Obituaris Charles and Franciska HAHN HOFFMANN

Obituary for Charles / Carl HOFFMANN
17 January 1865 - 24 Feb 1961

and his wife Franciska HAHN HOFFMANN
19 Dec 1869 - 25 March 1935

Pierce County Leader, Nebraska, 2 Mar 1961

Charles Hoffmann, Senior
Citizen Of Pierce County, Dies At Age Of 96 Years

A devoted family is mourning the loss of a father, Charles Hoffmann, 96, and a community is still unable to believe that a tie between the pioneer days and our modern times has been severed.

Charles Hoffmann passed away at his home shortly before noon Friday.  He had not been feeling quite up to his usual self the day before but his death was unexpected.

Pages have been written of his many accomplishments but one of the finest tributes was a statement he made on his ninetieth birthday anniversary, "It feels good to be 90".  Every day was a good day for him and especially birthdays and holidays when he could have his large family gathered about him in his ancestral home.

Charles, the youngest in a family of four children was born in the small village of Peurbach, in lower Austria, January 17, 1865, son of Casper Carl and Johanna Hoffmann.  He was given the came of Carl, for his patron saint, St. Carl the Great.  When he was about 6 years old the family emigrated to America and homesteaded on the land south of Pierce which has since been their home.  Carl attended school in Dist. 7 and because the teacher had trouble with the German pronounciation (sic) he called him Charles, the name he was known by for the rest of his life.

The Hoffmann family first located in Madison, Wisc., but when the father learned of the opportunities in Pierce county through an aunt of the late Theodore Raubach and that land could be had for homesteading he came with a cousin, Mr. Weiser, by train to Columbus.  From there they walked to Pierce and beyond to the Osmond area.

When they saw the herds of antelope on their way to the Northfork creek they decided it was where they wanted to locate.  They retraced their steps to Madison, Nebr., where Hoffmann took up three homesteads and three pre-emptions, one for himself and one for each of his older sons, Vincent and Sylvester.

The father returned to Wisconsin, purchased a team of horses and a covered wagon, loaded up his family and came to Nebraska struggling along alone.  Besides the parents the family then consisted of Vincent, Sylvester, Julia (Mrs. Hutfless) and Carl (Charles).

At Marshalltown, Ia., Casper Hoffmann purchased a small horse and a saddle.  This saddle proved to be too small for a grown person so Charles was made the happy possessor.  This started him on a career as a cowboy.  Julia was given a dime to buy milk for which they were always given all they needed with no one taking the dime so the family traveled with all the milk they could use and Julia had the dime when she got to Nebraska.

They crossed the Missouri river on a ferry at the then small town of Omaha, and after camping out and traveling for six weeks the family arrived in Norfolk.  Here he was told that a pioneer had jumped a part of his claim so he took his family to a sod house on the Theodore Raubach homestead.

Later on he purchased the farm where Charles was to live the rest of his life from Charley Hahn for $1,400.  The unplastered frame house had furniture in it and the machinery on the farm was included in the purchase price but when the family returned to take possession most of the furniture was stolen.

Two teams of oxen were later purchased which were used in plowing and to haul grain to the nearest marketing place, Columbus and Wisner.  Cattle were bought and when the herd grew large enough young Charles turned cowboy.  His range was as far as Willow Creek, more than six miles west of the Hoffmann place.  His companion herders were Bill Dean and Webb Riley.  During the day the cattle were left to graze as a herd but at night they were driven to their respective farms.

When reminiscing, Mr. Hoffmann would talk about the harships they experienced.  The blizard of 1888, the drouth of 1894, the grasshopper infestation which came in such dense swarms they would darken the sky.

Often he would say, "I am happy that the Lord has let me live through the most inventive time of all times, from the sickel to the most modern of machinery.  Proud, too, that I have had the strength and opportunity to help the community in which I live, to have seen its growth and helped its growth from trails to paved highways, from oxen travel to cars, from a few business houses to what Pierce is now."

His family thanks the good Lord for having had the rare privilege of sharing in his full life.

One of his pleasantest memories was the dedication in 1939 of the native boulder at the entrance of his farm in memory of his parents, with the inscription "Homestead of Casper and Johanna Hoffmann, erected by the Charles Hoffmann family".

His museum was his pride and joy.  It was started Christmas, 1937, when his family had a neighbor build a display case with four sliding glass doors.  The first articles to be displayed were sea shells which he brought from Florida in 1912.  It has since been enlarged with seven cases so full of antiques, relics, mementoes gathered on trips around the country that they seem to burst at the seams.  Friends and relatives have been generous in adding to the museum to make it an extremely interesting one.

Charles Hoffmann has devoted much to community activities.  He has been a faithful member of the Catholic church since its beginning which he helped to organize and build.  He also helped build the parochial school and donated the first parsonage to the parish.  He planted all the trees around the Catholic cemetery and helped in erecting the archways.

He helped oganize the Pierce Cooperative Creamery, the Farmers Grain Elevator at Pierce and Hadar.  He has been on the school board in his district (No. 7) from the age of 21 to the age of 90.  During this period of his life he voted in every national election.

On December 28, 1890, Mr. Hoffmann was married to Franciska Hahn, a native of Nittnau, Bavaria, Germany.  To this union eleven children were born.  Sophia (Tomek), Carl, Andrew, Berthold, Sylvester, Raymond, Agnes and Julia, Pierce; Agatha (Weber) Limon, Colo.; Mathilda (Fehringer), Bloomfield; and Frances (Larsen), North Bend, Ore.  All his children survive and were here for the last rites.

His wife died March 25, 1935, and one grandchild preceded him in death.

He has 110 descendants including 11 children, 27 grandchildren and 72 great-grandchildren.

Solemn Requiem High Mass was read by Father Peter Dunn Monday morning at St. Joseph Catholic church which was filled to capacity.  He was assisted by Father Mines, Tekamah, and Father Hunkler, Bloomfield.  Altar boys were James, Francis and Jack Leathers and Robert Hahn.

Usheres were Leonard Hoffmann and Arthur Polt.

Burial took place in the family plot in St. Joseph cemetery beside his wife.  Pallbearers were Edw. Buckendahl, E. G. Schellpeper, Arthur Drake, Edw. German, Lawrence Kolterman and Herman Magnussen.

The parish women served dinner at Unity Hall.

Charles (Carl) HOFFMANN was my second cousin three removed


Thursday, 4 Apr 1935

Last Sad Rites For Mrs. Hoffman

Large concourse of relatives and friends pay tribute to pioneer woman.

Funeral services for Mrs. Carl Hoffman Sr., at St. Joseph's Catholic church Thursday forenoon was the occasion of the gathering of a large concourse of relatives and friends to pay a deserved tribute to a loving wife and mother, a kind neighbor and a worthy pioneer woman.  Many were present from points in and outside of the state and the church was filled to its utmost capacity, a large number not being able to gain admission.  The services were in charge of the pastor, the Rev. Theodore Mester.

Five sons, Carl Jr., Andrew, Berthold, Sylvester and Raymond, and a nephew, Frank Hoffman, who had been reared in the Hoffman home as a son, were active pallbearers.

Mrs. Frank Nave, Mrs. Florian Widhelm, Mrs. Joe Homan, Mrs. Edmond Abler, Mrs. Karl Arnberger and Mrs. Andrew Polt, members of the Society of Christian Mothers, were honorary pallbearers.

Burial was in St. Joseph's cemetery southwest of Pierce.

Mrs. Hoffman died at her home, southeast of Pierce, at 7 o'clock Monday morning, March 25th.  She had been critically ill for several weeks, during which time she was tenderly nursed and cared for by her daughter, Miss Frances, a trained nurse of the Norfolk hospital.

Mrs. Hoffman was born in Bavaria, Germany, Dec. 19, 1869.  Her maiden name was Francis Hahn.  She came to Norfolk in 1888, where she was employed until she was married to Carl Hoffman at Pierce, Dec. 29, 1890.  All her married life has been spent on the farm southeast of Pierce which was the homestead of Mr. Hoffman's father.

She is survived by her husband and the following sons and daughters:  Mrs. James Tomek, Carl, Agnes, Andrew, Berthold, Sylvester, Raymond and Julia of Pierce; Frances, a nurse at Norfolk; Mrs. Frank Weber, Sheridan Lake, Colo.; Mrs. William Fehringer, Branden, Colo.  There are twenty-two grandchildren.  Peter Hahn, Pierce, and George Hahn, Petersburg, are brothers; Mrs. Theresa Pint, Mrs. Frank Hoffman, Pierce, and Mrs. Anna Denkinger, Humphrey, are sisters.

The sympathy of this community go out to the father and children their great sorrow and loss.

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