduated from school, just attended. To be able to vote, alumni or employees must be a paid member of HIASAA.
How do I become a member? Go to the association website highlandilalumni.com. There is a place to register online and an option to use PayPal to pay your dues. Or, you can send the application and a check to HIASAA, 400 Broadway, Highland, IL 62249. Membership dues are $10 per year, $40 for a five-year membership, or $100 for a lifetime membership. All memberships are for the calendar year, starting Jan. 1.
How do I vote? From May 1-31, you can obtain a downloadable ballot on the website. Ballots must be completed and mailed to HIASAA, 400 Broadway, Highland, IL 62249. All ballots must be received by May 31. he Board of Directors will count the ballots in early June and letters will be sent informing all nominees of the results. If anyone needs a ballot or wants to join the association but does not have computer access, they should contact Sherry Fletcher, HIASAA board secretary, at 618-654-6266 for a ballot or membership application. If you have any questions, contact Fletcher at the above phone number.