John Hoff

John Hoff

Lancaster, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death 16 Sep 1818 (aged 42)
Lancaster, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, USA
Burial Lancaster, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, USA
Memorial ID 75868192 View Source
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Clockmaker and maker of Surveying Compasses. In 1803 he advertised that he also "stocked an assortment of ironmongery, cutlery, and saddlery."

He was commissioned a Justice of the Peace for Lancaster County on May 3 1809.

From 1810 or earlier, through at least June 13 1812, he was treasurer and secretary of the Falmouth (Lancaster County, PA) Turnpike. The Falmouth Turnpike is now Turnpike Rd going West-Southwest about 5.5 miles from the western end of West High St in Elizabethtown (at about N 40.14663 W 76.6143) to Falmouth PA (located on the eastern shore of the Susquehanna River to the East of the Southern end of Three Mile Island) at about N 40.12947 W 76.7148.

In 1810 John was elected Assistant Burgess of Lancaster, and in 1816 he was elected Burgess of the city. (There was no Mayor of Lancaster until 1818).

In 1813 he held the appointment of commissioner to conduct a lottery for the paving of streets in Lancaster.

He was elected cashier of the Farmers Trust Company on Sept 15 1815, then served as temporary cashier (treasurer) of the Farmers Trust Company from September 19 1815 to November 2 1815.

John Hoff was an elder, secretary, and treasurer at Trinity Lutheran Church.

A current street in Lancaster runs Southwest in an arc from South Duke St (between Vine St and Farnum St) to East Washington St (between Christian St and Duke St) and is named "John Hoff Place".

Concerning his clocks: The Lancaster County Historical Society published John Hoff's clock order book in Vol 81 No 4 of their Journal. It covered his work from Feb 7 1799 to Sep 14 1816. In that time period there were orders for 103 clocks consisting of thirty two 30-hr clocks, sixty five 8-day clocks, one alarm clock, two chamber clocks, one musical clock, and two spring clocks.

If John Hoff worked 5 1/2 days per week (Monday through Friday and Saturday until noon), this indicates a production of one clock every 45 days. Original research by Tom Raub.

Concerning his compasses: John Hoff compasses are very rare. One is in a museum in West Chester PA. One is in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Gallery 109, American Art, 1st floor. Accession Number 1995-42-1. One was sold in Binghamton NY on June 18 2005 with this description: "Most of the items are from the New Milford, PA Estate of two families, the Donleys and the Doyles, who were 1799 settlers of Susquehanna County. Included is the surveying instrument made by John Hoff of Lancaster and used by John Doyle to survey the County in the early 1800's." Three other John Hoff compasses are in private collections. Original research of Tom Raub.

His burial is recorded as Johann Hoff, Treasurer and Secretary of our church, also an Elder, typhoid fever, age 42 yrs, 15 days on page 99 of The Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Holy Trinity Lancaster Pennsylvania Volume 5 Burial Records by Kahler, Smith, and Weiser.

Submitted by his 3rd great grandson, Tom Raub.