Waterloo Region Generations
A record of the people of Waterloo Region, Ontario.
Search
Mayor John Hoffman 

Mayor John Hoffman[1, 2, 3]

Male 1808 - 1878

HomeHome    SearchSearch    PrintPrint    Add BookmarkAdd Bookmark

Personal Information    |    Media    |    Notes    |    Sources    |    Event Map    |    All    |    PDF

  • Prefix  Mayor 
    Birth  17 Jan 1808  Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 4, 5, 6
    Gender  Male 
    Elected Office  Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location 
    mayor - councillor - Kitchener 
    • Years Served: 1857, 1863-64, 1872-73 (Mayor)
    Historic Building  Abt 1812  172 King St. S., Waterloo, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [7
    Erb Kumpf House 
    • The original portion of the Erb-Kumpf House was built around 1812 by Abraham Erb, the founder of Waterloo, making it one of Waterloo's oldest homes. It was a three-bay structure facing a mill situated near the south-west corner of King and Erb Streets.
      Abraham Erb came from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, in 1806 and settled on Lots 14 and 15 of the German Company Tract, land which now comprises the central business district of Waterloo. He established a sawmill on Beaver (Laurel) Creek in 1808 and a grist mill in 1816. In 1828, he sold his mills and a considerable quantity of land to Jacob C. Snider.
      Magdalene Erb sold the home to Barnabas Devitt, her adopted son, in 1835. His son Benjamin served as Mayor of Waterloo from 1881 to 1883.
      An addition to the house was probably built by Devitt in 1849. A slight hump in the roof on the north side indicates the location at which it joins the original structure. The application of a vertical board and clapboard which does not align is further evidence that it was added at a later date. The second addition, probably built by Hoffman around 1855, included the two-storey verandah at the front.

      Elias Snider acquired the home and later sold it to Christian Kumpf in 1869. Kumpf was a newspaper owner, Mayor of Waterloo from 1879-1880, as well as Postmaster for 42 years. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Dominion Life Assurance Company in 1889. His son Ford, who became affectionately known as "Mr. Waterloo", was born in the home in 1877 and assumed ownership in 1899. One of the community's most public-spirited citizens, he served as Treasurer of Waterloo and Clerk/Manager of the Water and Light Commission. He was President of the Waterloo Red Cross Society and The Dominion Life Assurance Company.
      At present, the house demonstrates a mixture of architectural styles. Among its Georgian characteristics is the six-over-six window pane arrangement. The facade, with its two wings, treillage, Gothic barge board and Doric columns, reflects the Regency influence.
      In 1979, the home was sold to a law firm which has maintained the integrity of the exterior. A third addition in keeping with the style of the building has since been constructed.1a

      1aDesignated Properties www. waterloo.ca
    Land  Bef 1831  Waterloo Township - German Company Tract Lot 009, Waterloo County, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [8
    Historical Event  29 Aug 1839  Evangelical Association Church, Waterloo, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location 
    church founding 
    • A mission was begun by Rev. Christian Holl shortly after his arrival in Berlin on May 9, 1839, and a class (or congregation) was organized several months later on August 29, 1839 by Bishop John Seybert of the Evangelical Association during a camp meeting held at David Erb's farm near Lexington. John Hoffman was the Berlin class leader; his brother, Jacob, was class leader for the Waterloo-Lexington congregation.1a

      1aAmbrose, Rosemary. Waterloo County Churches A Research Guide to Churches Established Before 1900. Kitchener, Ontario, Canada: Waterloo-Wellington Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society, 1993. [used the kind permission of Rosemary Ambrose 2011]
    Occupation  1851  John Hoffman & Co., Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [9
    cabinet maker, chair maker, plane maker and general store 
    Occupation  1852  Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [10
    merchant 
    Elected Office  1857  Waterloo City, Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Waterloo - councillor 
    Occupation  1861  Waterloo City, Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [6
    Produce Merchant 
    Religion  1861  Waterloo City, Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [6
    New Jerusalem 
    Elected Office  1863  Waterloo City, Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Reeve - Waterloo City 
    Occupation  1871  Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
    Gentleman 
    Religion  1871  Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
    New Jerusalem 
    Died  1 Feb 1878  Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 11
    Hall of Fame - Waterloo Region  Bef 2012  , Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [12
    Eby ID Number  00055-3788 
    Person ID  I2041  Generations
    Last Modified  15 Mar 2017 

    Father  Peter Hoffman,   b. 27 Sep 1776, , Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Family ID  F632  Group Sheet

    Family  Caroline Sauers,   b. 1810, , Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 26 Sep 1857, Waterloo City, Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Mary Ann Hoffman,   b. MAYBE 20 Aug 1831, Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 6 Apr 1886, Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location
     2. John S. Hoffman,   b. 6 Nov 1836, , Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 29 Aug 1907, Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location
     3. Hannah M. Hoffman,   b. 7 Jun 1842, Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     4. Allan Hoffman,   b. 7 Aug 1845, Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     5. Angeline Hoffman,   b. 7 Mar 1850, Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1890, Rochester, Olmsted, Minnesota, USA Find all individuals with events at this location
    Family ID  F431  Group Sheet

  • Photos
    John Hoffman
    John Hoffman
    from Waterloo Historical Society annual volumn 1928

  • Notes 
    • John Hoffman, "son of Peter Hoffman, was born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, January 17th, 1808. In 1825 he, with others, settled in Waterloo County where he learned the trade of cabinet-maker with Samuel Bowers of Berlin. He always took quite an active part in all measures intended to develop and improve the land of his adoption. When well advanced in years he was elected mayor of Berlin by acclamation. This position of honor he held for several years in succession, When a young man he was married to Caroline Saurs who was born in 1810 and died September 26th, 1857. He died in Berlin, February 1st, 1878. His family consisted of five children" 1a

      1aThe Biographical History of Waterloo Township, Ezra Eby

      _______________________________________________________


      From the Region of Waterloo Hall of Fame website.

      John Hoffman, who, like many other Waterloo County pioneers was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in 1837 had the unique distinction of erecting in Berlin the first furniture factory operated by horsepower. A few years later he built a furniture factory in which steam replaced the horses as a source of power.

      A pioneer in many areas, Hoffman was a forerunner of modern town planning. In 1854 he and his son-in-law, Isaac Weaver, bought 400 acres of land between the K-W Collegiate Institute on King Street in Kitchener and the corner of Erb and King Streets in Waterloo and developed a town plan that they hoped would become a reality. He gave one acre to Mount Hope Cemetery.

      Hoffman also established cattle, grain and produce markets in Waterloo.

      _______________________________________

      Bridgeport United Church

      The early Evangelical Association congregations in Berlin and Waterloo date back to August 1839 when a Camp Meeting was held over a number of days at David Erb's farm (Lot 7, German Company Tract) at Lexington. Classes (or congregations) in Berlin and in Waterloo were organized at that meeting by Bishop John Seybert - on August 29th. Twenty-six charter members were divided into the two classes. Class leader for Waterloo and vicinity was Jacob Hoffman. His brother, John, was class leader for Berlin.

      The Waterloo class, along with classes at Lexington and Breslau, was connected to the Berlin Mission until the organization of the Canada Conference of the Evangelical Association in 1864. The Waterloo Mission was formed at that time. In 1866 the Breslau class was merged with the Lexington class and in 1876 the Lexington class, with 31 members, was referred to as the Bridgeport class for the first time.

      An old log schoolhouse was purchased in 1879 for $500.00 on condition that it be used only for Sunday School services, not for preaching. The exterior walls were covered with lumber and the building was dedicated on November 9, 1879. A new white brick church was built ten years later, in 1889, when the old schoolhouse became inadequate for the growing congregation. This church was in use until 1934 when the present building was completed. A decision had been made at a congregational meeting in July 1933 to proceed with construction of a new church. The ground-breaking service was held on August 28, 1933 and on October 1 of that year the cornerstone was laid by Rev. W.J. Zimmerman. Dedication services were held in the new red brick church on Sunday March 18, 1934. In 1942 the old brick church was sold to Mr. Minnacker for $100. An addition which was built on to the west side of the church in 1958 provided additional space for the Sunday School, as well as offices and a kitchen. The new complex was dedicated on November 30, 1958 with Professor John F. Schaefer of Naperville, Illinois preaching the dedication sermon.

      Bridgeport and Waterloo were a joint parish from 1876 until 1910, when Bridgeport was joined with Strasburg. This association lasted until 1914 when Bridgeport called its own full-time pastor. The Evangelical Church joined with the United Brethren in Christ Church on November 16, 1946 to form the Evangelical United Brethren Church. On January 1, 1968 when the Evangelical United Brethren joined with the United Church, Emmanuel's name was changed once again - to Emmanuel United Church. In February 1987 the congregation voted to change the name of the church to Bridgeport United Church.

      Rev. J. Kaechele (1864-1865) was pastor in 1864 when the Waterloo Mission was formed; Solomon Kraft was the Bridgeport class leader when the schoolhouse was bought in 1879 and Rev. S.R. Knechtel (1888-1891) was pastor in 1889 when the new white brick church was built.2a

      2aWaterloo County Churches A Research Guide To Churches Established Before 1900 By Rosemary Ambrose

      _________________________

      Zion United Church

      A Sunday School was established in Berlin in 1837, meeting in Jacob Hailer's carpenter shop which was located at the southeast corner of what is now King and Scott Streets. A mission was begun by Rev. Christian Holl shortly after his arrival in Berlin on May 9, 1839, and a class (or congregation) was organized several months later on August 29, 1839 by Bishop John Seybert of the Evangelical Association during a camp meeting held at David Erb's farm near Lexington. John Hoffman was the Berlin class leader; his brother, Jacob, was class leader for the Waterloo-Lexington congregation. The Berlin congregation met in the old Town Hall until their first church was built in 1841 on Queen Street South across from Church Street on land purchased as of August 24, 1841 from Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Schneider. The church was dedicated on September 25th of that year, with Rev. Christian Hummel of Buffalo, New York, officiating. Rev. Joseph Harlacher was pastor from 1840-1842. In 1842 the Waterloo Mission became a Circuit of the East Pennsylvania Conference. Two years later it was part of the New York Conference.

      The second church building was built of brick on the same site in 1866, and dedicated in 1867; Rev. C.A. Spies was pastor at the time. The old frame church was sold and moved to Elgin Street where it was used as a dwelling. In the same year Berlin became a station.

      The present church building was built in 1893 on Weber Street; dedication services were held on June 15, 16 and 17, 1894. This building was heavily damaged by fires in 1942 and 1965 but was renovated and restored each time.

      The union of the Evangelical Church and the United Brethren in Christ Church on November 16, 1946 created the Evangelical United Brethren Church. The name of the church was to change again, to Zion United Church when the Evangelical United Brethren Church joined the United Church of Canada on January 1, 1968.

      Of interest: some maps of early Berlin show this church as a German Methodist church.3a

      3aWaterloo County Churches A Research Guide To Churches Established Before 1900 By Rosemary Ambrose

      _________________________

      Emmanuel United Church

      The first Evangelical missionaries arrived in the Waterloo area in 1837. The first Waterloo class (congregation) was formed on August 29, 1839 by Bishop John Seybert during a camp meeting at David Erb's farm near Lexington. Jacob Hoffman was the Waterloo-Lexington class leader; his brother, John, was class leader in Berlin. A brick building which was erected by Samuel Burkholder in 1849 on Church Street, near King, was offered to the congregation for their use as a church, rent free, provided that they agreed to finish and furnish the building. Dedication of the new church was in 1851. The house, known as Burkholder House, is still standing, but Church Street in Waterloo is now known as Central Street.

      In the early 1890s Waterloo was in the North District of the Canada Conference of the Evangelical Association, and was ministered to jointly with Bridgeport. Pastors in those years were Revs. C.R. Knechtel (1890-1891), F. Meyer (1892), D. Kreh (1893), and W.J. Yaeger (1894).

      A new church, which was built in 1871 at the corner of Cedar and Water Streets (now Bridgeport Road and Dorset Street), was replaced in 1905 by the present structure. Dedication was in May, 1906. Emmanuel Hall was built in 1938. Changes made in 1963 included an addition, a new front entrance and renovation of the former Christian Education area.

      On November 16, 1946 the Evangelical Church joined with congregations of the United Brethren in Christ Church to form the Evangelical United Brethren Church. When the Evangelical United Brethren Church joined the United Church of Canada as of January 1, 1968, Emmanuel became a United Church..4a

      4aWaterloo County Churches A Research Guide To Churches Established Before 1900 By Rosemary Ambrose

      ______________________

      John Hoffman, Mayor 1872-3

      Mr. John Hoffman, mayor in 1872-3, was the pioneer furniture manufacturer of Berlin. He was born in Pennsylvania. He and his brother established a small furniture factory when they grew up. It was driven by horse power. Later they installed the first steam engine used in the village of Berlin. The boiler was purchased in Buffalo, N. Y., and fetched by Mr. Isaac B. Shantz, who used a three-horse team in hauling it in. The boiler had no tubes. Mr. Hoffman was a born leader. He is remembered as having been mayor of Waterloo before he became mayor of Berlin.5a

      5aOfficial souvenir of the celebration of cityhood, July 17th 1912, Berlin, Ontario, The German Printing and Publishing Co



  • Sources 
    1. [S3] Book - Vol I A Biographical History of Waterloo Township and other townships of the county : being a history of the early settlers and their descendants, mostly all of Pennsylvania Dutch origin..., 800.

    2. [S10] Book - Vol II A Biographical History of Waterloo Township and other townships of the county : being a history of the early settlers and their descendants, mostly all of Pennsylvania Dutch origin..., 568.

    3. [S10] Book - Vol II A Biographical History of Waterloo Township and other townships of the county : being a history of the early settlers and their descendants, mostly all of Pennsylvania Dutch origin..., 222.

    4. [S131] Census - ON, Waterloo, Waterloo Twp. - 1851, Div 4 Pg 12.
      John HOFFMAN Merchant USA 44 Disciple b. 18-Jan
      Caroline HOFFMAN USA 40 Disciple b.
      John HOFFMAN Cabinet Maker Canada 16 Disciple b. 5-Nov
      Hanah HOFFMAN Canada 10 Disciple b. 7-Jun
      Ellen HOFFMAN Canada 7 Disciple b. 7-Aug
      Engeline HOFFMAN Canada 2 Disciple b. 7? March
      John SHUH Clerk Canada 24 Mennonite b. 31-Oct
      Daniel LEVAN Cabinet Maker Canada 18 Disciple b. 13-Nov
      Birthdate for John is given as 18 January which disagrees with Ezra Eby's book

    5. [S229] Census - ON, Waterloo, Berlin - 1871, Div. 1, Pg. 68.

    6. [S1885] Census - ON, Waterloo, Waterloo City - 1861, Waterloo 1861 Dist. 2 Page 15.

    7. [S873] Wateloo City - designated properties list, ), Bean-Wright House..

    8. [S1322] Land - Founding Families of Waterloo Township 1800-1830, 31..

    9. [S2070] Directory - Ontario Directory for 1851.

    10. [S131] Census - ON, Waterloo, Waterloo Twp. - 1851, Div 4 Pg 12.

    11. [S3] Book - Vol I A Biographical History of Waterloo Township and other townships of the county : being a history of the early settlers and their descendants, mostly all of Pennsylvania Dutch origin..., 801.

    12. [S220] Waterloo Region Hall of Fame Waterloo Region Hall of Fame.

  • Event Map
    Event
    Link to Google MapsBirth - 17 Jan 1808 - Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsElected Office - mayor - councillor - Kitchener - - Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsHistoric Building - Erb Kumpf House - Abt 1812 - 172 King St. S., Waterloo, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsHistorical Event - church founding - 29 Aug 1839 - Evangelical Association Church, Waterloo, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - cabinet maker, chair maker, plane maker and general store - 1851 - John Hoffman & Co., Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - merchant - 1852 - Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsElected Office - Waterloo - councillor - 1857 - Waterloo City, Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Produce Merchant - 1861 - Waterloo City, Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsReligion - New Jerusalem - 1861 - Waterloo City, Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsElected Office - Reeve - Waterloo City - 1863 - Waterloo City, Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Gentleman - 1871 - Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsReligion - New Jerusalem - 1871 - Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 1 Feb 1878 - Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsHall of Fame - Waterloo Region - Bef 2012 - , Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Maps 
     = Link to Google Earth