90th Birthday                Felix Hoff Ancestors
90th Birthday   Felixs Ancestors                                   Grandparents                                           ...
90th Birthday   Felixs Ancestors                                           Grandma                                        ...
90th Birthday   Felixs Ancestors                                             Grandpa                                      ...
90th Birthday                        Felixs Ancestors                                              Peter Hoff   His brothe...
90th Birthday                       Felixs Ancestors                               Hoff Grandparents   Peter was nine, Nec...
90th Birthday                         Felixs Ancestors                                       Five Hoff Sons               ...
90th Birthday                      Felixs Ancestors                                Homestead - Iowa                       ...
90th Birthday                           Felixs Ancestors                               Peter Hoff Family  of her parents a...
90th Birthday                      Felixs Ancestors       Peter Continued   The last member of the family, Joseph Felix, c...
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Felix's Ancestors


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Felix's Hoff's ancestors - coming to America

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Felix's Ancestors

  1. 1. 90th Birthday Felix Hoff Ancestors
  2. 2. 90th Birthday Felixs Ancestors Grandparents GRANDPA AND GRANDMA HOFF The original of this picture has “Peter Hoff’s Grandparents” written on the back. Their names are lost and it is assumed they are the grandparents on his father’s side. If this is true then these two people are the parents of Nils Nilsen Noss Hoff and are the oldest relatives we know about in the Nils Hoff line. They must have been married some time before 1828 when Nils Nilsen was born. Unfortunately we know nothing about any other children they may have raised. These grandparents are probably the ones that took Peter Hoff’s older brother Necolai to live with them for a while and then sent him on to Germany to further his education. They must have been terrific folks! They look like they are peering into the future and urging us to do our very best!. 2
  3. 3. 90th Birthday Felixs Ancestors Grandma Gunnild Mathea Pedersdatter Piltingsrud Gunnild Mathea Pedersdatter Piltingsrud married Nils Nilsen 1857 or before. She had nine children, one premature and one that may have died before she died. The family came to America in 1885, since she did not come it is presumed she died before they immigrated. This is the only known picture of Gunnild. There are no pictures of them together. It would be interesting to know if it is her hand writing that recorded the family history in their Bible 3
  4. 4. 90th Birthday Felixs Ancestors Grandpa Nils Nilsen Nos Hoff Nils Nilsen Nos Hoff and Gunnild Mathea Pedersdatter Piltingsrud are the parents of the Hoffs that came to America in 1885. They are the earliest known family members of this Hoff line. This picture of Nils was taken in Iowa in the late 1890s. 4
  5. 5. 90th Birthday Felixs Ancestors Peter Hoff His brother Necolai was already a year old when Peter started life as the second child and the second son of Nils Nilsen Noss Hoff and Gunnild Mathea Pedersdatter Piltingsrud in central Norway on March 5, 1859. Nils and Gunnild were both 31. Peter was just learning to toddle after his older brother when Rasmus joined the family (July 1860) and Peter lost forever the title of the youngest brother. Rasmus was just toddling after Peter when Nils Nilson came into the family (January, 1861), now he had two little brothers, and neither one was old enough to go outside and play in his big wide three- year-old world. Life just kept getting better all the time, Peter and his big brother could find the bathroom by themselves, those little brothers couldn’t do that yet. He and Necolai could also dress themselves, most of the time, and Mamma was asking them to dress by themselves more and more lately. In fact she seemed tired most of the time. Ole, their new brother came into the family (December 1862). Mam m a was busy nursing Ole, changing Nils’ and Rasm us’ diapers, washing clothes for Peter and Necolai, and keeping m eals ready for Papa. So The joy Berthe brought faded quickly, Mamma’s Necolai and Peter entertained them selves with eyes looked worried and sad. When Papa came Rasm us and Nils and whoever they could find home he always went to Berthe and held her and around the neighborhood. comforted Mamma. Berthe was not developing like the boys did. Then one day they took Berthe to the Mam m a (age 35) seem ed tired again and soon a cemetery and left her there. Mamma cried a lot. She new j cam e into the fam ily, Berthe Christine oy found it hard to find things for the children to play was born (June 1 863). A girl! What do you do with with. She had strong mixed emotions, if this next a little sister? Ole was j starting to walk and ust child she was carrying was a girl would she die too? Necolai seem ed to always be feeding him or watching after Nils or Rasm us, he didn’t seem to The joy returned to Mamma and Papa’s face when a have m uch tim e to play any m ore. new little girl came into the family (October 1866). Mamma and Papa named her Berthe Christine hoping she would replace the joy they felt for their first daughter. 5
  6. 6. 90th Birthday Felixs Ancestors Hoff Grandparents Peter was nine, Necolai was ten and they took care If they sold everything they had and pooled their of Ole, Nils, and Rasmus and gave Mamma as much money they could pay for their travel and have some time as they could to nurse and care for little Berthe. money left over to start a store or buy land in the She was a special little body in the family and new country. After considering all of the ramifications everyone wanted her to have the very best. They it was a decision to go! wanted her to live, and grow up like the boys. School was taking lots of time and there was not as much They had worked hard as a family and with the help time for play anymore. of the boys they had accumulated some money but the opportunities for the boys to start out on their Since Necolai was the oldest he received the special own were limited. Lots of people were leaving attention bestowed on the first born and the first Norway for America and sending back letters saying grandchild. One day Grandma and Grandpa took the opportunities in that new country were almost Necolai to live with them and go to school. As he limitless. They considered what it would mean to matured they sent him to Germany where he learned never see their grandparents again. To go to five languages and started his career as a purser America they must leave all of their friends behind. aboard ship. They would have to find mates in this new country. They must start their own families in a new country, Berthe developed normally and was a joy to the new language, new customs. It was a hard decision. family. At nine while the older boys were in school or helping Papa she was doing things around the kitchen and was a big help to Mamma. In 1885 they completed their preparations and Peter was doing well in school, and he learned to booked passage for America, leaving Norway behind help his Papa in his spare time. At age 16 he noticed forever. Peter was 26 and his Papa was 57 when Mamma was tired a lot as she cared for his little they sailed for the new country. brothers and sister. On January 16, 1875 his last little brother, Gustav Nilson, came into the family. Mamma and Papa were both 47. Mamma nursed little Gustav and loved him but she just never snapped back from this birth like she did for the other children. Before little Gustav was 10 Mamma’s body wore out and he traveled with the family as they took her body down to Lillehammer in Southern Norway where they left her body at the cemetery. It was a sad day for the whole family. Papa and Mamma had a close family. Necolai had been able to go away to school, but he kept in close touch with the family. The boys grew up helping each other and Papa and now Mamma was gone. Soon after the funeral Papa gathered the family together to pay their last respects to Mamma and to discuss the family future. 6
  7. 7. 90th Birthday Felixs Ancestors Five Hoff Sons Back Row:: Peter, Nils Jr, Ole Front Row: Necolai, Nils Sr. , Rasmus holding Rueben Taken about 1895 COMING TO AMERICA Little brother Gustav could not deal with the passing of his mother and then leaving Norway. When the family arrived in New York Gustav was near uncontrollable and it was a family decision to leave him in a New York institution and move on west. Gustav never saw the family again. 7
  8. 8. 90th Birthday Felixs Ancestors Homestead - Iowa IOWA Iowa felt more like home. The people spoke Scandinavian and most families shared the experience of immigrating to America or were the children of immigrants. Papa and the boys took their profit from the homestead and started a general store, a place they could all work. Younger brother Ole met Miema, an attractive young lady, and they married. Her father farmed in Bode, so Ole left the store and started farming. They raised their family on the farm and both passed away living on the farm. THE HOMESTEAD The government was giving away land in South Dakota to anyone that would settle on it and prove it up. They had heard of others that went to South Dakota and they decided to accept the offer. Land was something they did not have in Norway and they could not afford to buy the land they needed. Owning land was attractive. Life in South Dakota was hard and Berthe the only girl in the family died there on the homestead. They took her down stream to Yankton for burial. They homesteaded all of the land the law allowed. Norwegians were scarce in South Dakota so the boys soon learned their new language; Papa never did switch to English. The Hoffs and South Dakota were not a good fit. Even with working off the homestead for other farmers and merchants earning a comfortable living was almost impossible. As soon as the land was proved, and they had title, they sold the land and moved to a Scandinavian community in Gowrie Iowa. Gowrie had lots of pretty Scandinavian girls. Peter met a farmer’s daughter, Anna Sophia Sandgren a confirmed member of the Swedish Zion Lutheran Church, and despite the 14 years difference in age their relationship grew closer and stronger. With the blessing 8
  9. 9. 90th Birthday Felixs Ancestors Peter Hoff Family of her parents and Papa they were married on November 26, 1895 in the Swedish Zion Lutheran Church complete with a lovely wedding dress, veil, and three brides maids. It was wonderful, it took him 35 years but at last he had his own family. His larger family started with the birth of his first son, Clarence Rudolph Nils. The Nils was in honor of his Papa. Younger brother Nils met pretty Hansine and they put their lives together, for better or worse. Rasmus and Jennie Lindhal discovered each other in Gowrie and joined their lives together forever. Necolai was the first to leave home in Norway and he still traveled, even in this new country. He liked the idea of having land available and became something of a land agent. His travels took him to Idaho and he encouraged the family to sell the store in Gowrie and start a store in Idaho Falls where they could serve the farmers that were settling the fertile Snake River valley. IDAHO In 1897 the decision was made to once again take their resources and start over in another place. The three brothers, Necolai, Peter and Rasmus pooled their money and started the Hoff Brothers Mercantile THE FARM Co. in Idaho Falls, ID. Their letter head from 1898 While still working with the Hoff Brothers Mercantile reads “Wheat in Large Quantities a Specialty. Grain, Peter purchased 160 acres one mile out of Firth, Hay and Produce Bought and Sold. Dealers in Idaho and rented out the land. In 1911, at age 52, GENERAL MERCHANDISE.” Peter left the Hoff Brothers Mercantile and moved Peter loved his new wife and missed her and little Anna and his four children to the farm. Rudolph. He arranged the construction of a new The Firth farm was the same size as the South house for his absent family at 373 South Water Dakota homestead, but the soil was better. Even so Street, in their growing town of Idaho Falls. The the size was marginal and it was difficult to raise house was complete with running water, electricity, enough forage for the work animals, food for the telephone, stable, and outhouse. As soon as it was family, and have enough left over to make the complete he sent for his family and finally, he was payments. The prices during World War One were complete. good and that helped. 9
  10. 10. 90th Birthday Felixs Ancestors Peter Continued The last member of the family, Joseph Felix, came to the family on October 9, 1914 when Peter was 55 and Anna was 41. Alvin had been born January 16, 1898, Ruth on April 21,1901, Elmer on January 15, 1905 but died October 8, and Gladys on June 22, 1908. Peter worked hard to make the farm produce, but the yields just seemed to keep getting less and less as the years went by. Some years he could not make the payments on the land. To help with the income he became an agent for the Farmers Mutual Fire Insurance with the Shotten A. Irrs company in Idaho Falls. In 1929 Peter, age 70, had exhausted all his savings and other resources and could no longer make the payments on the farm. The bank asked for title. Peter moved his family, Anna, Gladys, and Felix to a small house in Firth and he continued to sell insurance to provide for his family. On Friday evening August 23, 1931 while attending a directors meeting of the Shotten A. Irrs insurance company Peter became ill and returned home. His condition became steadily worse and the family took him to the hospital in Shelly. After a week his condition did not improve. On Saturday August 30, 1931 he died in route to the hospital in Idaho Falls. He was 72. The cause of death was listed as pneumonia and heart disease. 10