John Theodore Timp was born on 19 January 1831 in Germany. After immigrating to central Wisconsin, he met and married German born (19 July 1834) Magdalena Christina Geising. The newlyweds moved to a northeastern Iowa farm near the later town of Festina in 1854. In the beginning they shared a large log cabin with four other families, including their respective in-laws. After filing for their own land, Theodore and Christina remained in Winneshiek County the remainder of their lives. Christina died on 9 April 1886. Theodore survived her by fourteen years, dying on 13 April 1900. Between the two of them they had successfully reared ten children:
1- Henry Timp
2- Joseph Timp
3- William Timp
4- Peter Timp
5- Theodore Timp Jr
6- Barney Timp
7- Ella (Adelgunda) Timp - (30 October 1869 - 2 May 1937) Married Herman George Gehling.
8- Anna Timp - Became a Catholic Nun.
9- Mary A. Timp - (24 December 1872 - 22 June 1956) Married Bernard H. "Barney" Gehling.
10- Caroline Timp - Married William Hageman.