JOHN CASSIUS HOFF (1875-1960)
Posted By: JOHN SCOTT HOFF (email)
Date: 5/16/2004 at 15:42:10
JOHN CASSIUS HOFF (Biographical data entry). He was born 5 Mar 1875 on the family homestead farm in Dallas Co., IA - and died 10 Mar 1960 in DSM, IA). He was the 7th of 8 children to JOHN H. HOFF (1830 Chesterhill, Wash'g Co., IA - 1909 Waukee, IA) and MARY ANN AKINS (13 Nov 1833 in Henry Co., IN - 13 Feb 1907 Waukee, IA). The siblings were:
1. WILLIAM H. HOFF (1855 - ? );
2. OSCAR C. "Shorty" HOFF (1858- 14 Dec 1941 Pr. William Isl., Br. Col., Canada)Unmarried. No children;
3. KATE HOFF (Campbell) (1860 - 1939);
4. MARTHA HOFF (Davison) (1865 -1929):
5. JESSIE HOFF (1872 - 1888) Unmarried. No children;
6. HILY HOFF (Infancy);
7. JOHN CASSUIS HOFF (1875 - 1960); and
8. CHARLES WORTH HOFF (1880 - 1947 Linnford, Alberta, Canada).
JOHN CHARLES HOFF was raised on the family farm and he took a job in DSM working at the DSM Ice & Coal Co. until age 22, when his older brother, Oscar "Shorty" convinced him to go together to the Alaskain Gold Rush, which they did in 1897. They went via Seattle, Skagway, over the Chilkoot Pass, Lake LaBarge, and down the Yukon River to Dawson. They formed a small freight company bringing eggs, oranges and other staples to the miners from the port cities down the White River. They travelled for 6 months with writer, Jack London. They wrote their younger brother, Charles Worth Hoff, to "come on up" and that there was some seroius money to be made, but to NOT come the route they took. Instead, he should take a train to Alberta and and buy a house and ride it to Dawson. Charles dutifully complied, but upon crossing his first Canadian riven in the month of February, swore he'd never cross another one. When he came to the next ford at Barrhead, he stopped, built a log cabin and wrote his brothers that "he wasn't coming", but welcomed them to stop by enroute home. They did, and remained for 5-6 months helping heim clear land for a homestead farm. Oscar then headed back North, Charles remained in Barrhead, and John C. returned to the farm in Iowa. He resumed work as a bookkeeper at the Des Moines Ice & Coal residing on the east side of DSM. In Feb 1904 he married Mable Mina Tennant (1888 - 1963) from Hartley, IA, the daughter of Wesley Tennant and Sarah Ann Glasford, both of Lanark, Ontario, Canada) when he was age 29 and she 16. They resided at 1325 - E.13th St., DSM, IA. They had 3 children:
1. JOHN RICHARD HOFF (6 Feb 1909 - 4 Nov 1970);
2. JEANNE BEATRICE HOFF (Goodwin) ( Jun 1910 - 30 Apr 2001); and,
3. DORIS MAE HOFF (Hohl) (1913 DSM - 1997 Ames, IA).
In about 1938, he and wife Mabel moved to the west side of DSM residing on 46th St., until he died at age 85 of a heart attack on 10 Mar 1960. The family farm was sold to the DSM Golf & Country Club because a new freeway was placed through the middle of their then-existing golf course. So, the family farm is now the situs of two 18-hole champoinship golf courses. The farm was mostly hilly, wooded, and had a creek running through it, making it much better as a golf course then it ever was as a farm. He was fold of peace & quiet, and enjoyed smoking his pipe. He was never particularly liked his noisey, boisterous, younger grandchildren and was a typical, stoic, German-type farmer. His funeral services were conducted by the Dunn Funeral Home and he was buried in the Glendale Cem. His wife Mable died on 16 Mar 1963 and was buried next to him, as were 2 of his 3 children (John & Jeanne; Doris was cremated and buried in Ames, IA). He was survived by his 3 children and 6 grandchildren (2 to each of his 3 children).
(information submitted by his grandson, JOHN SCOTT HOFF )
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