Jakob Winkler (Theologe)

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Jakob Winkler (born 1864 in Höngg; died 1 May 1944 in Winterthur-Seen) was a Swiss pastor and politician.


Jakob Winkler was born in 1864 in the old post office in Höngg, which was still independent at the time, the son of a cobbler who was also the postmaster there. Jakob Winkler studied theology at the University of Zurich and then became a vicar in Flawil.

In 1888 he was elected by the parish assembly of Seen as pastor and served in the church Seen near Winterthur. With the election as pastor he was, as was quite common at that time, also involved in the secondary school authority and president of the poor relief. Two years later he took over the presidency of the secondary school. From 1919 to 1939 he also served as a member of the supervisory committee of the Winterthur cantonal school, and for 47 years he was a member of the district school board. In addition to his spiritual and scholastic work, he also devoted himself to local politics: in 1891, in view of the problems in the poor relief system, he demanded its nationalisation. In 1897 he initiated the construction of an electricity plant in Seen by means of a motion, which was built before that in the large neighbouring town of Winterthur.

In addition to local politics, Winkler was also active in the Zurich Cantonal Council from 1905, initially as a representative of the Democratic Peasant Party. In 1909 he called for the introduction of proportional representation for the first time in a motion, and in the same year he expressed himself in favour of an increase in state contributions to the poor expenses of the municipalities. In 1911 he called for more humane treatment of prison inmates, as they were too often released without having improved. In 1917 he became a virtual victim of his own demand when he missed re-election by barely 50 votes in the first proportional representation elections in 1917. However, just two years later, in 1919, Winkler was re-elected to the Cantonal Council for the Democrats. Winkler, who did not speak out too often in the Cantonal Council, remained there until he resigned on 8 May 1932.[1]

One year after his resignation as a cantonal councillor, he also resigned as a pastor. Winkler died on 1 May 1944 at his home on Bacheggliweg in Winterthur-Seen. He thus survived his wife Lina Winkler (née Zweifel) from Höngg, who in turn died in 1939. He was married to her for 47 years and had two sons and a daughter. His older son became a pastor in Altstetten, but died before his parents.


  • Hans-Peter Friess, Peter Niederhäuser: Pfarrer Jakob Winkler Seen, Jakob Winkler – ein Seemer Kantonsrat. In: Seemer Bote. No. 02-2009. Winterthur 2009, pp. 20-22 (seen. ch[PDF; 2.8 MB]).
  • Lakes in modern times. In: Stadtbibliothek Winterthur (ed.): Neujahrsblatt der Stadtbibliothek Winterthur. Volume 342. Winterthur 2009, ISBN 978-3-908050-30-8, pp. 120, 121, 128-131.

Individual references

  1. Members of the Cantonal Council since 1917.(No longer available online.) Canton of Zurich, formerly in.Original; retrieved 10 July 2017.@1@2Template:Dead link/ no longer available, search web archives ) Info: Thelink was automatically marked as broken. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.