Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 429


Charles P. Hoffman, manager of the G. M. Britton Company, Pottsville, Pa., and director in the Merchants National Bank, of that city, was born in Friedensburg, Oley township, Berks county, Sept. 20, 1866, son of Rev. P. P. A. Hoffman and his wife, Aravesta M. Bodder.

Rev. P. P. A. Hoffman was born in Cherryville, Northampton county, March 25, 1836, and died at Reading June 30, 1888, in the fifty-third year of his age. He was educated in the common schools, and later attended the Mercersburg Preparatory School, then that college and Theological Seminary, graduating at an early age. He was installed at Friedensburg, in Berks county, and preached at Friedens Church there for twenty-five years, or until his death. His twenty-fifth installation was celebrated at Hill Church in the presence of a large congregation, which congregation he served from his entry into the ministry until his death. The Friedens charge consisted of four congregations, viz.: Hill, Friedens, Lobachsville, and Pricetown. He was an able minister and eloquent preacher. For some years before his death he lived at Reading, and is buried in the Charles Evans cemetery there. In 1864 he married Aravesta M. Bodder, daughter of Charles and Susanna (Mason) Bodder. Mr. Bodder was a hatter and furrier at Bethlehem, where he was a member of the town council and a very prominent citizen. To the Rev. Mr. Hoffman and wife were born the following children: Charles P.; Willard U., of Reading; J. Lange, of Chicago; Bertha B., m. to Thomas Paine, of Reading; and C. Herbert, of Pottsville. Charles P. Hoffman received the benefit of an excellent education, attending the public school, Oley Academy, a preparatory school at Bethlehem, and graduated from the Reading high school in 1885, with the class honors. He then became a bookkeeper for the Manhattan Hardware Manufacturing Company, of Reading, serving in that position for two years. In 1887 he became collector for the Gately & Britton Installment House, of Reading, and his promotion to a better position was soon merited. In 1894 the firm opened up the Pottsville branch in a small store under the management of Mr. Hoffman, and this has since became the largest furniture, carpet and clothing store in all Schuylkill county. It employs thirty-five to fifty persons and enjoys a large and lucrative trade. Besides making this store a mecca for the buyer of household goods, he has found time to devote to the best interests of the city. He is broadminded and public-spirited, and is ever in the front rank of new enterprises. He has become the standard bearer for those interests that stand for progress and civic advancement-and the leader in all public demonstrations and events that tend to advertise and advance his adopted city. During the first years of his connection with the firm of Gately & Britton (a partnership that has since divided, Mr. Hoffman continuing with Mr. Britton) he conducted for three years the Tropical Garden, the located at Eighth and Penn streets, Reading.

Mr. Hoffman is one of the organizers of the Merchants National Bank, of Pottsville, and has since been one of its directors, secretary of the board and a member of the Finance committee. He is actively identified with church, political, social and fraternal associations in Pottsville. With his family he attends Trinity Reformed Church. He is past master of Reading Lodge, No. 549, F. & A. M.; Reading Chapter, No. 152, R. A. M.; past commander of De Molay Commandery, No. 9, K. T.; and a charter member of Rajah Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., Reading, which he has had the honor of representing at the Imperial Council of North America. Socially he is a member of the Pottsville Club; a charger member of the Sphinx Club; a member (and past president) of the Commercial Club; The West End Fire Company; Schuylkill County Historical Society; and Liederkranz. He has been president of the Merchants' Association of Pottsville and vicinity since 1903; president of the Pottsville Civic Society which is in the nature of a board of trade, since its inception in 1905; he is a member and chairman of the Finance committee of the board of control of the famous Third Brigade Band. Mr. Hoffman is one of the leading men of Pottsville, and he has the well merited respect of his fellow citizens.

In 1885 Mr. Hoffman married Sue E. Bickley, daughter of the late Capt. Frank and Amelia (Lotz) Bickely of Reading. Mrs. Hoffman is a graduate of the Reading high school where she was a classmate of her husband.


p. 379


Dr. Christian Nicholas Hoffman, physician at Sinking Spring for forty-five years, was born in Northampton county, Pa., Aug. 11, 1833. He received his preliminary education in the township schools and at Nazareth Academy. Later he attended the Jefferson Medical college, at Philadelphia, from which he was graduated in 1862. He immediately located at Sinking Spring and continued in active practice forty-five years, retiring in June, 1906, on account of illness. He died July 6, 1907. He built up a large practice which reached out into the country for ten and even twenty miles, which evidences his great success and the confidence the people had in him. His devotion to his profession was extraordinary, he hardly ever taking any vacation, and this burden was shared with great fidelity by his devoted wife. He was recognized as an able physician, and was highly respected among his fellow townsmen. In politics he was a Republican, and in religion a member of the Reformed Church in Northampton county. For some years he took an interest in the Order of American Mechanics. Dr. Hoffman was the last of his family, which had boasted of seven doctors in two generations, including himself and his brother, his uncles and cousins.

In 1870 Dr. Hoffman married Ellen Ann Jones, daughter of John H. and Margaret (Seitzinger) Jones, and they had two daughters: Katherine Jones, who married W. W. Webber, and has two children-Harold Hoffman and Christian Hoffman; and Margaret Adelia.

Paul Hoffman, father of the Doctor, was a farmer of Northampton county and was born in 1802, and died in 1866. He married Catherine Peysher, and they had four sons: Paul J., Christian N., Rev. Philip P. A., and Dr. James.

Michael Hoffman, the grandfather, was also of Northampton county.

Mrs. Hoffman's grandfather was Samuel Jones, who married Elizabeth Huey, and was the father of four children, John H., Thomas H., Mary (m. Jacob Van Reed) and Margaret (m. Dr. Darrah). Her maternal grandfather was Jacob W. Seitzinger.


p. 1135


Franklin W. Hoffman, a highly esteemed citizen of Perry township, who for some years has been engaged in agricultural pursuits, was born in Upper Bern township, Berks co., Pa., April 9, 1850, son of Michael and Esther (Wartzenluft) Hoffman.

Michael Hoffman, grandfather of Franklin W., was a well-known and highly esteemed citizen of this section, and served in the State Assembly. His children were: Samuel, m. to Hannah Dunkel, had three children, David, Jacob and Hannah; George, m. to Abbie Fisher, had three children, Henry, William and Samuel; Michael, father of Franklin W.; and Benjamin, m. (first) to a Miss Fisher, had Samuel, Mary and Cornelius, and (second) to Elizabeth Bailey, and had one daughter, Catherine.

Michael Hoffman, son of Michael, born in 1813, died in 1875. For ten years he was a farmer in Upper Bern township, where he owned an 144-acre farm. In the latter 'fifties he purchased the farm now owned by his son, Franklin W., and in 1868 built the barn which is still standing. He was a prominent man in his time, and when the public school system was inaugurated became a teacher. He was assessor of his district for many years, also serving a school director, and for many terms was an official member of Zion's Union church. Michael Hoffman married Esther Wartzenluft, and to them were born these children: Catherine (1839-1865); Joel (1841-1872); Franklin W.; Caroline and Michael W. Franklin W. Hoffman attended the public schools in his native district for one term, and later in Perry township until his twentieth year, being reared to the labor on his father's farm. After leaving school he worked for farmers in the locality for a number of years, and in 1874 purchased a tract of fourteen acres. After marriage in the same year he located on this farm, continuing there for about one and one-half year, when he purchased his father's farm, which then consisted of 111 acres of fertile land. Here Mr. Hoffman has resided ever since, improving the property, and building a summer-house and other outbuildings. Mr. Hoffman is a skilled butcher, and in the district in the fall and winter seasons. Politically Mr. Hoffman is a Democrat, and although he has never cared for public office, has been Assemblyman on several occasions. He is a Lutheran and attends Zion's Church, where he has served a deacon, elder and trustee for a period of twelve years.

On Aug. 30, 1873, Mr. Hoffman married Mary Schappell, daughter of Samuel and Catherine (Adam) Schappell, and granddaughter of Jeremiah Schappell, and to this union there have been born three children, as follows: (1) Washington L., born Feb. 22, 1874, m. Amelia Andora Adam, born Oct. 20, 1871, and their children are: Morris L., born May 7, 1893; Henry S., Aug. 26, 1895; Charles W., Dec. 5, 1897; James F., June 29, 1899; Jacob N., Sept. 27, 1900; Elmer L., Oct. 20, 1901; Nevin S., Dec. 12, 1902; Annie A., July 28, 1904; Mary A., March 12, 1906; and William M., July 16, 1908. (2) Mahlon S., born July 9, 1884, m. Dec. 22, 1906, Lillie E. Rothermel. (3) Annie S. was born June 29, 1892.

Michael W. Hoffman, brother of Franklin W., is a farmer of Perry township, and a prominent member of the Shoemakersville Band. He was born in Upper Bern township, Berks county, Pa., in the last hour, on the last day in December, 1854. In 1858 his parents moved into Perry township, where Mr. Hoffman obtained a limited education in the local schools. He was reared a farmer, which vocation he followed all his life.

Mr. Hoffman is a musician of talent, all his children having inherited their father's musical traits, and being great lovers of music. For many years Mr. Hoffman played the trombone in the church choir of Zion's Union Church of Perry township. In 1887 he joined the famous Althouse Band of Shoemakersville, Pa., which furnished music for hundreds of celebrations, concerts, and other public functions. His band played at Niagara Falls, Buffalo and Elmira, in New York; and in Scranton, Wilkes Barre, Bethlehem and other cities and towns in his own State---Pennsylvania. Three of his sons belong to the band of which their father is the trombone player.

Mr. Hoffman is a man of honor and integrity. The imprint of honesty is upon his countenance, and he is a true son of a good family. Thrifty and industrious he owns three tracts of good land, comprising all told fifty-five acres. In politics he is a Democrat. He and his family worship in the historic Zion's Church in his township, of which church they are Lutheran members.

On Jan. 19, 1878, Mr. Hoffman married Cadance A., daughter of William and Mary (Gardner) Reber, Mrs. Hoffman was born March 15, 1859, and died Sept 6, 1900, in her forty-second year. To this marriage were born children as follows: Milton R., born Dec. 12, 1878, m. Mary Ellen Kerschner, and they have two children, Pearl and Charles Milton; William M., born May 3, 1880, m. Alice Weber, and has a daughter, Florence May; James M., born Nov. 21, 1882, died Nov. 3, 1906, his death due to shooting himself accidentally in the arm when crossing a fence about a quarter of a mile from home while hunting on November 1st on his father's farm; Samuel A., born Jan 19, 1884, died Dec. 2, 1885; Hettie Ann, born June 25, 1885, died Dec. 10, 1896; Thomas J., born Feb. 7, 1887; Ida M., born April 14, 1889; Robert E., born Oct. 16, 1890; Ellen R., born Feb. 24, 1893; Lizzie C., born Jan. 5, 1895; Elsie V., born Feb. 22, 1897; Nora E., born April 7, 1898. Since the death of the mother of these children the father has kept the family together and has watched over his children with tender care and affection.


p. 1640


George Richard Hoffman, of Perry township, one of the younger farmers in that region, comes of a family that for generations has tilled the soil of Pennsylvania and has given to the State many of her most substantial citizens. The tradition of the family, which various records seem to bear out, is that this branch is descended from:

(I) Jacob Hoffman, who came from Germany and settled in Greenwich township prior to 1756 in which year his name is found upon the tax list of that district.

(II) George Hoffman, presumably the son of Jacob, was a lifelong farmer, and prior to the Revolution settled in Windsor township on the farm which is still owned by one of his descendants, Jacob D. Hoffman. His wife bore the name of Hannah.

(III) Michael Hoffman son of George, was born Nov. 28, 1786, and died Jan. 10, 1874, in his eighty-eighth year. He occupied the Hoffman homestead and became a man of note in the region. In the early days he was in the habit of making frequent trips to Philadelphia with a six-horse team for general merchandise, not only supporting his own family, but also meeting the demands of the neighborhood to a large extent, thus carrying on in an informal way the business of a merchant. Like all the succeeding members of the family, he was an uncompromising Democrat, and active in party work. In 1857 he was elected an assemblyman, with a compensation of seventy-five cents a day. Those were in truth the days of the simple life, and Mr. Hoffman traveled to Harrisburg on horseback and carried his food with him from home. Religiously he was a devout Christian, and neither he nor his family was often absent from the church services.

Michael Hoffman married Miss Catherine Schappell, whose parents, Everhart and Catherine Schappell, came from Germany. Mrs. Hoffman was born in 1780, and reached her seventy-eighth year. She was the mother of five sons, George, Samuel, Charles, Michael and Benjamin.

(IV) Samuel Hoffman was one of the prominent men of his day and locality. For more than thirty years he held the office of justice of the peace, and was surveyor of Berks county from 1848 to 1850. He was a man of great activity and enterprise, was progressive in spirit, and his life was one of real service to the community in which his lot was cast. He owned several farms in Windsor township and made his home upon one of them. Mr. Hoffman died in 1879, while his wife, whose maiden name was Hannah Dunkel, survived him several years. Both are buried in Zion's Churchyard. Their family consisted of Elizabeth, David, Hannah, Jacob D., Esther and Caroline.

(V) Jacob D. Hoffman was born in Perry township, April 26, 1846, and still makes his home in that section. After finishing the local schools, he attended Freeland Seminary and then the select school kept by Prof. Charles N. Schaeffer in Reading. He began his business life as a merchant, establishing himself in Reading in 1865 with Richard Dunkel as a partner, the firm name being Dunkel & Hoffman. Later he went into farming on a tract of 180 acres in Windsor township, which he bought for $97.25 an acre, and sold two years later at an advance of $7.75 per acre. Some time after he purchased his father's homestead and operated it for eight years, moving from there to another farm in the vicinity, which he had purchased. This is good farming property and consists of 166 acres. Mr. Hoffman has amassed considerable means and at one time was a large land owner, possessing 440 acres. Both in business enterprises and in politics he is influential in his section and has held responsible positions. He has been auditor of his district for many years, elected on the Democratic ticket, and also a school director, and at present is a director of the Farmer's Assistance and Mutual Fire Insurance Company, in all of which capacities he has shown himself most efficient and has won general confidence.

Twice Married, Mr. Hoffman's first wife was Mary Ann, daughter of George Sunday. There were four children by this union, namely: Charles L., deceased; George R.; Anna; and Catherine, deceased. By the second wife, who was Catherine Schappel, there have been two children, Jacob C., and one who died in infancy.

(VI) George R. Hoffman was born in Perry township, July 14, 1867, and until he was eighteen attended the public schools. Always helpful about his father's farm, he gave his entire time to assisting him until 1888. In that year the son attained his majority and began working for himself on a farm belonging to his father and not far from the homestead. This place, consisting of 137 acres, he bought later and has lived there ever since. It has rich soil, is highly cultivated and has buildings, which are always kept in good condition, the whole place reflecting the greatest credit upon its owner. There is fine spring water on the farm, which has been piped into the house and which also runs into a large trough in front of the barn, for supplying the horses and cattle. Mr. Hoffman uses only the most modern implements and has also a gasoline engine for use in threshing, sawing wood and furnishing power for the gristmill in which he grinds all his own grain. He is upright and industrious man, successful in his work and respected in the community where he lives. He is a Democrat politically, and while not particularly active in that line, is one who keeps himself well informed on all topics of public importance.

The partner of Mr. Hoffman's domestic life was Miss Lizzie Stetzler, to whom he was married June 12, 1886. She was a daughter of Joel and Lizzie (Gruber) Stetzler, and a granddaughter of John Stetzler. Two sons and a daughter have been born to this union, as follows: Milton J., Jan. 21, 1887; Mary M., Sept. 10, 1888; and Wilson J., Jan. 12, 1890. The family are all Lutheran in religious belief, and members of Zion's Church.


p. 425


Jacob D. Hoffman, a substantial and highly respected farmer of Perry township, Berks county, was born April 16, 1846, in Windsor township, son of Samuel and Hannah (Dunkel) Hoffman. Mr. Hoffman belongs to a family which has been established on American soil for many generations. The earliest ancestor of whom we have authentic information was Jacob Hoffman, who came from the Rhine Valley during the middle of the eighteenth century. In 1756, when the first tax of Greenwich township was collected, he was a taxable. It is known that he had these children, George and Michael. The former was the great grandfather of Jacob D. Hoffman, and the latter is remembered with pride by the family as one who fought for the freedom of his country from oppressive British rule. The following record of his service is in evidence.

Pennsylvania State Library Division of Public Records. Harrisburg, Pa., Nov. 17, 1906. To Whom It May Concern:

I hereby certify that the name of Michael Hoffman appears as that of a private on the roll of Captain Michael Funer's Company of Berks County Militia, stationed at South Amboy, N. J., September 5, 1776. Later his name appears again as a private on the Roll of Captain Jacob Baldy's Company which was mustered into service August 10, 1780.

See p. 279, Volume Fourteen, Penna. Archives, Second Series, 1888 ed. (Signed) Luther R. Kelker, Custodian of the Public Records of the Pa. State Library. (The seal of the Department of the State Public Records is affixed to the document.)

George Hoffman, the great-grandfather of Jacob D. Hoffman, was a farmer all his life. His wife was Hannah Schappell, and they had a large family of children, among whom were: Michael, born in 1786, died in 1874; and George, who, tradition says, settled in Hereford township. In his will which was probated in the register's office in Berks county in 1847, he mentions these children: Jacob, Henry, Dora, Elizabeth (which was also the name of his wife) Christian, Abraham, Hannah and Rebeka. Michael Hoffman, grandfather of Jacob D., was born Nov. 28, 1786, and died Jan. 10, 1874, at the age of eighty-seven years, one month and twelve days. The major part of his life he devoted to the cultivation of the homestead, which is situated in Perry township, and is now owned by George Hoffman, a grandson. He erected the stone house which is still standing in an excellent state of preservation. Frequently he made trips to Philadelphia with four or six horse teams, and exchanged farm products for general merchandise such as the farmers needed. He was an influential man and wielded considerable political influence, being elected on the Democratic ticket to the State Assembly in 1845, 1846 and 1847, riding to the State Capitol on horseback and taking some of his provisions with him. His salary was seventy-five cents per day. He was an official member of Zion's Lutheran Church, was regular in church worship and was highly esteemed by all who knew him. He married Catherine Shappell, born Sept. 12, 1780, daughter of Eberhart and Catherine Shappell, natives of Germany. Mrs. Hoffman died June 30, 1857. To her and her husband were born these children: Samuel, oldest born (1808-1871); Michael (1813-1874) m. Esther Wartzenluft; Charles (1816-1900) m. Rachel Dunkel, and Benjamin (1820-1896) m. (first) Susanna Fisher and married (second) Elizabeth Bailey.

Samuel Hoffman, father of Jacob D., was born Nov. 28, 1808, and died in the year 1879. He obtained a good education in the pay schools of his day and in the Morgantown Academy, after graduating from which he engaged in agricultural pursuits, in which he continued for the remainder of his life. He was a successful man, owning 155 acres in one tract and seventy-five acres in another, was a director in the Shoemakersville Building & Loan Association, of the Farmers Assistance and Mutual Fire Insurance Company, and of the Reading Savings Bank. Politically he espoused the principles of Thomas Jefferson. He was elected as a Democrat to the office of country surveyor, as which he served from 1848 to 1850, and as justice of the peace, serving in this office for upwards of fifty years. He was an active worker for Zion's Church of Perry township, and an official for many years. He married Hannah Dunkel, and they had these children: Elizabeth and Caroline, deceased; David; Hannah; Jacob D.; Esther and Caroline (2), both deceased. Mr. Hoffman died in 1879, and his wife on Jan. 14, 1892.

Jacob D. Hoffman was educated in the public schools until he was sixteen years old, when he entered Freeland Seminary, under the well known Henry Hunsicker, later the Reading Academy, and completed his education in 1863 at Fairview Seminary, under Prof. Nicks, the well known educator. Subsequently he taught school for five years, four terms of this being at the Hoffman school in Perry township. In 1865 he associated himself in the mercantile business at Shoemakersville, with Richard Dunkle, the firm name being Dunkle & Hoffman, which continued for one year. Mr. Hoffman then turned his attention to farming and operated the home farm in Windsor (now Perry) township for two years, and then purchased the Bausher farm, of 180 acres, for which he paid $97.25 an acre, two years later making a very advantageous sale of the same, receiving $105 per acre. He settled upon his father-in-law's farm in Windsor township in 1870, and two years later, he purchased his father's farm of 140 acres of good land, and then moved to this farm on which he remained for ten years. He made many improvements during each year, adding materially to the value of the farm: In 1880 he bought his present homestead of 160 acres, a tract which is considered some of the best land in the district. Among the modern improvements which he has installed here is a large water tank constructed back of his barn, from which with a two-horse gasoline engine, he pumps water all over the place. He was one of the prime movers in the building of the Windsor Castle Creamery, and the success of this industry is largely attributable to Mr. Hoffman who has continued its president from its organization. In 1888 he bought his father's old farm upon which he was born and reared, but some years ago he sold it to his son, George R., who now occupies it. It was the desire of our subject that this old farm should remain in the family, and that it should be known as the Hoffman homestead for generations to come.

Mr. Hoffman is one of the most thrifty, prosperous and up-to-date farmers of Perry township, and more than that he is a man of sterling qualities. His word carries weight in his section and his advice is frequently sought and followed by his neighbors. Politically he is a stanch Democrat, and wields strong influence. On numerous occasions he has been elected to office, having served as school director both in Windsor and Perry townships; was auditor in Perry township for six years; and at present is superior of his district. From 1879 and 1881, inclusive, he was auditor of Berks county, and audited the record of the late Adam M. Dundore, county treasurer. On many occasions he was a delegate to county conventions. Mr. Hoffman is a Lutheran, and with his family worships at Zion Union Church of Perry township, being a deacon, for many years a church trustee, and for the past twelve years church treasurer.

On June 3, 1865, Mr. Hoffman was married (first) to Mary Ann Sunday, daughter of George and Mary (Siegfried) Sunday, and a granddaughter of George Sunday. To this union were born the following children: Charles L. m. Elmira Strasser, had two sons, Clinton and Willie (deceased), and is now deceased; George R. m. Lizzie Stetzler, and had three children, Milton, Mary (deceased) and Wilson; Annie m. Franklin G. Jacoby; and Catharine V., Erma M. and Jennie (deceased). On Dec. 17, 1887, Mr. Hoffman m. (second) Catherine (Schappell) Stump, widow of Alfred Stump and daughter of Samuel and Catherine (Adam) Schappell, and they have one son, Jacob C., at home. By her first marriage, Mrs. Hoffman has one son, Elmer L. Stump.




John H. Hoffman, farmer of Hereford township, Berks county, was born there Oct. 6, 1847, on the old homestead of his grandfather, Michael Hoffman.

This family of Hoffmans came to America from Germany, a family of ten, father, mother and eight children, embarking from the Fatherland on an Easter Monday. The first few days aboard the ship were pleasant enough, but a severe storm arose, and the voyage was both long and weary. Many of the passengers died, among the number being the father and mother and six of the children of the Hoffman family. The two who were left, the son Caser and one daughter, landed safely at Philadelphia, and Casper spent the remainder of his life in Pennsylvania. The daughter married, and moved to South Carolina.

In course of time Casper Hoffman married and resided in Hereford township, Berks county, where he reared his family. In 1790 Casper Hoffman and his son Michael, both then residents of Hereford township, are mentioned, the former as the head of a family then in Berks county. It is possible that Casper Hoffman, of Hereford township, may have moved to Earl township, this county, in his later years, as there is a last will and testament of one Casper Hoffman recorded in will book 4, page 252, and in the will are mentioned the names of sons Jacob and John. But whether this was the Casper who was also the father of Michael and Georg Hoffman is not certain, though the maker of the will mentioned died in 1804, and it is know that the ancestor of these Hoffmans died in the latter part of 1804 or about 1806. The members of this family are now numerous, and are scattered over all sections of Berks county and indeed all over the United States. According to tradition Casper Hoffman had five sons, three of whom located in South Carolina, and a daughter of Casper Hoffman was married to Philip Will, of Hereford township; there was also a daughter Eva.

George Hoffman, son of Casper, lived in Hereford township, where his son Heinrich (Henry) and grandson Jonathan were born, and was a farmer and wagoner by occupation. His 100-acre homestead is now owned by Aaron Benfield. He died in 1847, and is buried at Huff's Church, of which he and his family were Reformed members. Mr. Hoffman married Elizabeth Huff, and they had a family of nine children: Dorotha, 1797-1860; Elizabeth, 1801-1860; George, who died unmarried (in his father's will he was given the "weaver's loom"); Catharine, 1805-1855; Abraham, 1807-1854, who married Maria Moyer and had two sons and three daughters (this family lived near Perryville); Hannah, who married David Seisholz; Rebecka, who married George Nester; Jacob, who lived on the homestead; and Heinrich, 1817-1879.

Henry Hoffman, son of Georg, was born on the Hoffman homestead at Siesholtzville Dec. 6, 1817, was a farmer and wheelwright, and died Sept. 12, 1879, age sixty-one years, nine months, six days. He and his wife, Susanna (Moll), born in 1819, died in 1873, are buried at Huff's Church. They had three children: William; Elizabeth, wife of Peter Wetzel; and Jonathan M. The last named was born in Washington township, Berks county, Sept. 4, 1849, where he is now engaged in farming, having a sixty-two acre farm. He married Elizabeth Reidenauer, and they have four children, Ella, Ambrose, Mary and Sallie. Michael Hoffman, another son of the Casper who emigrated form Germany, was the grandfather of John H. Hoffman, whose name introduces this sketch. He was born May 18, 1776, and died Sept 18, 1857, aged eighty-one years, four months; he and his wife Mary (Miller) daughter of Henry Miller, also of Hereford township, are buried at Huff's Church. Michael Hoffman was a blacksmith in Hereford township, and also owned a farm there. His family consisted of four children: John; Michael M.; Judith married Benjamin DeLong, a tanner of Hereford township, at Devil's Hole; and Sally married Henry Garrett, of Lehigh county, Pennsylvania.

Michael M. Hoffman, son of Michael, born May 15, 1808, in Hereford township, died there April 9, 1885, aged seventy-six years, ten months, twenty-four days. He followed farming all his life, owning a tract of 145 acres in that township, and also occasionally engaged in blacksmithing. In 1859 he built a barn on his place which was burned in 1895; it is not known how the fire started. The present house on this property was put up by his father, Michael Hoffman, Sr., in 1836. Michael M. Hoffman married Catharine Haas, daughter of Jonathan Haas, of Topton, born Jan. 5, 1817, died Dec. 3, 1881, aged sixty-four years, ten months, twenty-eight days. Seven children were born to them, viz.: Emma, who died when seven years old; John H.; Frank; Sallie, who married Jacob N. Gery; Mary, who married Silas Smith; Catharine, who married Henry R Moyer; and Benjamin.

John H. Hoffman was reared upon the farm and attended the common schools of his district. He has always been very handy with tools, has worked to some extent at the blacksmith's trade, and does all his own carpenter work, through farming has been his principal occupation through life. In 1870 he began farming on the land where he has since lived, the John Fox place, near Huff's Church, where he has fifty-five acres will improved and cultivated. Mr. Hoffman built the present barn in 1875 and the house in 1888, the new dwelling replacing an old log cabin which was one of the earliest houses in the township; old residents say that it stood fully 150 years.

Mr. Hoffman has taken an active interest in the life of his community, having served nine years as school director of his township, and he was president of the board during the greater part of his incumbency. He as served four years as deacon of Huff's Church, of which he and his family are Lutheran members. Mr. Hoffman is a Democrat in his political views.

In 1869 Mr. Hoffman married Emma Fox, daughter of William and Caroline (Gaumer) Fox, of Hereford township, and granddaughter of John and Anna (Berger) Fox, also of Hereford. Mr. and Mrs. Hoffman had two children: James, of Freemansburg, Northampton county, is engaged in teaching, being at present principal of a grammar school at East Allentown, Pa.; Tillie married Benjamin DeLong, of Longswamp township, Berks county, and has one child, Pearl.


p 983


John P. Hoffman, secretary of the board of school directors of Marion township, Berks county, and a leading agriculturist and former school teacher, was born Nov. 14, 1868, in Marion township, son of John and Lavina (Peiffer) Hoffman.

Johannes Hoffman, great-great-grandfather of John P., came with his parents from Germany. His father, the ancestor of this numerous Berks county family, was a taxable in Heidelberg township (now Lebanon county) a year after Berks county had been separated from Lancaster county, and was one of the earliest pioneers of that section. His children were as follows: Johannes, Elizabeth, Maria, Catherine, Conrad, Barbara, Michael, Jacob and David (who was born on the sea while the family was making the trip to America).

John Hoffman, Great-grandfather of John P., lived on the Hoffman homestead at Avon, Lebanon county, which consisted of 150 acres and has been in the family for 125 years, it now being owned by Abraham Kreider, who is a double son-in-law. John Hoffman married a Miss Schaeffer, and they had these children: Isaac; Jacob; Michael; Ann, who died unmarried; Catherine, m. to John Witmoyer; Mary, m. to Isaac Wengert, of Columbus, Ohio; Elizabeth, m. to Isaac Lutz; and Sarah who died unmarried. Michael, of the above family, married Elizabeth Hunsicker, daughter of Christian Hunsicker, of Hamlin, Pa., and their ten children were: John, Samuel, David, William, Amanda, Nancy, Michael, Elizabeth (m. Abraham Kreider), Sarah, and Lydia (second wife of Abraham Kreider). Michael Hoffman, son of Michael, grandson of Johannes, great-grandson of Johannes and great-great-grandson of Jost the ancestor, was born at Avon, Lebanon Co., Pa., Sept. 30, 1849, and was reared on the homestead. In 1880 he came to Berks country, settling near Womelsdorf, where he owns a twenty-eight-acre tract of land. Mr. Hoffman owns the old family record, which was kept by the ancestors in book form, and is in a good state of preservation. Mr. Hoffman's wife is Amanda, daughter of George Scholl of Marion township. They have no children.

Isaac Hoffman, grandfather of John P., was born in 1811, in South Lebanon township, where he died in 1890, aged seventy-eight years, after a long life spent in agricultural pursuits. He is buried at Christ Evangelical (Tulpehocken) Church, of which his son John and all his grandchildren are members. He married Catherine Smith (1814-1877), and their children were: Mary m. Evan Shaak; John; Sarah m. Henry Peiffer; Isaac m. Kate Groh, and had children, Mary, Charles, Archie, Hermie, Herbert and Elsie; and Elizabeth m. Adam Hunsicker. All of the above children are deceased with the exception of John. John Hoffman, father of John P., was born in South Lebanon township, Lebanon Co., Pa., Aug. 28, 1836. He was educated in the common schools and attended Witmer's Academy at Palmyra, later teaching school for one term at Prescott in South Lebanon township. Mr. Hoffman then engaged in farming, and in 1860 with his father moved to the property which he now owns. In 1890 after his father's death he bought the property which consists of 132 acres, on which now stands a barn 40 x 115 feet, which was built in 1828 by Jacob Stewart. The original part of the residence building is a log house, pebble-dashed, with small windows and thick walls, and a fine spring in the cellar, and was probably used for an Indian fort in the old days. For many years it was used as a distillery and later as a tenant house, and is one of the oldest buildings in this section. The present residence was erected in 1785 by an Etschberger, and the addition in 1829 by Jacob Stewart. The following inscription is an exact transcription of what is cut into a brown sandstone 18X30 inches, walled into the front of the house above the door, a silent witness as to the character of the occupant:


John Hoffman was a school director in his district for many years. In 1863 he married Lavina Peiffer (1844-1907), daughter of Jacob and Sarah (Heide) Peiffer. Their children are as follows: Emma L. (m. William Forry); John P.; and Annie L., Adam I., and Sadie A., at home.

John P. Hoffman was reared to agricultural pursuits, and his early education was secured in the public schools, which he attended until his fifteenth years, his last district school being Fisher's, taught by Prof. Calvin A. Gruber. He then entered Palatinate College, at Myerstown, which he attended for several terms, and was licensed to teach by Prof. D. S. Keck in 1889. He taught four terms at Fisher's school, but since that time has been engaged in agricultural pursuits.

Mr. Hoffman is a Democrat in politics, and first served as a member of the school board to fill an unexpired term. He was elected to the office in 1903, and was reelected, now serving as secretary of the board.

Adam I. Hoffman, brother of John P., born March 2, 1877, on the old Hoffman stand in Marion township, Bergs county, was educated in the schools of his native locality by Stouchsburg Grammar school, which was taught by Samuel B. Spatz and Martin H. Wenrich. He was reared upon the home farm, and has always been engaged in agricultural pursuits.


p. 445


R. Monroe Hoffman, son of Peter and March C. (Althouse) Hoffman, was born in Exeter township, Berks county, Oct. 16, 1862, and educated in the common schools of Reading, graduating from the high school in 1882, qualifying himself particularly for a business career. He started as a clerk with the firm of B. W. Grist & Co., and after serving them for several years entered the employ of the Farmers National Bank, with which he continued for eighteen years. His fidelity and proficiency were appreciated by the directors of the bank, and he was gradually promoted from one position to another until he became the cashier, and he served as cashier until August, 1903, when he resigned. Shortly afterward he was elected secretary and assistant treasurer of the Reading Trust Company, and has been filling these positions until now. He has been much interested in the success of the Homeopathic Hospital, serving as a trustee since 1905.

Mr. Hoffman was married to Rebecca H. Schaeffer, daughter of Nicholas S. Schaeffer and Susan High, his wife, of Muhlenberg township. They are members of the First Reformed Church at Reading. He has officiated as treasurer of the congregation for seventeen years. He is also one of the elders and has repeatedly represented the church as a delegate to the classis, the Eastern Synod, and to the General Synod of the Reformed Church, and is at present the treasurer of the Eastern Synod of the Reformed Church.


p. 844


Samuel F. Hoffman, one of the old residents of Perry township, Berks county, Pa., who is now living retired after a life spent in agricultural pursuits, was born Nov. 10, 1847, in the district where he still resides, son of George and Appolona (Fisher) Hoffman.

The progenitor of the Hoffman family in this country was Jacob Hoffman, a native of Germany, who settled in Greenwich township prior to 1758, and there owned some land.

George Hoffman, son of Jacob, was an early settler in Windsor township.

Michael Hoffman, son of George, was born Nov. 28, 1786, and died Jan. 10, 1874. He was an Assemblyman of Pennsylvania, representing Berks county in 1857. His salary was seventy-five cents per day, and he took his board along, making his journey to the capital on horseback. He owned a large tract of land in Perry township, where he lived, and for many years was a justice of the peace. He was highly esteemed by all who knew him, he being a very just man, a prominent Hoffman characteristic to this day. His wife was Catherine Schappell, daughter of Everhart and Catherine Schappell, who came from Germany.

George Hoffman, son of Michael and father of Samuel F., was born Aug. 11, 1811, and died in October, 1887. He was a stone mason for twelve years, but later in life took up agricultural pursuits, owning a farm of ninety-five acres. He was married to Appolona Fisher, daughter of Philip Fisher, and to them were born these children: Eliza, Henry, William and Samuel F.

Samuel F. Hoffman attended the common schools of his township until eighteen years of age. When a young man he learned the trade of miller, which business he followed for a few years, leaving it because of ill health. In 1874 he began farming, and this he followed until his removal to a tract of fifteen acres, lying one mile east of Shoemakersville. His farm of eighty acres in Perry township is being cultivated by his son-in-law. Mr. Hoffman is esteemed and respected by all who know him. In politics he is a Democrat, and has served his township as auditor. He and his wife take occasional pleasure trips, visiting the capitol at Washington, and the new State capitol in 1906.

Mr. Hoffman was united in marriage in 1871 to Sarah Lindenmuth, daughter of Reuben and Lydia (Rothermel) Lindenmuth, and granddaughter of Joseph and Racey (Herber) Lindenmuth. Two children have been born to this union, namely: Laura, born Jan. 27, 1872, married Oscar Miller and died Jan. 5, 1894, leaving three children: Cora, Harvey and Clarence; and Elmira A. , born July 20, 1874, married Irwin Lengel and they have eight children, namely: Irwin, Spurgeon H., Laura L., Luther L., Floyd, Mabel, Esthel M., and Steward.


p. 751


Emil Hoffmann (deceased), of Reading, where for many years he was employed in a woolen mill, was of German birth and ancestry, but has spent most of his adult life in this country. Born in Breslau, Prussia, March 4, 1828, he remained in his native land until he reached manhood.

In 1858 Mr. Hoffmann came to America, landing in New York. He at once went to Reading, and secured work at Brumbach's Mill, as boss weaver. Later he was engaged in woolen manufacturing on Fifth street, and still later went into the carpet business for himself, employing from five to eight people. His work became so favorably known that Mr. Hoffmann was called upon to help install the looms in the Berks Country Prison, and to teach the prisoners to weave carpets. His business enterprise proved a successful one, and he continued to conduct it until his death, which occurred from heart disease Nov. 1, 1886, when he was aged fifty-eight. He was a member for a number of years of the I. O. O. F. In his political principles Mr. Hoffmann was a Democrat and had the welfare of the community at heart. The best man for the place always received his vote, whether he was a Democrat or a Republican. Mr. Hoffmann was a man of Many good traits of character.

On Aug. 29, 1865, Mr. Hoffmann married Miss Augusta Beck, and a family of ten children was born to them, four of whom are deceased. The others, all of Reading, are as follows: George K.; William S.; Charles D., a baker; Annie M., wife of William C. Dersch; Emil, m. to Emma Smith, and they live in Reading; and Augusta, m. to Frederick Niethamer, Reading. John A., who was a printer, died Sept. 13, 1908, aged forty years.

Mrs. Augusta Hoffmann was the daughter of John Beck, a machinist and file cutter from Germany. He came to this country May 1, 1840, and at first settled in York, Pa., where he was employed as a machinist in the shops of Small & Sillinger. He had learned his trade in his native land, and was an expert in file cutting. In 1850 he removed to Reading, and secured employment with the Philadelphia & Reading Railway Company, continuing with them until ill health compelled him to give up his position. In his later years he worked as a locksmith and the lock for St. John's Lutheran Church was made by him. He married Anna Maria Siegner, and both were members of the Lutheran Church. The children born to them were: Augusta, wife of Mr. Hoffmann; and Anna Maria, widow of Isadore Messenson, and residing in Reading.

Mrs. Hoffmann resides at No. 238 South Third street, Reading.

Last Modified Thursday, 16-Oct-2008 20:54:39 EDT

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