Back Up Next


Hoffman, John W., farmer and stockman, Gratz, Pa., was born in Gratz, Lykens township, Dauphin county, Pa., March 8, 1843. His father, Henry C. Hoffman, was born in Columbiana county, Ohio, and came when a young man to Harrisburg, Pa., where he worked as a carpenter for Mr. Holman. He afterwards came to Lykens township, and worked at his trade at Gratz, where he spent the remainder of his life, and died in 1878. He was married, in Gratz, to a native of that place, Sarah, daughter of John Welker. Their children were: Sarah, wife of John B. Hoke, Pottsville, Pa.; John W.; Elizabeth, wife of F. Heitzman, Shamokin, Pa.; Hannah, wife of John Eisenhart; Ellen, wife of George Reed, Valley View, Pa.; Rebecca, wife of Amos Kissinger; James F., resides in Gratz; Amelia, wife of John Getler, Pottsville, Pa.; Mary and Samuel, both deceased, and three children who died in infancy.

Mr. Hoffman took an active part in politics, first as a Whig and subsequently as a Republican. He held various township offices, as auditor, etc. He was an official member in the Reformed church, serving as deacon, elder and in other church offices. His wife was a member of the same church. She died in Gratz in 1881.

John W. Hoffman attended school for a short time each winter, and worked on the farm of Daniel P. Stine every summer from his ninth to his sixteenth year. He also attended Freeburg Academy, Snyder county, for two terms. By this course, together with diligent private study and reading, he prepared himself for the work of teaching, and taught school twelve terms, ten of which were in the winter season.

Mr. Hoffman learned carpentry with his father, and worked as a journeyman until the war broke out. He enlisted at Harrisburg in August, 1862, in company D, One Hundred and Twenty-seventh Pennsylvania volunteers, Col. W.W. Jennings and Capt. J.B. Keene. He was ordered to Washington, D.C., and remained at Arlington Heights until December 1, when he marched with his company to Fredericksburg, and on December 13, 1862, participated in the battle fought there. He was afterwards sick for seven weeks, and remained there all winter. He was in the battle of Chancellorsville, May 3, 1863. and in the four days' fight there. His term of enlistment having expired, he returned home in June, 1863, and remained there until April, 1865, when he again enlisted, this time for three years, at Harrisburg. He was sent to Roanoke Island, where he performed close guard duty. He was mustered out at the expiration of the war, and was left with impaired health, resulting from exposure in service. Returning to Gratz, Mr. Hoffman taught school until 1878. He then bought a farm of fifty-two acres in the Snyder mill property, on which there was only an old frame house. He built on this place a good dwelling house and barn, costing over $2,000, and made other valuable improvements. In 1889 he bought the Shade farm of fifty-two acres, and has since cultivated the one hundred and four acres, on which he has been extensively engaged in raising stock.

John W. Hoffman was married in Lykens township, January 17, 1867, to Amanda Guise, born in that township December 30, 1847. Their children were: Edwin, tinsmith, Valley View, Pa.; Harry W., farmer, on the homestead, married Edna Daniel, of Lykens township; Mary, wife of Isaac Troutman; Martha, unmarried; Stephen, Charles G., Clarence and Ellie, all at home, and Emma C., who died at five years of age. Mr. Hoffman is a member of Kissinger Post, No. 376, G.A.R. He is a Republican, active in party movements and deeply interested in township affairs. He was school director for a number of years. For seventeen years he was secretary of the Dauphin County Fair. He is also much interested in church matters. He is a member of the Reformed church, in which he was for years Sunday-school teacher and superintendent. He is a live man in all public and social concerns, active in promoting the welfare of the community.



Historical Review of Dauphin County

Transcribed by Michael W. Gerberick, lonewolf452@netscape.net, for The Dauphin County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Transciption Project -


Date of Transcription: February 12, 2001

Copyright (c) 2001 - All Rights Reserved: Use, duplication or reproduction for profit or presentation by any person or organization is strictly prohibited.