Zeidler Park is the result of one man’s vision and generosity. Verle and Irene Zeidler made their home in Rockwell; Verle owned and operated Zeidler Hardware for many years. Rockwell and its residents became very dear to them and Verle dreamed of leaving a memorial that would provide enjoyment and relaxation for the people of Rockwell while immortalizing the Zeidler name forever.
Generously upon his death, the bulk of his estate was left in trust with directions for the construction of a park on his farmland east of the City of Rockwell. The park would be developed for the enjoyment of all residents of Rockwell and the surrounding area.
Thus the Christian and Lou Utz Zeidler trust was established. The board consists of one man and one woman from each of the five churches in Rockwell. This board bears the responsibility for the park developments and its continued preservation.
In April of 1990 the corn cribs were dismantled and brush removed to make room for the 25 acres. In 1991 6800 trees and seedlings were planted. In subsequent years many other projects were completed such as a road, store buildings, rest rooms, shelter houses, a ball diamond and a playground.
To the best of their ability the board of trustees feel they have completed the wishes of Verle and have developed a park that would make him proud.
Thank you Verle for your gift to the residents of Rockwell and surrounding area.
Zeidler Family History
Christian Zeidler was born in Jefferson, Wisconsin on June 20, 1853. In 1875 Christian and his brother Charles settled in Rockwell, Iowa. At that time Rockwell was just springing up on the recently completed Iowa Central Railroad.
Christian and Charles opened Rockwell’s first shop for the building of carriages, wagons and sleighs. During this period, Christian was also an organizer and member of Rockwell’s first band.
In 1881 Christian became interested in the lumber business, continuing in the business until 1893 when it was sold to the Farmer Co-Op Society.
On September 20, 1885 Christian Zeidler married Louise Utz. Louise was born on February 23, 1867 in Germany. In 1875 she came to this country with her parents, Ferdinand and Augusta Utz, her grandfather, and two sisters Nettie (C.F. Jesmore) and Anna (John Barth). Two other sisters and a brother died in Germany. Another sister, Gertrude (Theodore Messerschmidt), and brother, Oscar, were born in Charles City, Iowa. Oscar died at the age of four. Louise “Lou” Zeidler moved from Marble Rock, Iowa to Rockwell, Iowa following her marriage to Christian and became involved in the social life in Rockwell.
The first hardware store in Rockwell was operated by Harris Bros., who were succeeded by E.P. Nye, who sold to J.A. Felthouse. In 1893 Christian Zeidler purchased the Felthouse hardware business. He then divided his time between this and his land interests.
Christina and Louise had one son, Evan “Verle” Zeidler, born on May 27, 1894. Verle graduated from Rockwell High School and then Stanford University.
On February 12, 1935 Verle Zeidler married Irene Nold in Coral Gables, Florida. After moving to Rockwell Irene became active in the community. Irene was born in Cleveland, Ohio on January 24, 1892 to Levi and Nellie Nold. She had one sister, Grace (Pilling). Irene was educated at Miss Miles School in New York City, and then studied at Yale University. She taught school at Tampa, Florida.
In September 1935 Christian and Louise Zeidler celebrated their golden wedding anniversary at Miami, Florida. They spent many winters in Florida as well as California and Cuba.
Christian Zeidler died at his home in Rockwell, Iowa on March 20, 1939. His wife Louise died in March, 1950. Irene Nold Zeidler died on November 22, 1973. Verle Zeidler died on December 27, 1988.