Zion - James M. - Montgomery InGenWeb Project

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Zion - James M.

Source: Crawfordsville Journal & Review, Saturday, March 24, 1931

James M. ZION, 82, twice candidate fro governor and long known as Indiana's Apple King succumbed to heart trouble at 8 o'clock Friday morning at the home of a daughter, Mrs. Hunter H. LEAMING of this city. He became widely known through his political and apple growing activities. Ever since the sudden death of his wife in 1919, followed by financial reverses, he had lived in retirement. He clung to his home here in which vicinity he had lived 40 years but spent much of his time in the Leaming home. Mr. Zion, the last of 9 children was a son of William and Amelia Sims Zion, and was born in Lebanon Sept 22, 1848. His early education was obtained in the Lebanon Academy, where he was a classmate of the late James Mount, who later became governor, the two were lifetime friends. On Oct 5, 1870, he was married to Melvina Loveless of Clark's Hill to which union 5 children were born. During the first 23 years of his married life, Mr. Zion was a successful solicitor for the Appleton Publishing Company which work brought him into contact with governors, senators, lawyers, educators and other leaders in every state of the union. Much of his time was spent in the west, where he traveled by stagecoach. For 14 years the family resided in San Francisco. Wide travel brought to him a deep appreciation of Indiana apples and in 1892 he acquired a large farm in Tippecanoe County near Clarks Hill. He thereupon became Indiana's pioneer commercial orchardist. By 1904, his orchard had become famous, particularly after the world's fair in St. Louis, where he won first prize and a gold medal for the largest apple (18" in circumference), and for the best individual exhibit in the horticultural building. For a number of years thereafter he won hundreds of prizes at state fairs and national and international expositions. The late Kin Hubbard, a close friend, once wrote that "Jim Zion is getting humped shouldered carrying off prizes from the state fair," the two were close friends and Hubbard each year sent an autographed copy of his "Abe Martin" book to Zion. Many newspaper and magazines carried articles on Zion and his famous orchard. He pioneered in attempting to heat orchards against freezing using oil stoves, but the practice proved too expensive and impractical in other ways. In more recent years, Mr. Zion had manufactured vinegar, which he catered to hotels and fancy groceries. In 1908, Mr. Zion was a candidate for governor on an independent ticket and in 1920 was again a candidate, when McCray & McCullough were the Republican and Democratic nominees, respectfully. He was a liberal in politics, putting principle above party. For 62 years he had been a member of the blue lodge, F & AM of Lebanon and for nearly as long he was affiliated with Lafayette commandery, Knight Templars. Surviving are 3 daughters and two sons, ER & Dr. JR Zion and Mrs. Joy Barton of San Francisco; Mrs. Joseph Labaree of Julesburg, Colorado and Mrs. Leaming with four grandchildren. Friends who wish to view the remains may call at the Leaming home at any time until the hour of the funeral. Short services for Mr. Zion will be held at the home of Mr. Leaming Monday noon with only the most intimate friends and relatives present. Following this, the remains will be taken to Clarks Hill where services will be held Monday afternoon at 2:30 at the Methodist Episcopal church.

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