Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Christian Hofer 1853 - 1900

Christian was born in Indiana, USA on 30 Jul 1853 to Johann (John) Ulrich Hofer 1920 - 1898 and Anna Barbara Moseman 1825 - 1896.  Johann and Anna Barbara are immigrants from Switzerland. 

The couple have 7 children: 

1.  Sophia Hofer 1849 - 1890 m Reverand William Heiser (Note:  (Sophia's granddaughter) had mental health problems too.  She was given a lobotomy in the 1930s.
2.  Godfrey Johann Hofer 1851 - 1903
3.  Christian Hofer 1853 - 1900
m Jennie Weinert John Hofer 1856 - 1878
4.  Lydia Hofer 1858 - 1936
5.  Christina 1861 - 1892
6.  Marie Hofer 1863
7.  Adeline (Addie) Hofer 1867 - 1942 

Christian married Jennie aka Jane Weinert on June 5, 1879.  According to family members she thinks he is "crazy" and she wishes she had never married him.  He won’t take baths for days at a time.   They buy 80 acres in NE for $1,800.     

In 1883 their son Charles sold out to his father and moved to Osobrne County, Kansas.  Christian’s parents move to Kansas two months later, Jennie and Christian buy property from his parents.  (1884) They were faithful Evangelical Church members.  The family was very poor.  Christian died at 44 years old in 1900 from consumption.  Burial, rose Valley Cemetery, Downs, Osborne County, Kansas, USA, Inscription: Age 46 yrs. 8 mos. 22 days Jennie raised five of their six children and dies 44 years later in 1942 in Downs, Kansas. 

Jennie and Christian's Children:
1.  Freddie, heir first-born dies in 1880. 
2.  Ida was born on September 9, 1881, marries James Carner for 6 mo.
3.  Charles Edward was born on October 16, 1885. 
4.  Louisa Melinda was born on July 3, 1887 marries James Carner, Jay Denny Lamm and dies in 1971 at the
USAF Academy, El Paso, Colorado, USA
5.  Edwin Daniel was born on July 31, 1888, later dies at 23 in 1911
6.  Elmer was born June 9 1889 and was a pastor for 2 years.
7.  Bennie was born on April 13, 1893 and dies March 10, 1895.  Inscription: Age 1 yr. 10 mos. 27 days. Son of C. & J. Hofer.  He is buried in the Rose Valley Cemetery, Osborne, Downs, KA

Summary: Let’s see if I have this right:

Jennie is born January 31, 1855, in Toronto, Canada.  In 1859 she moves with parents to Argo, NE.  She marries Christian Hofer, on June 5, 1879.  He is "crazy" and she wishes she had never married him.  The newspaper doesn’t agree and says he is one of their “best citizens.”  They buy 80 acres in NE for $1,800.  He won’t take baths for days at a time and ends up in an institution where he needs dry underclothing.  He dies of "consumption" later called tuberculosis in 1900.  The obit says he is a devout and zealous Christian and a member of the Evangelical Association.

Christian Hofer

Published Timeline of Events

1860 census:

1880 census

March 14, 1895

Osborne County Farmer, page 4

Loss of Bennie Hofer

May 6, 1896

Osborne County Farmer, page 6

Back from the Asylum

Document A-Statement in Lunacy (in Jail)
In the matter of the insanity of Crist Hofer, of Osborne County,
Ross Township, Downs Post Office, in the Probate Court of
said County, State of Kansas, on the 22nd day of December, A.D. 1896
Home and address of nearest friend: ____________________________________
Tele [graphable?] address: ________________________________________________

Questions to be answered.

1-What is the patient’s age? Birth-date?  43 yrs. Born in Indiana
2-Married or single?  If any children, how many?  Married-yes-5 children. 7 to 12 years of age
3. How long a resident of Kansas?  Of the county?  12 years-about 12 years
4. Former residence State? County? Post Office?  Nebraska
5. Occupation?  Pecuniary status?  Farmer and stock raiser.  Rather poor now


December 23, 1896

Document B-Letter to the Topeka Insane Asylum from Judge

Office of the
Probate Judge
Osborne County

        J.F. Frey, Probate Judge

      Kansas        Dec 23   1896

Supt,  Insane Asylum
             Topeka Kans.

Dear Sir: Enclosed [found?]
Case of Crist Hofer.

          We feel sorry to keep him
In hail- a place he dreads-[long?]
Therefore, kindly five us a reply
as soon as possible.

      He is as nice citizen and des-
erves kind treatment.  He has a
nice wife and 5 children-oldest
12-5 years youngest.

Give us as early a reply
as possible.

Yours truly JF Frey
          Probate Judge

December 24, 1896
Osborne County Farmer, page 1
Christian Hofer Insane


December 24, 1896                                                            
Osborne County News, page 1                                            
Crist Hofer Adjudged Insane                                               


                                                                     January 14th, 1897
              Osborne County Farmer, page 6
                                                                      Probate Court Fees


January 28, 1897
Osborne County News, page 8
Notice of Appointment-Estate Guardianship

March 6, 1897 Letter from the Judge


January 12th, 1899
Osborne County Farmer,  page 5

January 25, 1900

Osborne County Farmer, page 8

Coming Home Soon from Asylum

March 22nd, 1900

Osborne County Farmer, page 3

Home From Asylum

March 29th, 1900
Osborne County Farmer, page 8
Back at Home, Seriously Ill
April 26, 1900
Osborne Country Farmer
Page 8


1900 census:



Phillip Hilker. His mother was Lydia Heiser, daughter of Sophia and William. This picture is of him in his WWI Army uniform and I think you can see a family resemblance to the Hofer line - especially the mouth:

Census information: