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Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Annals of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania published in 1905 by The Genealogical Publishing Company.  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 HOSFELD, contractor and builder and former proprietor of the Electric Light, Heat and Power Company, of Shippensburg, now consolidated with the Gas Company, is one of the enterprising citizens of that city, where he was born Feb. 9, 1859, son of Casper and Frederica (Heller) Hosfeld, both natives of Germany.

His parents emigrated to America and were married at Shippensburg. By trade the father was a shoemaker, and followed his calling for a number of years, but later turned his attention to farming, and died in 1890, being buried in Spring Hill cemetery. The mother is still living, making her home at Akron, Ohio. She was the mother of ten children, seven boys and three girls.

John Hosfeld was educated in the public schools of Shippensburg, and at the age of fifteen, was apprenticed to the shoemaker’s trade, which he followed ten years, and then in a small way, became a contractor and builder. By energy and thrift he has worked up a large business, and has erected over 200 houses in and about Shippensburg, principally in the south part of town. A number of the best business blocks in the city, etc., have been built by him. At present he is devoting his attention to the construction of public works, including dams, water works and sewers. After a time he purchased the Shippensburg Electric Light, Heat and Power Company, which was, as above stated, later consolidated with the Gas Company of which he is president and principal stockholder, and the electric plant is operated under his direction. He has constructed some of the factories at Shippensburg, among which are the Lutz Pants Company buildings, which company is one of the most important industrial concerns of the city.

In 1884, Mr. Hosfeld married Miss Clara O. Martin, of Shippensburg, daughter of William and Sophie (Ekenrode) Martin, old residents of Cumberland county. Seven children have been born of this marriage: Edward, who died in 1902; and Nellie F., George W., Susie, John B., Mary C. and Julia, at home.

For three years Mr. Hosfeld was a member of the council, and for ten years was a member of the school board of Shippensburg township, representing the Democratic party, of which he is an enthusiastic member. He has a very fine brick residence, and beautiful grounds, filled with ornamental shrubbery. In addition he also owns considerable realty in Shippensburg. As a promoter, business man and public-spirited citizen, Mr. Hosfeld is a very important member of society, and may well be regarded as one of the best representatives of the material interests of Shippensburg.

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This family biography is one of numerous biographies included in the Biographical Annals of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania published in 1905 by The Genealogical Publishing Company. 

View additional Cumberland County, Pennsylvania family biographies here: Cumberland County, Pennsylvania Biographies

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