HOFFMAN, ISAAC W., ticket and freight agent for the Northern Central and Pennsylvania Railroad Company, Millersburg, Pa., was born in Lykens, now Washington township, Dauphin county, Pa., March 5, 1837, and is a son of Jacob D. and Eve (Romberger) Hoffman.
John Peter Hoffman was the first American ancestor of the Hoffman family. With others of his family and friends he came to this country from Germany in 1739, and his descendants were soldiers in the Colonial army and in the wars with the Indians. He settled in Lykens Valley, at the end of Short Mountain, where he built a small house and where some of his descendants are living at this time. Jacob D. Hoffman, father of Isaac W. Hoffman, was of the fifth generation in the direct line of descent from John Peter Hoffman, and was born July 3, 1812, on the farm on which that ancestor first settled. On the same place Jacob D. Hoffman had his residence after the death of his father until 1855. For his education he is less indebted to schools than to his native talent, his quick and clear perception and ready observation of men and events. His knowledge was of that practical character which prepared him for action and leadership, when matters of importance were to be decided upon in the community. He farmed the old homestead until 1850, when he took charge of the large Elder and Haldeman farm in the immediate vicinity, at the end of Short Mountain. Jacob D. Hoffman was married, May 19, 1836, to Eve, daughter of Adam Romberger, born June 28, 1810.
He was one of the most influential Republicans of his neighborhood. In early life he filled many of the offices in his native township in the most acceptable manner; later he became prominent in county politics. In 1848 he was elected county commissioner to fill an unexpired term, and in the following year was elected to a full term of that office. He was twice elected sheriff, in 1854 and in 1866. Mr. Hoffman was also a man of great social worth, and his life was characterized by unfailing kindness and generosity. Those in need of help never appealed to him in vain. Few men draw to themselves more loyal friends than those who were attached to him. He died May 30, 1887. His wife died October 31, 1876, from the results of an accident, having been run down by an engine at Sunbury, Pa., May 30, 1876. They had nine children.
Isaac W. Hoffman received his primary education in the district schools. At sixteen or seventeen years of age he attended the Berrysburg Academy for one term, after which he was urged by the school board to take one of the schools in his native township. This was in 1854, when the system of county superintendency first went into effect. Mr. Hoffman yielded to this request and taught a six months’ term. After this he studied one term at the Harrisburg Academy, and then taught a winter school in Lykens township, spending the next term in study at the White Hall Academy in Cumberland county, and teaching the winter school at Stauffer’s school house in Lower Paxton township. The next summer found him at the Freeland Academy, Montgomery county, Pa., after which he taught a regular term in the Berrysburg Academy, and in the following winter taught the regular term of the district school of that place. He spent the next summer at the State Normal School, Millersville, Lancaster county, and in the following winter taught the Elder school, in Swatara township, Dauphin county.
Mr. Hoffman now determined to try another branch of business, and accepted an agency for the Osborne Reaper and Mowing Machine Company, of New York, in which he was active for one season. In the following winter he did important service at Halifax, where he taught the borough high school, and was instrumental in establishing the grading of the schools; so fully was he appreciated that he was retained for two terms in the superintendency of the Halifax schools. On September 5, 1859, Mr. Hoffman received from the county superintendent a county certificate for professional teaching. In 1861 he was appointed route agent in the United States railway mail service. This position he held until November 30, 1865, when he was appointed agent of the Northern Central Railway Company, at Millersburg, Pa., and later was made agent of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company at the same place, which position he still satisfactorily fills.
Isaac W. Hoffman was married, November 6, 1866, to Sarah Frances, daughter of Dr. H. G. and Elizabeth Martin. Their children are: Roscoe White, born September 5, 1867; Jacob Odin, born August 5, 1869, married Elizabeth Crawford; and Pauline, born December 4, 1871. Mrs. Sarah F. Hoffman died December 17, 1874, sincerely mourned by her relatives and friends, and by all who knew her lovely character and unselfish life. She was a true Christian woman, conscientious in the discharge of duty, and doing good to all about her. Mr. Hoffman was married, the second time, November 6, 1879, to Marion, daughter of Jacob E. and Catherine (Bollinger) Meck. Their children are: Dean Meck, born November 11, 1880; Herbert Spencer, born January 24, 1882; Margaret, born March 27, 1889, died December 7, 1891; Lois and Marie, twins, born June 26, 1893.
Mr. Hoffman has served as director of the First National Bank of Millersburg, was one of the organizers of the Standard Axle Works, and the treasurer of that company for a year; he was also among the organizers of the Millersburg Building Association, of which he served as secretary during the whole term of its existence. He holds a prominent place in the International Association of Ticket Agents, and is also active in fraternal organizations, being a member of Perseverance Lodge, No. 183, I. O. O. F., of Millersburg, of which he has been secretary for twenty-five years; of Dauphin Encampment, No. 10, I. O. O. F., of Harrisburg; a member of Perseverance Lodge, No. 21, F. & A. M.; Perseverance Chapter, No. 21, R. A. M.; Pilgrim Commandery, No. 11, K. T.; Harrisburg Consistory, 32o, S. P. R. S., of Harrisburg; Lulu Temple, A. a. O. N. M. S., of Philadelphia; Syrian Commandery, No. 133, A. & I. O. K. of M., of Millersburg. Mr. Hoffman is a Republican. He has served on the borough school board for twelve years, having been its secretary during all that time. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church.
The parents of the present Mrs. Hoffman. Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Meck, are both living. They had six children: William North, died when one year old; the living children are: James L.; Marion, who is Mrs. Hoffman; Annie S.; Mary A.; Ida May, wife of Kimber E. Heckert, of Millersburg, Pa.
Transcribed by Judy Warner Bookwalter, for the Dauphin County,
Pennsylvania Genealogy Transcription Project – http://maley.net/transcription