Frederick the Stone Cutter

Our story today centers around the birth of Frederick Hoffmann in 1842.  He was born in St. Louis, and his baptism took place at Old Trinity Lutheran Church in that city.  His family’s story, however, takes a path through New York City and Perry County (and likely northern Cape Girardeau County) before they finally settled in St. Louis.

Frederick was the son of Wilhelm and Rosine (Jaenger) Hoffmann.  Frederick’s parents were part of the New York Group that arrived in Perry County at about the same time as most of the Gesellschaft immigrants did in 1839.  Here we see them as they are listed in the New York Group in Zion on the Mississippi.

William was a hatter.  They came with one child, and based on some other church records, I think that daughter was born while the Hoffmanns were living in New York City.  There is a likelihood that for a very short time, the Hoffmanns may have been part of the Johannisberg (this is the spelling you find in Zion on the Mississippi) in North Cape Girardeau County.  What we do know is that by 1840, we find the Hoffmanns in St. Louis, because their young daughter’s death record is found in the church books of Old Trinity Lutheran Church in St. Louis.  She died in 1840.

Frederick is said to be the fourth child in this family.  His baptism record can be found in the Old Trinity books.  In that baptism record, it states that Frederick was born on November 30, 1842.  We will see later that his date of birth is a matter of debate.

The first census I could find that included this Hoffmann family was the one taken in 1860.  By that time, Frederick was 17 years old and working as an apprentice marble stone cutter.  His father was still a hat manufacturer.

1860 census – St. Louis, MO

I must admit that it makes me chuckle a little bit when I see Frederick’s younger brother, who is 15 years old, working in a cigar store.

On November 16, 1869, Frederick married Maria Schirmer at Old Trinity.  This is a civil marriage record of that event.

Hoffmann/Schirmer marriage record – St. Louis, MO

There are records that state that Maria was born in Germany, but I find it interesting that another family name that arrived in Perry County with the New York Group was Schirmer.

I suppose that it is possible that Maria was somehow related to the Schirmers that were part of the New York Group.  Christoph Schirmer and his wife are one of just a few who were part of the New York Group that remained in the Perry County area.

We find Frederick and Maria in the 1880 census from St.  Louis.  By that time there are three children in their family.  There were quite a few children born into this family that died at very early ages.

1880 census – St. Louis, MO

You can see that Frederick is still in the stone cutting business.  The next census in which we find this family was taken in 1900.  This census shows four children.

1900 census – St. Louis, MO

The name Frederick Hoffmann was not a unique one in St. Louis.  Take a look at this listing which can be found in a 1901 city directory for St. Louis.

Frederick Hoffmann – 1901 St. Louis city directory

Some of the Fredericks are listed here more than once.  Some are listed by the work place, and others are listed by their residence.  The Frederick we are looking at today is the one who has a quarry on Wyandotte and living on Indiana Ave.

I located an old map showing some quarries that were once located in St. Louis.

In the middle of this map, you find a grouping of X’s indicating quarries that were clumped together in one area of the city.  Here is an enlargement of that area.

Since the address for the Hoffmann residence is close to this area, I believe that Frederick’s quarry was one of those X’s.  For reference, you can see that Forest Park is just west of this clumping of quarries.

We have a photograph of Frederick and Mary taken later in their lives.

Frederick and Mary Hoffmann

We also have this portrait of Frederick.

Frederick Hoffmann

Frederick died in 1919; Mary died in 1930.  Here is Frederick’s death certificate.  It states that his date of birth was November 27, 1842.  

Frederick Hoffmann death certificate

These two are buried together in the Concordia Cemetery in St. Louis.

Frederick and Mary Hoffmann gravestone – Concordia, St. Louis, MO

Frederick’s gravestone says that he was born in 1843, not 1842.  I think that is wrong.  There is one other very interesting thing that we find in the Concordia Cemetery.  The above inscription is found on a rather elaborate statue located where they are buried.

If you look again at Frederick’s death certificate, it says his occupation was a sculptor of monuments.  I think this is one of his works.  I would love to know the story behind this sculpture.

Here is an interesting thought about this statue.  Quite a while ago, I wrote the following post.

Camp Church Confirmations

When the original Hoffmanns got to Perry County, they were both confirmed into the Lutheran faith.  Rosine was said to be one of two Catholics who were confirmed.  The statue above looks to have a little bit of a Catholic influence.  What do you think?


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