Monday, February 11, 2008

Hoffman Family in Roann Cemetery

Located in Wabash County, Indiana one mile north of Roann on the east side of County Road 700W near CR 700N, the Roann Community Cemetery was formerly known as the I. O. O. F. Cemetery and even earlier as the Paw Paw Cemetery. There are four sections separated by roads that lead to a circle in the center of the cemetery. The markers for the family of Eliza Jane Wise and Anthony Hoffman are in Rows 13 and 14, in the north west section. As discovered in her obituary, Eliza was the daughter of Peter and Christina Wise, whom I believe are also the parents of Jacob Wise, my 3rd Great Grandfather.

The Hoffman marker in the foreground is that of Dayton Hoffman, to the right is the one for his daughter Helen. And to the right of hers is the one for Eliza and Anthony Hoffman. Behind and to the left of Eliza's marker is her daughter Ella Hoffman. And to the left of Helen is the marker for Effie and John Wertenberger. The large stone facing the road is the Gidley family monument. This picture was taken towards the end of my time in the cemetery and the rain was coming down in a steady stream instead of just drizzling, as it had been earlier in the day. Photographs taken on February 5, 2008 by Becky Wiseman.

The east face of the marker for Eliza Jane Wise and Anthony Hoffman.

ELLA HOFFMAN / 1870 - 1918
Note: Ella was the daughter of Eliza and Anthony Hoffman. This stone is north of the Gidley marker and between the Hoffman and Wertenberger markers.

This is a huge monument, one of the biggest I've ever seen. Placed so that it faces the roadway that leads into the cemetery, it can't be missed. Which was a plus for me since it was one of the grave markers for which I was looking. The Gidley monument stands about seven feet in height, about five feet wide, and the base is more than 2 feet deep. Jennie Gidley was the daughter of Eliza Jane Wise and Anthony Hoffman. In the plots behind this stone are the markers for Eliza Wise Hoffman and her children.

The inscription on the south face of the Gidley monument:
ARAM GIDLEY / DIED / MAR. 5, 1923 / AGED / 79 Y. 8 M. 24 D.
JENNIE M. / WIFE OF / A. T. GIDLEY / DIED / AUG. 5, 1914 / AGED / 41 Y. 2 M. 7 D.

The inscription on the North face: W. W. GIDLEY / 1898 - 1974
EMMA / WIFE OF / A. T. GIDLEY / DIED / JUNE 1, 1892 / AGED 40 Y. 8 M. 18 D.
Note: Emma was Aram Gidley's first wife. Jennie Hoffman was his second wife.

at left: On the west side of the marker is the name WERTENBERGER.
On the east side: JOHN / 1853 - 1920 / EFFIE / 1866 - 1944

at right: On the west side of the marker is the name HOFFMAN.
On the east side: DAYTON / 1884 - 1940 / MARY / 1858 - 1905
Note: The year of birth for Dayton is not correct. He was born in 1864, not 1884.

HELEN O. HOFFMAN / 1892 - 1965
Note: Helen is the daughter of Dayton Hoffman.

1 comment:

HoosierSoozin said...

Hi Becky,

Thank God for Google!! I could hardly believe it this morning when I Googled "Dayton Hoffman" in Google images and discovered your blog!! I've got goosebumps! We're doing exactly the same research at the same time!

First off, I am Susan Neff, Historian for the Dr. James Ford Historic Home in Wabash, Indiana. I am also the family historian for the Ford and Neff families and have published 5 books thus far about them. I also do genealogy research for other clients.

As an author I am always looking for interesting people and subjects and a couple of weeks ago came across THE MOST FASCINATING series of newspaper columns written by "Explorer" A. W. Hoffman in the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette, 1882 to 1886. He was "known" as the "American Jules Verne" - and I think I have to agree with this assessment. His "adventures" were, for that time period, quite sci-fi; ex. he took a balloon ride to the moon, visited the North Pole, captured and brought back to Roann a herd of albino elephants in Africa, and chased a Big-Foot creature across Wabash-Miami-Fulton counties, plus lots more. His adventures always began and ended in Roann; he claimed to the be ex-editor of the Roann Clarion, but I've yet to confirm that. So far, I've downloaded 25+ of these columns and plan to re-publish them (possibly as a fund-raiser for Roann's downtown revitalization) but if you are interested to see a JPG example, please email me at

I used my genealogy skills to discover out who A. W. Hoffman was and have now completed about +/-50% (?is genealogy ever 100%?) of this very large and quite fascinating family. I've built a "Hoffman Family Tree" on and have made it public for anyone interested enough to look at it; if you are not an Ancestry member, let me know and I'll send you a guest pass. Attached to this tree you will find 100s of proof documents, excerpts from history books and news articles; plus I've just now uploaded your excellent Roann cemetery photos.

Anyway, what I'm really after is photos and any other information about A. W. Hoffman, and am hoping to find living descendants with something in their inherited collections. Your blog seems like a good place to appeal for help.

FYI - The Wabash Carnegie Library (1/2 block from my house) has the same Roann Clarion microfilm - with a very good laser printer available.

Susan Neff, Historian
The Dr. James Ford Historic Home, Wabash, Indiana