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Below is a family biography included in The History of Sebastian County, Arkansas published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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John Alexander Hoffman was born in Greene County, Ill., July 26, 1841, and is a son of Nathan and Catherine (Gore) Hoffman. The father was born near Culpeper Court-House, Va., his ancestors having come from Germany and settled in Virginia prior to the Revolution. In 1844 he immigrated to Lamar County, Tex., and from there to Fort Smith, Ark., where he died in 1868. Our subject grew to manhood in Texas, and there learned the builder’s and contractor’s trade in Paris. He then joined the army, and for a year did active service in Company A, of the Ninth Texas Volunteer Infantry. He was then on post duty at Shreveport, La., for some time. After the war he followed his trade at Paris, Tex., until 1866, and then came to Fort Smith. He has built many of the stores and private residences in this city, and among the public buildings which he has erected may be mentioned the First Methodist Episcopal Church, Eberle block and the old Music Hall. In 1863 he was married, in Texas, to Miss Mary Isabel Bishop, a native of Kentucky, and a daughter of Daniel and Elizabeth Bishop. Mr. and Mrs. Hoffman have three children: Blanche, an accomplished musician; Claude, who is studying civil engineering at the John Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md., and Albert, who is just finishing a commercial course. Mrs. Hoffman belongs to the Baptist Church. Mr. Hoffman has been a member of the school board for about nine years, and has served in the town council two years. He is a member of the board of public works, and is a contributor to the Building and Trades’ Journal of St. Louis. He also belongs to the K. of H.

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This family biography is one of 217 biographies included in The History of Sebastian County, Arkansas published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Sebastian County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Sebastian County, Arkansas family biographies here: Sebastian County, Arkansas

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