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JOHN CASSIUS HOFF of Des Moines, IA
Posted by: John Scott Hoff (ID *****4640) Date: February 01, 2004 at 15:16:05
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JOHN CASSIUS HOFF (Biographical data entry): Born on 5 Mar 1875 in Dallas Co., IA on the family farm. Died on 10 Mar 1960 Des Moines, (DSM), IA. His parents were JOHN H. HOFF (1830 Chesterhill, Washington Co., OH - 31 Mar 1909 Dallas Co., IA; buried Waukee Cem., IA) and MARY ANN AKINS (13 Nov 1833 in Henry Co., IN - 13 Feb 1907 Dallas Co., IA, Bd: Waukee Cem., IA). He was one of 8 children. Other siblings, all of which were born on the family farm in Dallas Co., IA: 1)WILLIAM H. HOFF (1855 - ? ); 2)OCSAR C. HOFF (1858); 3) KATE HOFF (Campbell)(1860 - 1939); 4) MARTHA ETTA HOFF (Davison) (1865 - 1929); 5) JESSIE HOFF (1972 - ? ) unmarried; no children; 6)HILY HOFF (1864-1975); and, 7)CHARLES WORTH HOFF (1880 - 1947, Linnford, Alberta, Canada). JOHN CASSIUS HOFF at age 17 went to the Alaskan Gold Rush with his older brother, OSCAR C. "Shorty" HOFF, in 1897 for only one winter, going via Skagway and over the Chilkoot Pass, the White River and the Yukon River. They traveled with author Jack London for 6 months and they operated a freight and transportation company bringing fresh fruit, eggs and other staples up to the gold country from the coast, rather than mining. He returned in 1898 to Des Moines, IA with $2,000 in gold and some great stories. His older brother, "Shorty" remained in Canada, dying a single pensioneer in Br. Columbia on 14 Dec 1941. The youngest brother, CHARLES W. HOFF, was enticed to "come on up" in 1898, but told "don't do what we did". Instead, he was instructed to take a train to Edmonton, buy a horse and "we'll meet you in Dawson..." Young Charles Worth Hoff dutifully did what his brothers told him to do: he bid his family and the Hoff family farm in Dallas Co. "goodbye', never to return, and left by train. He purchased a horse in Edmonton, and after going northwest from Edmonton, and after crossing his first Canadian river in the month of February, he swore "he'd never cross another one!" When he got to Barrhead, and the next river, he stopped, cut timber making a log cabin and wrote his brothers saying he wouldn't be coming. The two brothers reportedly came back to Iowa via the brother Charles' location, remaining there another 6 months, helping him clear timber and prepare a farm. John Cassius Hoff then returned to DSM and worked at the Des Moines Ice & Coal Company as a bookkeeper. He resided on the east side of DSM from 1898, and did not directly farm. He married MABEL MINA TENNANT of Hartley, IA in 1904. They had 3 childsren: JOHN RICHARD HOFF (6 FEB 1909 in DSM, IA - 4 Nov 1970 DSM, IA); JEANNE BEATRICE HOFF GOODWIN (11 Jun 1910 DSM, IA - 30 Apr 2001 DSM, IA); and DORIS MAE HOFF HOHL (1913 DSM, IA - Ames, IA 1997). He lived at 1335 E. 14th St., DSM, IA from 1904 to about 1938, at which time he moved to 46th street, where he resided until his death at age 85 of a heart attack at home on 10 Mar 1960. He was never particularly fond of children: especially his own grandchildren, who he found to be noisey and boisterous. He liked peace & quiet and smoking his pipe. He bought out his siblings' financial interests in the farm, and continued to operate the Dallas County Hoff Farm using tennant farmers while living in DSM. After his death, the family farm in Dallas Co. was sold to the Des Moines Golf & Country Club, after a new freeway was put through the old location. Two 18 hole championship courses now occupy the farm site. He was buried in the Glendale Cem. His widow, MABEL MINA TENNANT, lived in DSM, IA until her death on 16 Mar 1963. She, too, is buried in the Glendale Cem.


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