The German character has impressed itself upon our American progress by the inculcation of lessons of thrift, industry and respect for the law. It has made itself felt in the development of our public educational system. In the possession of a goodly number of citizens of German parentage Idaho is fortunate. One of its leading representative German-American citizens is Henry Herman Hoff, of Montpelier.
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Henry Herman Hoff was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, March 16, 1849, a son of John G. and Catharine (Pfitzenmaier) Hoff, who were born in Wurtemberg, Germany, in 1814, were married in the Fatherland, and came to the United States in 1835. Mr. Hoff became a wholesale boot and shoe merchant at Philadelphia, where he died in 1891, aged seventy-seven. Mrs. Hoff died in 1861, aged forty-seven. They had seven sons and two daughters, of whom only four are living. Henry Herman Hoff, the sixth son in order of nativity, attended the public schools of Philadelphia until he was twelve years old, and then took up the battle for bread on his own account. He spent six years in acquiring a knowledge of the butcher’s trade and business, in which he has been employed almost continuously since, latterly as the proprietor of extensive interests in that line. He was at Chicago four years, until after the great fire of 1871, of which he has a vivid recollection: at San Francisco, California, four months and then went to Salt Lake City, where he met two of his brothers, whom he had not seen for thirteen years. After an interval in which he hauled ore for smelters and was employed by a railroad company, he filled out the balance of a year at Salt Lake City as manager of the wholesale slaughterhouse of B. A. Stevens. He spent the ensuing fifteen months at Evanston, Wyoming, then went to Pleasant Grove, Utah, where, on March 8, 1875, he married Miss Harriet Bacon, a native of that place, born December 22, 1856, a daughter of Chauncey Bacon. During the first year of his married life he lived at Salt Lake City. He then went back to Evanston, Wyoming, and for four years was employed by Crawford, Thompson & Company, the firm with which he had been at the time of his previous, residence there, and for another year by Jay McDonald. He then removed to Georgetown, Idaho, where he took up one hundred and sixty acres of land. He has since added to his landed possessions until he has at this time four hundred acres, on which he pastures his stock and raises hay and grain. He is a breeder, on an extensive scale, of Cotswold sheep, Clydesdale horses, Durham cattle and Berkshire hogs, and has a large, well equipped meat market at Montpelier. He is entitled to the credit of having been the pioneer meatmarket proprietor of Bear Lake County. His lifelong experience renders him an expert in every detail of this business, and he is known as a bright, active and capable businessman.
A Democrat who has always voted his party ticket and worked for the triumph of the Democratic principles, Mr. Hoff has attained much influence in political circles and has been entrusted with work of great public importance. In February 1893, he was appointed by Governor McConnell a member of the second board of regents of the University of the State of Idaho. He entered upon the work of the position with characteristic promptness and thoroughness and brought to bear upon it all his trained business ability. When he became a member of the board of regents, only the west wing of the university building had been erected, and during his term of service the main building and east wing have been built. The structure is a credit to the state and to those who had the supervision of its erection. He has since been appointed by Governor Steunenberg a member of the board of the State Normal School at Albion. An Odd Fellow of many years membership, Mr. Hoff has passed the chairs of both the subordinate lodge and the encampment, has represented his lodge in the grand lodge and has the honor of having been grand patriarch of the order in the state. For nine years he was secretary of his lodge. He is a Woodman of the World, and for three years has been secretary of his lodge of that order. Mr. Hoff and his family are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, in which he holds the office of elder. Public-spirited to a marked degree, he has done very much toward the propagation of religion and education throughout the county and state, and has assisted by every means at his command every movement having for its object the enhancement of the happiness and prosperity of any considerable number of his fellow citizens. There have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Hoff six children, named as follows: Beatrice H., H. Herman, Edward C, Ernest P., Myrtle Desant and Frank Emanuel.