Arnold R. Hoffmann

ARNOLD R. HOFFMANN. It is the business of every man to get ahead in the world, to provide for himself and those dependent upon him, and to perform with all due diligence and faithfulness those duties which are a part of home making and citizenship. From the time he was a boy with a boy's strength Arnold R. Hoffmann has proved equal to all emergencies and by hard work has become one of the leading business men and stock breeders in Washington County, Kansas. His home is at Haddam.

Mr. Hoffmann was born in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, March 14, 1868, but has lived in Kansas since he was three years of age. Doubtless some of the characteristics that have been responsible for his success in life are an inheritance from his sturdy Swiss ancestry. Both his parents were natives of Switzerland, while his grandfather Hoffmann was born in a German province and early in life went to Switzerland He was a locksmith by trade, and finally came to the United States. The family never know exactly about his last days, but it is thought that he died of yellow fever in New Orleans. He married a Miss Whipmer, who was born in Switzerland in 1790. She died in Washington County, Kansas, in 1872.

J. M. Hoffmann, father of the Haddam business man, was born in Canton Glauris, Switzerland, in 1830. He grew up at Molis, Switzerland, and about 1850 came to the United States. He lived for several years at Philadelphia and while in that city he married Miss Lucy Gality. She was born in March, 1830, in Canton, Glauris, Switzerland, and she died in July, 1908, at the home of her son John Henry in Grant Township of Washington County, Kansas. J. M. Hoffmann was a chemist by profession. While in Philadelphia he worked in a laboratory a number of years, and his technical ability then brought him employment in a factory for the making of linoleum and oil cloth. He was in that factory when the war broke out and it was his intention to serve in the Union army. About that time the factory received a large contract from the United States Government to make haversacks for the soldiers, and he decided to remain, being thus a worker for the government though never in the army. The business was one that made heavy drains upon his physical health and he finally had to leave and, going out to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, found more active outdoor employment in the lumber and sawmills. In 1871, bringing his family to Kansas, he homesteaded 160 acres in Grant Township of Washington County, and after that was prosperously engaged in farming until his death in the spring of 1902. The home farm where he spent his last years was four miles south of Haddam in Grant Township. Ho was a man of such ability and character as to command the respect of his fellow men and enjoyed a large friendship and acquaintance in Washington County. His fellow citizens called upon him to serve as treasurer of Grant Township several terms, and he held other township offices. He was a republican and a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. The oldest of his children is John M., who now lives on a ranch in Oregon. Rudolph, the second in age, has developed a homestead in Colorado. John Henry is a farmer in Grant Township of Washington County. The fourth in the family is Arnold R. The daughter Eva died at the age of thirteen. Jacob died at seventeen, and there were two other sons and one daughter who died in infancy.

Arnold R. Hoffmann secured his education in the rural schools of Grant Township. At the age of twenty-one he rented his father's farm and conducted it on his own account for five years. In 1895 Mr. Hoffmann bought a place of his own in Grant Township and gave all his time to its management and cultivation until the spring of 1903.

At that date he came to Haddam and for the first two years was in business as a stock feeder. In the fall of 1901 he had bought a half interest in a general mercantile, hardware and implement store at Haddam and in 1908 he became sole proprietor and has continued the business successfully under his own name to the present time. 'He has a large trade and well equipped store and also owns the building in which it is located on Main Street.

Mr. Hoffmann is a breeder of thoroughbred registered Shropshire sheep. At the present time he has a flock of thirty head of rams and ewes, all registered animals, and the demand for these high grade sheep, from farmers all over the state, is increasing to such an extent that Mr. Hoffmann finds the business one requiring much of his time and attention. Mr. Hoffmann owns a block of ground on Simpson street, where his home is, and has twenty-five acres in the southwest part of town divided into lots. His main farm is in Grant Township, containing 640 acres, and he also owns 150 acres in the State of Oregon.

Though one of the busiest men at Haddam Mr. Hoffmann regards it a duty and privilege to serve the welfare of the community in every way possible. While living in Grant Township he was clerk, treasurer and trustee, and at Haddam he was on the city council four years and in the spring of 1917 was elected to the post of mayor. He has also served as a member of the school board ten years.

In Washington County, Kansas, in 1899, Mr. Hoffmann married Miss Anna Carlson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Carlson, who live on a farm in Grant Township. Mr. and Mrs. Hoffmann are the parents of eight children, five of whom are living and constitute a lively household. Russell was born February 8 1903; the net, a daughter, died in infancy; Harold was born July 5, 1908; the fourth and fifth, both sons, died, the former in infancy and the latter at three years; Helen was born July 8, 1912; Lester was born in August, 1914; and Dora, the youngest, was born in January, 1917.


A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918; transcribed 1997.
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