George Hooker

George Hooker

Ihren, Landkreis Bitburg-Prüm, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany
Death 3 May 1921 (aged 76)
Pyrmont, Carroll County, Indiana, USA
Burial Pyrmont, Carroll County, Indiana, USA
Memorial ID 29405911 · View Source
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Civil War
12th Battery, Indiana Light Artillery

George Hooker was a German immigrant and a Civil War veteran. Never wealthy, he worked hard his entire life. He lost everything he had in a 100-year-flood and had to file for bankruptcy. Despite having filed for bankruptcy, he worked hard so as to pay back debt so that his wife would have no shame in her small community. He died poor while checking his fishing nets for food. His descendants include a WW I Army ambulance driver, a WW I Army nurse, farmers, ranchers, engineers, lawyers, teachers, a man who managed a large section of the Great Northern Pacific Railroad, a plastic surgeon, seven WW II veterans (one a pilot), and a man who built a factory in Monterey, Mexico.

Born in Ihren, Germany (a small village near Trier), George immigrated to the United States when he was two years old. He, his parents, and his sister traveled on a ship called "Niobe," arriving in New York, New York, on October 14, 1846. They traveled with family: his father's maternal uncle (Jacob Bongen) and his wife and children. George's family stopped in Indiana long enough for his sister to be born in 1847. By 1850, the family was in Racine, Wisconsin, where two brothers were born. By 1860, George's mother had died, and his father moved the family to Tippecanoe County, Indiana, where his father had at least one BONGEN first-cousin (John Bongen). George worked as a butcher before he volunteered to join the U.S. Army on November 29, 1864, in Lafayette, Indiana. A day later, he was in the Indiana 12th Light Artillery Battery. His enlistment papers described him as 5' 6" tall, with auburn hair and gray eyes; his name was spelled HOOKARD. George was honorably discharged on July 7, 1865, at Indianapolis. He had lost much of his hearing from firing cannons. When Congress voted pensions for Civil War veterans, George was awarded a pension. He applied for an increased amount because of his hearing loss. The Veterans Administration argued that firing cannons could not have caused him to go deaf, and the VA fought George's claim for several years. Finally, the VA acknowledged that firing cannons just might have had something to do with George's hearing loss, but the increased pension was not retroactive. After the war, George married a German Baptist Brethren woman. The marriage resulted in his being excommunicated by the Catholic church. For the first 25+ years of their marriage, they lived in Carroll County, Indiana, the rural community where his wife had grown up, surrounded by her relatives. George supported his ever growing family as a farmer and a logger. He and his wife had nine children. A bad flood in the 1890s wiped out George's logging business and left him with nothing but debt. By then, his three oldest daughters were married. George and his wife moved the younger six children to Rolette County, North Dakota, where George farmed and his sons took to working on the rail road. By 1910, George and his wife were back in Carroll County, Indiana, with George doing odd jobs, such as janitoring at the local one-room school house, doing a bit of farming, and subsistence fishing.

Body Of Pyrmont Man Found Cold
In Death On Bank Of Wild Cat Creek

The little town of Pyrmont [Carroll Co., Indiana] was agog with excitement shortly after the noon hour Tuesday when the body of George Hooker, about 76 years of age, was found cold in death on the banks of Wild Cat [Creek] only a short distance from his home.

The gruesome discover was made by Aaron Ulrey, who resides on the farm of his father, John P. Ulrey, and which adjoins the town, and who had gone to split wood in the bottoms of the Wild Cat. Tiring of this vocation, he had turned his thoughts to fishing and had gone to what is known as "The Blue Hole." Upon reaching this spot, there lay Hooker, face downward, with his arms extended and a cane tightly gripped in his right hand. Death had been caused by heart failure, and the verdict of the coroner, who was later called, was that death had perhaps occurred before the aged man struck the ground. The body was only about three feet from the creek's edge.

Ulrey, after noticing the body upon the ground, went to it and catching it by the shoulder gave Hooker a shaking but soon ascertained that death had come. He at once gave an alarm. Alex Reichart was the second man on the scene. The town folks were then notified and soon a large crowd gathered.

The dead body was placed in the automobile of Earl Paul, Pyrmont undertaker, and taken to his establishment, where it was prepared for burial and then taken to the home.

According to Mrs. Hooker, her husband had gotten up early Tuesday morning and had partaken of a hearty meal. He then told her he was going to the post office. Apparently he had gone from there to the creek to look after some fish nets which he had set, and when he did not get back to the house for dinner, she thought nothing of it, as he often was late to meals.

Deceased was born in Germany and came to the United States when a mere boy. For many years he lived in the Owasco neighborhood, and for the last 16 to 20 years had resided in Pyrmont, where he bore a high reputation and was well known. He served in the Civil War.

Last September Mrs. Hooker and himself celebrated their golden wedding anniversary. There were nine children born to them, all of whom survive. They are: Dora Hooker, of Los Angeles, California; Will Hooker, of St. Paul, Minnesota; Challence and Theodore Hooker, Minot, North Dakota; George Hooker, of Saskatchewan, Canada; James Hooker, of British Columbia, Canada; Mrs. Mary Haslet, of Ashland, Ohio; Mrs. Kate Beard, of Owasco [Indiana], and Mrs. Rosa Hurley of Clinton County [Indiana]. He is also survived by the widow and one sister, Mrs. Thomas [Mary] Weil, of Delphi [Indiana].

Parents: Johann HOCKERTS and Margaretha HAMMES. Johann was born March 23, 1814, in Ihren, Trier, Germany; he died in 1876, likely in or near Lafayette, Tippecanoe Co., Indiana. Margaretha was born August 5, 1817, in Heckhuscheid, Eifelkreis Bitburg-Prüm, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany; she died before June 1, 1860, probably in Wisconsin.
Siblings: Katharina, Mary, Henry, and Theodore.
Michael HOCKERTZ, 1776-1839.
Anna Margaretha WEYRES, 1780-1814.
Gregorii Georg Ackerer HAMMES, 1782-1863.
Anna Marie PUTZ VULGO STANERS, 1780-1823.
Paternal 1st cousin:
Heinrich "Henry" HAMMES (Actually, half-1st-cousins; their grandfather had two wives; George was from 1st wife, and Henry was from 2nd wife.)

RELIGION: He was baptized and reared as a Catholic. When he married a non-Catholic woman, by the laws of the Catholic Church at that time, he was excommunicated.


NOTE: Autosomal DNA proves George as the child of his known parents. Autosomal proves that eight of the nine children born to his wife were George’s children. (One child – the 6th of nine -- had no children and thus cannot be proven by autosomal DNA; however he proves by documents.) Autosomal DNA proves George’s grandchildren Marvin Beard, George Irvin Beard, Essie Fern Hazlett, Mabel Elizabeth Hurley, Robert John Hooker, Dora Roselle Hooker, Douglas Berdet “Bud” Hooker, William Edward Hooker, Lawrence James “Larry” Hooker, Ruth Sybil Hooker, Marion Margaret Hooker, Clarence “Catsy” Hooker, Challence Auburn Maloney, Sarah Catherine Maloney, George Franklin Maloney, Thomas George Hooker, Theodore Challence Hooker, and Joan Elizabeth Hooker.

NOTE: Information here has been prepared by this man's great-great-granddaughter, established both by documentary genealogical records and by autosomal DNA.

Gravesite Details Well-maintained cemetery. Solid, large piece of granite for the grave
  • Created by: AMB
  • Added: 29 Aug 2008
  • Find a Grave Memorial 29405911
  • AMB
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for George Hooker (8 Aug 1844–3 May 1921), Find a Grave Memorial no. 29405911, citing Pyrmont Cemetery, Pyrmont, Carroll County, Indiana, USA ; Maintained by AMB (contributor 46844067) .