submitted by Ronna Thuman, November 14, 2007

An Old Settler and Prominent Business Man Passes Away—Sketch of His Life.

Mar 27, 1878 (hand written)

This morning, about 8 o’clock, Edward Hoch passed away, after a severe illness of nearly two weeks. His death having been regarded as imminent for more than a week past, the public were prepared for the announcement.

The subject of this sketch was born in Lebanon county, Pa., April 22, 1821. He was therefore not quite 57 years of age. He was the eldest of six children—five boys and one girl. All are now living in this State except one brother, who is in Philadelphia. One of the brothers is the Treasurer of Mills county, Iowa.

When Edward was 19 years of age, his family emigrated from Pine Grove, Schuylkill county, Pa., to Cedar county, Iowa. He was married in that county Oct. 28th, 1847, to Miss Sarah Tarr, who survives him. Three children were born to them, two of whom (Wm. E. and Kate) are living.

Mr. Hoch was for more than a quarter of a century identified with the business interests of Muscatine. His first introduction to our business circles was as clerk for S. G. Stein. This was in 1850. He had previously been employed by Mr. Stein about a year in Moline. In 1855, Mr. Hoch formed a partnership with Richard Musser, our present Mayor, who that year located in our city. The style of the firm was Hoch & Musser, and it at once took a prominent place among the lumber firms of the city. In 1858 this partnership was dissolved, and Mr. Hoch formed a new one with R. B. Whitehouse, of Wisconsin, the firm name being Hoch & Whitehouse. A few years subsequently Mr. Gower, of Iowa City, succeeded Mr. Whitehouse as a partner. The business of the concern was wound up about 1863, when Mr. Hoch was employed by Mr. Hershey and by Mr. Coover, the latter of Wisconsin, in buying and selling lumber. This required him to travel considerably, and for several years he was almost constantly on the river during the rafting season. About four years ago he opened a lumber yard on his own account in this city, and only closed it out last summer.

Politically, Mr. Hoch had always been identified with the Democratic party.—He was several times a candidate for important positions. In 1857 he lacked only a few votes of being elected to the Legislature as representative from the counties of Muscatine and Cedar. In March, 1877, he was chosen Alderman for the First Ward for the term ending 1879. As an Alderman he proved active and efficient, taking great pride in looking after the interests of his stituents.

As a friend, he was warn-hearted and generous to a fault. Being quite social and polite, giving to all he met a frank, cordial greeting, he had many acquaintances and friends , as was evinced by the great interest taken in his welfare during his late severe illness.

The deceased had specially endeared himself to the better part of the community by his recent earnest and hearty identification with the reform movement. At a temperance meeting on the 6th of February last, he came forward, singed the pledge and made a public and frank acknowledgement of the error of his way as a drinking man for about forty years. From that time forward he zealously devoted himself to the cause, speaking frequently in this city and elsewhere and influencing many others by his examble and his pleadings and arguments to forsake their ruinous habits. In fact he literally fell at his post, for the last time he was bale to be out, March 13th, he addressed the Reform Club in Atalissa. Coming home from that place, he was just able to walk form the depot to his house. His determination to adhere to his pledge was so strong that he even refused to take liquor as a medicine during his last illness, saying, “Don’t you know that I wear the blue?” Some have supposed that the sudden disuse of stimulants caused his fatal sickness, but we are assured by those who ought to know that this was not the case.

The funeral will take place from the Presbyterian Church at 3 o’clock tomorrow (Thursday) afternoon. The Masonic fraternity, the City Council, the Old Settlers, the Reform Club and all other friends are invited to attend.

The remains will be taken from the residence to the church on 2 ½ o’clock.

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