Hans Henry Hoffman
How we Relate:
This is a biography written by Hans' granddaughter Phebe. I thought about editing and adding little things, but then realized that this was the best source of her life there was. Phebe is Selina's daughter who is Elizabeth's older sister.
BIOGRAPHY OF HANS HEINRICH (Henry) HOFFMAN
By a granddaughter, Phebe N. Smith , written in 1940
Hans Heinrich Hoffman was born December 26, 1815 at Maur, Zurich, Switzerland. His parents were Hans Jacob Hoffman and Anna Fahrner. He was the fourth child in a family of five children, two girls and three boys. They were: Anna and Emerentina and his brothers were Johannes and Rudolf.
We know very little of his early life. He had a fairly good education and learned a trade, that of stonecutter and mason. He was an expert workman and built for himself a house that is still in use and in good condition. He was a member of the Lutheran Church. He married Anna Katherine Gut, June 9, 1845, at St. Peter, Zurich, Switzerland. To this union, three children were born---Kasper, Rudolf, and Johannes.
His wife died at Pfaffhausen, Zurich, Switzerland, on November 28, 1850 leaving him with three small children, one of them only six months old. How he managed, we will never know, but he got along somehow until the 14 September 1857, when he married Anna Barbara Baumberger. She was a good, kind mother and loved his children. John (Johannes), the baby, received an injury to his head and was retarded the rest of his life. They made a home in Fallenden, Zurich, Switzerland, and to this union four children were born: Selina, Elizabeth, Harry and Jacob. Little Jacob died at the age of four months.
|Children: Harry, Elizabeth and Selina|
Hans Heinrich was a kind and loving father, but like most old country fathers, was very strict with his family. He loved to work at his trade. The children, as they grew older, took care of the small farm and garden. They also raised fruit, had chickens and a cow. They would cut the lucern with a scythe, rake it with a hand rake, pitch it on the wagon with a fork and hook the cow to the wagon and haul it to the barn. They also raised a little wheat and would cut it with a scythe, rake it by hand, beat it out with a flail and as they needed bread or flour, the children would carry it to the mill and exchange it.
Hans never had his picture taken because he read in the Bible, "Thou shalt not make unto thee any likeness of anything that is in the earth." When the family was in Switzerland, they lived in a stone house which is still in use. The home was occupied by two families. The half of the house that they lived in consisted of a kitchen, dining room, and weaving room, three bedrooms, and a hall upstairs. In the dining room, Hans built a fireplace of stone. In the hall upstairs was a chest where they kept dried fruit.
Finally in 1877, he surprised his wife one morning, after they had engaged in family prayer, by telling her that if she still wanted to go to Utah, he was willing to go. We have no record of him being baptized in Switzerland.
|Immigration Passenger List|
It was not long until they were established in a home of their own. They bought a house and four city lots from Orson J. Spencer. Kasper was a very good carpenter and it was not long and he had made most of their furniture.
It was not long before Kasper and his wife moved to Logan, Utah. Hans Heinrich, or Henry, as he was now called here in America, was called to work on the Logan Temple. He was baptized July 11, 1877. No doubt he stayed with Kasper while working on the temple. At one time he got so homesick to see his family that he walked home, carrying his food and his bedding on his back, and camping out at night as it took him several days to make the trip.
He died December 5, 1888 of pneumonia, after a short illness. A few days before his death, he went to Laketown and back for a load of flour. It was a cold, wet trip by wagon and team and he contacted a bad cold from it. He was buried in Randolph, Utah.