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February 4, 2016 / Joanne Yeck

The Buckingham Outlaws: Epilogue


James M. Zimmerman with his Swift (1950)

Courtesy Keith Zimmerman

Don’t Lie. Don’t Cheat. Don’t Steal. 

After only a few installments of “The Buckingham Outlaws” were posted at Slate River Ramblings, I was contacted by Keith Zimmerman.  Realizing that he was related to two of the Buckingham County criminals, Keith was shocked at the gang’s behavior which certainly didn’t fit his family’s code of honor.  His Zimmerman kin may have been fun-loving, but they were far from outlaws. Keith had been taught three rules to live by his father, James Maynard Zimmerman: Don’t Lie.  Don’t Cheat.  Don’t Steal.

Keith and outlaws Benjamin and Arthur Zimmerman share a common ancestor  – Samuel Zimmerman.  Samuel, the father of Benjamin and Arthur, was born in Maryland in 1813, came to Buckingham sometime before 1850, and settled in Buckingham County on Joshua’s Creek.

Keith’s father, James M. Zimmerman (1921–2010) served as a Marine in the South Pacific during World War II.  After the war, on the G.I. Bill, he learned to fly a plane and, eventually, went into business with his older brother, William “Bill” Zimmerman. Together they operated the very successful Chesterfield Beauty Salon in Richmond.  See advertisements below.

Keith, like his father, served his country as a Marine and his community as a professional firefighter for thirty-one years in the Henrico Co. Fire Dept.  He is an avid reader of history and especially enjoys memoirs written by Civil War soldiers.

It is very good to know that Keith’s Zimmerman line – Samuel, William, William, James – took their Buckingham County roots in a positive direction.  Thanks, Keith, for sharing your family’s stories and rounding out an exciting (if shocking) story for Slate River Ramblings readers.

1939_Chesterfield Beauty Salon

1962_Chesterfield Beauty Salon


Leave a Comment
  1. / Feb 5 2016 6:19 pm

    I think the Ben Zimmerman referred to in these post is buried in the Newton family cemetery on Bridgeport Road, Arvonia ,Va. We too, made a good life for ourselves and families.

    Danny Newton-Great Nephew of William and Charles Thomas

    Sent from AOL Mobile Mail

    • Joanne Yeck / Feb 6 2016 8:28 am

      Danny, Thanks for writing and for letting us know that your Newton line thrived. Was your Thomas ancestor married to Charles Newton? I will look to the Ben Zimmerman grave. Best — Joanne

  2. Joanne Yeck / Feb 4 2016 8:57 am

    Indeed, we all have skeletons in the closet and a horse thief somewhere in the family tree. I was delighted when Keith Zimmerman contacted me to balance the story of the Zimmerman family.

  3. Mary Carolyn Steger Mitton / Feb 4 2016 8:55 am

    If one looks long enough and far back enough, I’d wager we all have a couple of “warts and pimples” on our charts of ancestry. Intemperance of whatever sort…. we are individually responsible for only ourselves.

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