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Casper Hofsommer


This page has been created to highlight the Casper Hofsommer line, and to compensate for information not yet incorporated into the full GedCom file.

First, one of the motivators behind this ongoing search for Hofsommers is the oral tradition that exists on both the single "f" and double "f" with respect to the question "any other Hofsommers out there?"

Until 1993 the answer sounded something like...dunno, but if there are, they're probably related.

As part of the revision I undertook of the 1951 family history two things occurred that allowed a little tighter control over that answer.

1. The Mitterode List was uncovered (Link to it here).

2. A relatively exhaustive survey of Census records was undertaken in search of "pockets" of Hofsommers throughout the country. The survey was never completed to its mathematical satisfaction.

Among the total surprises was a 'cluster' of Hofsommers in Illinois, specifically in Breese Township. The name of the head of household was Casper. While it is genealogically dangerous to assume a connection based on less than hard, primary evidence, I drew some preliminary conclusions at that time based on the presence of a Johanne Casper Hofsommer in the Mitterode List, the overlapping of appropriate years (was Johanne Casper old enough to father Casper?), and the likelihood (that's a shrug of shoulders in the direction of glass being half full)

Frankly the link was made in the computer program because a) it falls into the likelihood mode and b)it makes it easier to print out charts, presuming you put enough cautions in.

Since putting up this web site new information has surfaced regarding the Casper - Illinois line.

Specifically, descendants of Casper have sent us a copy of a Centennial Celebration booklet published in 1956 in Breese, Illinois (Clinton County). Most of the notes that are included below are from that source. The most significant part of the information, however, is the mention of the birthplace of Casper Hofsommer (born 1820). If the reader will link to the map you'll see the incredibly short distance between Mitterode and Kirchhosbach.

Obviously we would like a hard copy of the baptism records from Kirchhosbach to confirm the father. The "Likelihood" argument will have to suffice at this point. The only nagging question we have is who told the writers of the 1956 book where Casper was born? Was it part of the oral history of that family or did someone actually have a copy of the birth record/baptism record?

All that having been said, and assuming there is some cosmic significance to this entire project here is Casper's line. If you are a Hofsommer descendant and have additional information or comments email us, leave a note in the guestbook, or send me snail mail.

* Caspar C. Hofsommer #2489 [E351/I] b. 21 JUN 1820 d. 1 JUL 1897 m. 10 JUN 1854 Katherina Dunkel #428 b. 4 JUN 1836 d. 22 AUG 1917

Notes from 1956 Breese Centennial Booklet (1856-1956) "...Caspar Hofsommer, Sr. was born in Kirchhosbach, Kurhessen, Germany, June 21, 1820, and was orphaned by his father's death when a boy of twelve. (1832). He served in the German army for five years. He came to America June 10, 1847, (27 years old), and settled in St. Louis, Mo., where he drove a wagon for the William Lemp Brewery Company. Afterward he engaged in driving a produce and supply wagon between St. Louis and Carlyle, but changed his occupation again in 1854, when he settled in Beaver Prairie, near Frogtown.

On June 10, 1854, he married Catherine Dunkel. (Casper is 34 years old, Catherine 18). Mrs. Hofsommer was born June 4, 1836 in Allmutschausen, Kreis, Hamburg, Hessen Nassau, Germany. When only seventeen years of age, in company with friends, she bravely set out for America on a small wooden sailing vessel, and, after a weary, tempestuous voyage of several months duration, she landed safely at the port of New Orleans in 1853. From this point she sailed up the Mississippi to St. Louis, where old friends greeted her and took her to Illinois, there to live with her uncle, Jacob Lappe, on a farm near Breese.

Mr. and Mrs Caspar Hofsommer, Sr. made their home on a farm near Frogtown. Their home was a pioneer log cabin and the land was unimproved. they lived a simple life and endured the privations of the early pioneer. In 1858, they moved to Breese Township, a mile north of Breese, where they lived for over thirty years. The land was all wild prairie and neighbors were comparatively few. Mr. Hofsommer, however, was very energetic and persevering, and soon succeeded in placing the land under excellent cultivation.

In 1888 he opened a general store on North Second and North Main Streets, the former site of the T.H. Partington store. Later his son, William, operated the star and he did farming and stock raising. In 1892, they moved to Breese on North Main and North Seventh Streets, where their son, August J. Hofsommer is living at the present time (1956?).

Mr. Hofsommer passed away July 1, 1897 and Mrs. Hofsommer died August 22, 1917.

Eleven children were born to them, seven boys and four girls, four of which died in infancy. The other seven children grew to adulthood in Breese and have been closely associated with its history..."

. * William J. Hofsommer #2239 [E3511/2] b. JAN 1857 m. Frederika Helwig #2240 b. FEB 1861

William J. Hofsommer ..."married Fredericka Helwig. He was a successful farmer and dairyman in Breese Township, building up a large farm on the western outskirts of Breese. He will be remembered as one of the first milkmen (Clover Leaf Dairy) in Breese, delivering from house to house with a horse and wagon, ringing a bell to let the people know when he was in their neighborhood. The people would then go to the wagon and get the milk. They had five children: two dying in infancy, and Olga (Mrs Olga Glancy) passed away in 1936. Lillie (Mrs Henry W. Schroeder) lives in Breese (1956) and Charles, who lives (1956) in Pasadena, California...." Excerpted from the Breese Centennial (1956) booklet, portions or which provided us by Mrs. Laurel Berger or O'Fallon, Il, August 1997.

. . * Charley Hofsommer #1559 [E35111/3] b. 29 DEC 1878 d. JAN 1972 m. Bertha (Hofsommer) #1560 b. Abt. 1879

1920 census - Illinois Hofsommer, Charley white, 41 years, b. Illinois Clinton County - Hofsommer, Bertha, wife, 41 years, b. Illinois - Hofsommer, Wilhelm, son, 13 years, b. Illinois

Charles social security card issued in California. b. 1878, d. 1972 in Altadena, Los Angeles Co., CA.

. . . * Wilhelm Hofsommer #1561 [E351111/4] b. Abt. 1907

. . . * Alvina Hofsommer #1562 [E351112/4] b. Abt. 1909

. . * Lilly Hofsommer #2242 [E35112/3] b. JAN 1883 m. Henry W. Schroeder #3247

. . * Olga Hofsommer #2243 [E35113/3] b. SEP 1886 d. 1936 m. August Glancy #3248

. * Catherine Hofsommer #2490 [E3512/2] b. c. 1861 m. Fred Koch #3249 Birth date/place: c. 1861/Illinois. Catherine Hofsommer #2490. U.S. Fed Census 1880. Illinois. H125 Soundex/ T746/Roll 51. Age "19", b. Illinois. With parents, Casper Hofsommer

Excerpted from 1956 Centennial publication from Breese, Illinois... "Catherine (now deceased) married Fred Koch, a former merchant of Breese. They had two sons and two daughters. Walter J. Koch, who died December 25, 1925; Alvin C. Koch, who died March 15, 1956; Hulda (Mrs. John C. Reeves of Denver, Colorado,; and Alma (Mrs. A. A. Gamble) of Denver, Colorado.

. . * Walter J. Koch #3250 ( ) -d. 25 DEC 1925

. . * Alvin C. Koch #3251 ( ) -d. 15 MAR 1956

. . * Hulda Koch #3252 m. John C. Reeves #3254

. . * Alma Koch #3253 m. A. A. Gamble #3255

. * Georgine Hofsommer #3256 m. John Otto Koch #3257 Georgine was missed, for some reason, in the survey of Hofsommers thru the census in 1900. Her presence and presumed correct birth order has been gathered from the 100 year celebration publication put out by Breese, Illinois in 1956. No birth year. "...Georgine (now deceased - by 1956) married John Otto Koch, who was manager of the Koch Grain Co, treasurer of Clinton County 1894-1898, and who was elected state senator from this district in 1900. Their daughter, Almeda (Mrs. Arthur Bush) lives in Denver, Colo,. and a son, Erwin, lives in St. Louis, MO."

. . * Almeda Koch #3258 m. Arthur Bush #3260

. . * Erwin Koch #3259

. * Casper Conrad Hofsommer #1552 [E3513/2] b. 5 JUL 1863 d. 18 JAN 1939 m. AUG 1889 Catherine Eilts #1553 b. 1 FEB 1862 d. 18 FEB 1931

Census 1920, Hofsommer, Casper (I. or C>), white, 55 years, b. Illinois, Breese, Clinton County. Wife, Catherine, age 57,. b Germany. Annette, daughter, 27 years, b. Illinois, Gretchen, daughter, age 26 . Harry, son, age 24, Hugo, son age 20, and Catherine, age 20, daughter.
1900 census gives months and years. Casper- July, 1864. Catherine-February, 1863, Germany. Anette, etc. Also 1910 adds son Casper, mother-in-law Gertrude Eilts, and Catherine's sister Anna. Birth date/place: Jul 1864, Illinois. Casper Hofsommer #1552 1900 U.S. Fed Census/soundex H125, ref vol 12, SD1, sht 8, line 95. Linked; 1880 census, Illinois. T746/Roll51 with father Casper Hofsommer

Information received 8/97 augmenting previously discovered data: Mrs Laurel Berger of O'Fallon, Illinois. Casper's mother's maiden name, Kunkel "...married Catherine Eilts, of Minonk, Illinois. He was a successful farmer, dairyman, and fruit grower. He also was the founder of Prairie View Dairy. He was active in civic affairs and an enthusiastic worker in anything and everything that was for the good and advancement of Breese, the farmer, and Clinton County. They had eight children, two dying in infancy, and Casper Jr., passing away November 7, 1917.." excerpted from 100 year celebration booklet published by Breese Illinois. forwarded by Mrs Berger

. . * Baby Boy Hofsommer #3230 b. 1889 d. 1889

. . * Annette Catherine Hofsommer #1554 [E35121/3] b. 18 JUL 1891 d. 21 SEP 1975

Spelling of name is "ANIETTA" in 1900 census Birth date/place: Jul 1891, Illinois. Annette Hoffsommer #1554. U.S. Federal Census, 1900, Illinois, Soundex H125. 1920 census differs/27 years/d.o.b=1893

Mrs Laurel Berger adds middle name, Catherine, the fact that Annette was born in a log cabin on the farm northeast of Aviston, Illinois. Annette apparently not the first born. The Baby boy born in 1889 in log cabin was.

Family notes include: "...'s parents moved to the small house on North Second St, in Breese when she was an infant. The house was located on the lot between the old Schweirjohn market (later became the Journal office) and the site of the large family home on the corner of North Second and Walnut Streets. As a young lady and woman, Annette helped her mother keep house and then kept house for her father and sister Gretchen in Breese. (They also took boarders). Annette was a Sunday School teacher at St John's in Breese and very active in the church, the Breese Women's Club, Red Cross, and other civic groups. When visiting at Christopher, Illinois, they went to West Frankfort shopping center where there was double curbing. A car drove up on the curb and over Annette's foot. She rode back to the Breese hospital in a car with only aspirin and coke for the pain. Her leg had to be amputated below the knee. She had a stroke in 1973 and was in the nursing home in O'Fallon, Illinois until her death in 1975.

. . * Gretchen Georgine Hofsommer #1555 [E35122/3] b. 24 OCT 1893 d. 17 DEC 1975 "Gertrude Gretchen" appears in both 1900 & 1920 census (Illinois) with two different first names. 1900 name is Gretchen, 1920 name is Gertrude. 6yrs old 1900, 26 years in 1920 Birth date/place: Oct 1893, Illinois. Gertrude Gretchen Hofsommer family.

New data added by Mrs Laurel Berger of O'Fallon, Illinois 8/97 includes Gretchen's name!...and these notes: "... attended St. John's School and later Carlyle High School. Gretchen graduated from the University of Illinois at Champaign/Urbana. She taught school in Naperville, Belleville, New Baden, and then Breese, Illinois. She retired from the faculty of the Breese High School. Gretchen lived with her father and sister Annette in the family home at N. 2nd and Walnut Sts (665 N. Second). This large family home was built in 1903 (it took a year to build). Gretchen was on the Board of St. John's Church, was a Girl Scout Leader, and was active in the Breese Women's Club as well as other civic groups. Her death was quite sudden and unexpected - coming from a cerbral hemorrage on the morning of December 17, 1975 while she was addressing Christmas cards." Same source, p. 46 "...started teaching in 1913 at the Joliff School near Centralia, where she taught one year. She then taught grades 3 & 4 in Breese for one year, one year at the Volmer School near New Baden, and one year in New Baden City schools. During the summer months she attended summer school at Illinois Normal University, Normal, Ill., and Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. From 1919 to 1922 she taught grade 5 at the Bunsen School in Belleville. Getting a year's leave of absence, she attended the University of Illinois for a year and thne decided to get an A.B. degree, graduating from the University of Illinois in 1925. She then taught mathematics in Junior High at Naperville, Ill., for five years. After her mother's death (1931) she was out of the teaching profession for seven years. During this time she worked as a case aid worker for the Illinois Emergency Relief commission in Clinton County for over two years. In September, 1937, she accepted a position as mathematics and science teacher in Breese High school and taught here seventeen years until her retirement in 1954"

. . * Harry Casper Hofsommer #1556 [E35123/3] b. 30 APR 1895 d. 4 JAN 1967 m. 4 JAN 1922 Olivia Ann Laubner #3232 b. 15 DEC 1895 d. 29 SEP 1991

Harry appears in both 1900 & 1920 census. Month & year of birth given in 1900 w/ stated age of 5. 1920 age given as 24, est b. 1896 Birth date/place: Apr 1895, Illinois. Harry Hoffsommer #1556. U.S. Federal Census, 1900, Illinois. Soundex H125. Also appears in 1920 census. Both enumerated with family

From family notes provided by Mrs.Laurel Berger 8/1997 Harry Casper Hofsommer grew up in Breese, attending St. John's School, Carlyle High School, and McKendree College, Lebanon, Il. He also attended the Univ of Ill for a short time after returning from WWI. He met Olivia in New Baden, Il, in the summer of 1917, while she was visiting her cousin. In August 1917 he went into the U.S. Army. He served at Camp Taylor, Louisville, KY, a camp in Ohio, and in France during the war. In 1919 he returned from France and took over the ice cream business which his father had started some years previously in his basement, buying condensed milk from Aviston, until he moved the business next door and Harry operated it. He continued the Prairie View Dairy, manufacturing and distributing D'Lish-O ice cream and in 1929 added the chocolate milk drink Five-O. He closed the business and retired in 1959. Harry and Olivia married in 1922 and lived in aunt Kate Koch's home on the corner of N. Third and Walnut Sts until 1932 when they moved to their house lon N. 2nd St across from St. John's. Harry was a member of St. John's Church and the american Legion, and he was on the Board of Directors of the Breese Grain Co. He died of pneumonia and heart failure at St. Joseph's Hospital, Breese Il. Olivia died of Congestive heart failure at the nursing home in Aviston.

. . . * Virginia Ruth Hofsommer #3233 Living person..details withheld.

. . . . * Susan Elizabeth Lawrence #3235 Living person ...details withheld.

. . . . * Jeffrey Glen Lawrence #3236 Living person...details withheld

. . . . . * Michael David Lawrence #3240 Living person...details withheld

. . . . . * Johnathon William Lawrence #3241 Living person...details withheld

. . . . * Douglas Scott Lawrence #3237 Living person...details withheld

. . * Casper August Hofsommer #1782 [E35124/3] b. 31 MAR 1897 d. 7 NOV 1917 Casper appears in 1900 census with month & year of birth given. He does not appear with family group in 1920 census - 8/97. reason for no appearance is fact that he died of flu in 1917, according to data supplied by Mrs. Laurel Berger 8/97. date/location: Mar 1897/Illinois. Casper Hofsommer #1782 1900 Fed Census. taken with family. does not appear in 1920 census 8/1997. Notes from family file on Casper August Hofsommer

"...attended St. John's School and Carlyle High School. He was a good athlete, had a terrific sense of humor, and was always a happy-go-lucky young man. He helped his dad in the orchard until his illness. At age 21 Casper...had orders to report to the army but had not yet gone when he got influenza and died at home. (Flu epidemic of 1917)

. . * Hugo William Hofsommer #1557 [E35125/3] b. 5 SEP 1899 d. 25 DEC 1971 m. Edna Heichelbeck #3242 d. 1992 Hugo apperars in 1900 census w/ month/year of birth given. Appears in 1920 with age "20" given. Birth date/place: Sep 1899, Illinois. Hugo Hoffsommer #1557. U.S. Census 1900 Illinois. Also appears in 1920. Both listings with family.

Hugo attended St. John's school and Carlyle High School. His dad provided him an orchard which he worked and he also worked at the dairy farm for his father. Hugo and Edna lived in the house at the orchard north of Breese. After his father's death in 1939 he took over operation of the orchard and grain farm north of Breese. Hugo and Edna were divorced in the early 1950's. On Christmas Day 1971, Hugo had Christmas dinner with Annette and Gretchen at their family home in Breese. A friend of the family was with them and later drove him out to the farm to feed the livestock. On the return trip to town, he suffered a fatal heart attack and died at the Emergency Room of St Joseph's Hospital in Breese. Hugo was a member of St. John's Church, Breese. He and Edna had one daughter - Jeannette Yvonne. Info supplied by Mrs. Laurel Berger August 1997.

. . . * Jeannette Yvonne Hofsommer #3243 Living person...details withheld

. . . . * James Bollinger #3245 Living person...details withheld

. . . . * Tamara Bollinger #3246 Living person...details withheld

. . * Anna Catherine Hofsommer #3231 b. 7 NOV 1901 d. 12 NOV 1901

. . * Catherine Anna Hofsommer #1558 [E35126/3] b. 20 DEC 1903 d. 31 DEC 1987

Birth year/place: Abt 1904, Illinois. Catherine Hoffsommer #1558. U.S. Federal Census, 1920, Illinois. Soundex H125. With family, age 16 years.

Catherine Anna..."was a baby when the family moved into the large home at the corner of N. Second and Walnut Streets, Breese. (Later, the small house was moved to a location along the old Hwy 50 at the eastern end of the town.) Catherine graduated from Carlyle High School and then attended a business school in St. Louis. She worked as a bookeeper in St Louis, Chicago, Anderson, Indiana, Streater, Illinois, Mankato, Minnesota, Hartford, Connecticut, and Glendale, California. After living in all those cities and being semi-retired in Glendale, in 1963 she moved to Arizona to enjoy full retirement. (Catherine was called "Kay" in later years) During her retirement, Kay lived in Youngtown, Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona. She died in a nursing home in Phoenix. She had suffered a severe stroke in the spring of 1987 and had a series of smaller strokes in the following months. Cremains are at Green Acres Memorial Park, Scottsdale Arizona. It was her desire and instruction to be cremated and that the cremains be interred in Scottsdale and that they not be returned to Illinois.

. * Emil G. Hofsommer #1564 [E3514/2] b. APR 1868 m. Louise Schroeder #1565 b. JUL 1872

Census 1920 Illinois Hoffsommer, Emil white, 51 years, b. Illinois Clinton County, Breese Hoffsommer, Louise - white 47 years, b. Illinois Hoffsommer, Theophil, son, 14 years, b. Illinois Birth date/place: Apr 1868, Illinois. Emil Hofsommer #1564. 1900 U.S. Fed Cens Illinois, Soundex, H125. ref to Vol 2, ed1 sheet 1, line 34

1956 publication from Breese, Illinois.. Emil G. Hofsommer (now deceased - by 1956) married Louisa Schroeder and she is still living in Breese. Mr. Hofsommer was in the lumber business with his brother-in-law Henry W. Schroeder, for many years, and also was a prosperous farmer. They have two sons. Dr. Armin Hofsommer, MD. of Webster Grove, MO, and Theodore W. Hofsommer, a lawyer in Chicago, Il.

. . * Armin C. Hofsommer #2238 [E35141/3] b. 14 JUL 1897 d. 14 FEB 1991

Note: an Armin C. Hofsommer was listed in the Prophone 93 cd phone list. 9/96 confirmed no such listing in Palo Alto CA SSDI 1995 gives birth and death dates with no locations. social security card was, however, issued in Missouri. Armin C Hofsommer listed as son of Emil G. & Louisa Schroeder of the Breese, Ill Hofsommer line in 1956 Breese 100yr celebration publication

. . * Theodore W. Hofsommer #1566 [E35142/3] b. 31 MAY 1905 d. 31 JAN 1990

. * Reinhardt Hofsommer #1820 [E3515/2] b. AUG 1870 d. 25 JAN 1917 m. Trienchen Glintz #3262

Birthdate/place: Aug 1870, Illinois. Rhinehart Hofsommer #1820 U.S. Federal Census 1900. Breese, Clinton County Ill, 8/1870, 29 years. B. Ill Spelling of Reinhardt's name given in 1956 100 yr celebration publication of Breese, Ill "...married Trienchen Gintz. He operated a lumber yard in Belleville, Il and passed away January 25, 1917. They have one daughter, Mrs Rosalie Owens, of St. Louis"

. . * Rosalie Hofsommer #3263 m. (unk) Owens #3264

. * August Jacob Hofsommer #1821 [E3516/2] b. 17 AUG 1873 d. MAR 1966 m. Lydia W. Schroeder #1822 b. abt. 1878

August established in 1920 census in Breese, Illinois with wife Lydia and daughter Valentine, ages 42 and 10 respectively, both born in Illinois Soundex H125/Illinois 1920: Hoffsommer, Aug. White, 47 years, b Illinois, Breese Hoffsommer, Lydia, white 42 years, b. Illinois Hoffsommer, Valentine, daughter 10 years Birth date/place: Aug 1873, Illinois. August Jacob Hofsommer #1821. U.S. Fed Census/1900/soundex/H125. Month/year. Middle name/LDS 1988 Microfiche file

1956 publication of Breese, Ill "...August J. married Lydia Schroeder and they are living in Breese (1956). They have one daughter, Mrs Ed Weiland, who lives in Decatur, Il"

. . * Valentina Katherine Christina Hofsommer #1823 [E35161/3] b. 21 MAR 1909 m. Ed Weiland #3261 noted in the 1956 Breese, Illinois centennial celebration booklet as being daughter of August & Lydia and living in Decatur, Ill as Mrs. Ed Weiland