The story for today begins with the birthday of a girl who was born in Illinois. Her later death certificate simply says she was born in that state without giving a particular city. Since her parents are buried in Chester, I think that is likely her place of birth.
Elizabeth Lohmeier was born on November 14, 1887, making today her 135th birthday. She was the daughter of John and Katherine (Krull) Lohmeier. There is some debate about the spelling of Elizabeth’s surname. Other spellings include Lohmeyer and Lohmeir. I chose to use the spelling that is found on several gravestones in Elizabeth’s family. I have no idea where Elizabeth was baptized. Elizabeth’s mother died in early 1900 and was buried in Chester, Illinois, but we still find her in the 1900 census. We find Elizabeth’s family living in the Bois Brule Township of Perry County, Missouri. Elizabeth was called 11 years old at the time, but she was likely a bit older. Her father was a farmer, most likely in the Mississippi bottoms just across the river from Chester.
Next, we find Elizabeth in the 1910 census at the age of 22. Elizabeth’s father would die later in 1910, leaving this household with no male presence and just 2 fairly young daughters. Elizabeth, beginning with this entry, was often called Lizzie.
Now, we will take a look at the man who would become Elizabeth’s husband. His name was Arthur Louis Hoff, who was born on August 24, 1887, making him less that 3 months older that Lizzie. Arthur was the 12th and last child of John and Elizabeth (Dippold) Hoff and baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Perryville. We can take a look at a transcription of his baptism record.
Arthur is found in the 1900 census at the age of 12. Like Elizabeth, Arthur’s family was living in the Bois Brule Township.
When the 1910 census was taken, we find Arthur in his 20’s and working on his father’s farm.
The interesting thing about the 1910 census entry is that the above image was taken from the very top of a census page. If you go back in that year’s census just one page, the Lohmeier family is found at the very bottom. So, it is almost certain that the Hoff’s and the Lohmeier’s were very close neighbors. It is not hard to figure out how these two young people, at the same age and living close to each other, got to know one another.
I found two events that took place in 1915. In the earlier part of that year, the short article shown below was published in the Perry County Republican.
Arthur may have lost a valuable cow in 1915, but that same year he found a valuable bride. Arthur Hoff and Elizabeth Lohmeier were married on September 22, 1915 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Perryville. We can look at a transcription of that marriage record from that congregation’s books. It says that Lizzie was from Claryville.
We can also take a look at this pair’s marriage license.
An article appeared in the Perry County Republican that reported on this Hoff/Lohmeier wedding. The headline says that a McBride man married a Claryville bride.
If you are not from around here, this headline might appear to indicate that these two were from locations that were far apart. However, as illustrated in the map below, McBride and Claryville are rather close to one another.
At the end of the above newspaper article, it states that Art and Lizzie were planning to move to Clinton, Iowa. That is where Lizzie’s parents were married. However, I found no evidence that these two ever moved to Iowa. In 1917, Arthur had a World War I draft registration completed. It said that a mother, wife, and child were his dependents. Arthur’s father had died in 1915, just 5 days after Art and Lizzie’s wedding, so his widowed mother was likely living with them.
According to our German Family Tree, this couple had 2 children, a girl and a boy. Both of them were baptized at Immanuel, Perryville. Just their daughter was born before the 1920 census was taken. One of Arthur’s brothers, Will Hoff, was included in their household. Art and Will were farmers.
The 1930 census shows the Hoff’s with their 2 children, along with two of Art’s brothers, Will and Leonard.
The Hoff’s can then be found in the 1940 census. This entry looks almost identical to the previous one, only everyone was 10 years older. Also, their daughter, Elvira, was not included. She was working in St. Louis at that time.
In 1942, Arthur had to complete a World War II draft card.
Yet one more census lists Art and Lizzie, the one taken in 1950. Their son, Hubert, had married Josephine Henschel. They and their child were living in the Hoff household.
Elizabeth Hoff died in 1959 at the age of 71. Her death certificate says she died at the Perry County Memorial Hospital in Perryville.
Arthur Hoff died in 1965 at the age of 77. His death certificate says he also died at the hospital in Perryville.
Arthur and Elizabeth Hoff are buried together in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Perryville.
There are still Hoff’s in and around Perryville to this day, as is evidenced by the Hoff Brothers Company that is in the business of providing LP gas to rural residents of Perry County (like me).