Transcribed by Mary Ann Kaylor
HOFFMAN, PHILIP - Fidelity, attention to details and strict probity mark some of the men employed by the State in caring for the beautiful capitol building. One deserving of special mention is Philip Hoffman, who was born in St. Louis, Mo., January 19, 1847, a son of Charles and Sabina (Graser) Hoffman, natives of Hesse Darmstadt, Germany. The father was a shoemaker by trade, who early came to America, first living in Baltimore, Md. Later he came west to St. Louis, which continued his home until 1849, when he went to California. After four years of prospecting for gold, he returned to St. Louis. He crossed the plains with an ox team, but came back via Panama, Havana and New Orleans, to St. Louis. After a short stay in that city he came to Springfield, in 1857. He continued to work at his trade until he was seventy-five years old, when he retired, living thus until his death, May 30, 1910 and his wife died November 14, 1875, aged fifty-one years. There were eleven children in the family, six of whom survive; George, a gate-keeper at Oak Ridge Cemetery; Alexander, of the Springfield Plow Works; Mrs. Louise Hoffman, of Springfield; Mrs. Ida Fetzer, also of Springfield and Philip.
Mr. Hoffman enlisted from Springfield in Company H, One hundred and Forty-Fifth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, under the command of Colonel Lackey, for 100 days. Returning home, he entered the city fire department as a volunteer, serving from 1864 to 1894. In 1867 the city organized the paid fire department, and Mr. Hoffman was made pipeman. Since 1894, he has been engaged in carpenter and contract work, and for the past eight years has worked at the State House. For nine years he has lived at his present residence, No. 1006 North Eighth street.
On December 10, 1867, Mr. Hoffman was married, in Springfield, to Frances Easton, born in Charleston, Coles County, Ill., September 10, 1849. Her father was born in Lexington, Ky., and her mother in Wales, and they came to Illinois at an early day, settling near Athens, where the father was a farmer, but now both are deceased. There were fourteen children in the Easton family, and three sons took part in the Civil War. Three children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Hoffman: Della, wife of Frank Donnelly, of Springfield; Maude, wife of Postmaster Wheeler, of Springfield; and Augustus, a cigar maker by trade, residing in Springfield. Mr. Hoffman belongs to Stephenson Post G.A. R. and to Carpenter's Union. The family are members of the Baptist Church and Mr. Hoffman is a Republican.