HOYER, Benneville. Retired, Berrysburg, Pa., was born in Mahantango township Schuylkill county, Pa., February 12, 1844. His grandfather, Peter Hoyer, was a laborer; he died in Berks county, Pa.
Henry Hoyer, father of Benneville Hoyer, was born in Lykens Valley, Pa. He was a laborer and removed to Schuylkill county. He followed in his occupation until 1855, when he died. In Lykens Valley he married Mary Boyer, born in Schuylkill county, daughter of Samuel Boyer, farmer, of the same county. They had five children: Elizabeth, deceased, born in 1833, wife of William Engle; Rebecca, unmarried, lives at Barry, Schuylkill county, Pa.; Henry, deceased, soldier in the late war in Company A, Fiftieth regiment, Pennsylvania volunteers; Peter, died young. Mr. Henry Hoyer was a Democrat. He was a member of the Reformed church. His wife died in Stone Valley, Northumberland county, Pa., in February, 1856.
Benneville Hoyer attended the public schools. At the age of eleven he lost his father and was obliged to work on a farm for his board and clothing until he was seventeen. He was then employed six months as a teamster by G. Adams, after which he spent a few months as apprentice in a smithy. At the age of eighteen Mr. Hoyer enlisted , at Sacramento, Schuylkill county, Pa., February 24, 1862, in company G, One Hundred and Seventh regiment, Pennsylvania volunteers, Col. Thos. A. Ziegler, afterwards Col T. F. McCoy and Capt. M. Murphy. He participated in the battles of Cedar Mountain, Bull Run, South Mountain, and Antietam. At the last named battle, September 17, 1862, he lost his leg by a minie ball passing through it. The leg was amputated in a barn, and he was confined in the Smoketown, Md., hospital; was discharged July 11, 1863, and returned home. His father and mother being both dead he remained only a short time and then went to Philadelphia and learned cigar making, at which he spent some time. He also worked a short time at label printing, and then went to the Soldiers Home, supported by the citizens of Philadelphia. Here he attended school in 1864-65, and then returned to cigar making. After this he was for two years clerk for John Reed, Of Gratz, Dauphin county. In 1869 Mr. Hoyer studied at Freeburg Academy, Snyder county, Pa., under Prof. D. Boyer; in 1871-72 at Berrysburg Seminary, under Prof. Peter Bergstresser. He then taught school very successfully for two terms in Jackson and Jefferson townships. For the following six years he had a cigar manufactory and a restaurant at Gratz, which he sold, and in 1876 established the same business at Berrysburg; he conducted a cigar factory and a restaurant in that place for fifteen years. He at length sold out and now resides in Berrysburg, having relinquished active work.
Benneville Hoyer was married, in Jackson township, Dauphin county, November 3, 1872, to Caroline Schoffstall, widow of Benjamin Kuntzelman, born in Gratz, Lykens township, January 15, 1859; daughter of Solomon and Catherine (Bordner) Schoffstall; her father a farmer of Lykens township. Their children are: Jennie D., born February 25, 1874, wife of C. H. Schoffstall: Charles H., born October 9, 1875, baker, Philadelphia; James M., born August 18, 1877, farmer in Mifflin township; William E., born August 23, 1879, died March 30, 1881; Raymond F., born February 12, 1881, died February 23, 1889; Anna M., born February 4, 1886, attending Chester Springs School; Ella M., born November 24, 1887, also at same school; Beulah C., born September 26, 1891. Mrs Hoyer died of heart failure October 8, 1892.
The children by Mrs. Hoyer’s first marriage to Mr. Kuntzelman are: Aaron I., born April 27, 1867, miner, at Williamstown; John B., born October 7, 1868, farmer in Upper Paxton township.
Since the death of his wife Mr. Hoyer has had a housekeeper Miss Emma J. Gessner, and excellent young lady. The first vote Mr. Hoyer cast, in November, 1864, in Philadelphia, was a Democratic ticket; he is now a Republican. He was a member of Kissinger Post, No. 376, G.A.R., Gratz, Pa., and of P.O.S. of A., Washington Camp, No. 307, Berrysburg, Pa. He is a member of the Reformed church, Berrysburg, Pa.
Mr. Hoyer is among the maimed patriots, suffering much form the loss of his leg sacrificed in the service of his country, but secure in the reward bestowed by a consciousness of duty faithfully performed, and in the gratitude which all good citizens render to those who redeemed the life of the Nation. He has cheerfully accepted his limitations and patiently worked on. Declining years bring him no regrets, and the future is spanned with the bow of hope.
Historical Review of Dauphin County