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George Hooker,
Civil War veteran

- by Alice Marie Beard


George HookerEighteen years after George Hooker arrived in the United States with his parents and sister, George was fighting with the Union Army in the U.S. Civil War. That's George Hooker in the photo, about the time he married.

George arrived in America on Oct. 14, 1846; he was two years and two months old. The family arrived in New York on a ship named "Niobe" that had sailed from Antwerp, Belgium.

The family was from Ihren and from Heckhuscheid, villages near Trier, Germany, and the family was Catholic. By the time George was 16, his mother was dead. When George was 17, in 1861, he ran off to join the U.S. Army and fight for the Union. His father, a 47-year-old widowed immigrant, went after him and dragged him home because George was underage.

By the time George was 20, his father probably was dead; he disappears from the records. George was working as a butcher in Lafayette, IN. Tuesday, On Nov. 29, 1864, a Tuesday, George was in Lafayette signing as a recruit in the
12th Battery of Indiana Light Artillery. Along with many other recruits, the Army sent George to Nashville, TN, the next day. The first day George arrived in Nashville, he and the other new recruits stood all day in the cold November rain as they awaited transport. He spent his first night on the 4th floor of a building in Nashville, with no heat, with wet blankets covering his wet clothing, sleeping on the floor. There was no recruit training.

He saw his first action Thursday, Dec. 15, at the Battle of Nashville. The battle lasted two days. George did his battle duties while sick.

On April 14, 1865, President Lincoln was assassinated. George's job was to operate light artillery. He was ordered to set off the guns repeatedly that day, in honor of Lincoln. George later said that it was that day he went deaf.

George was honorably discharged the 7th of July 1865. By the time he was discharged, he had a significant loss of hearing. Thirty years later, Nicholas Dahm wrote, "I knew him as a boy. After he came back from the war, he was never less than 50 percent disabled." George had hearing problems, and he had bronchial problems that never cleared up.

Sometime after he got back from the war, George found work in Carroll Co., IN, working for a Brethren man who made bricks. The man was
Andrew Hufford. Andrew's oldest daughter was Elizabeth Hufford. Elizabeth and George married in September 1870, with one of her Cripe cousins officiating at the wedding. George was 26, partially deaf and not in the strongest of health, but he was handsome enough that Elizabeth married him even though he was not Brethren.

George first applied for a Civil War invalid's pension in September 1889. He was ultimately awarded a pension, and it was ultimately increased. In 1894, two things happened. First, the Wild Cat Creek flooded, and George took a heavy financial loss because he lost his saw mill. Second, George hurt his foot somehow. It is not clear how, but the injury was bad enough that several Clay Township men mentioned it in their affidavits. George began having financial problems. Some of his neighbors looked down their noses at him because he paid his bills late, and they said just that in their affidavits.

In 1898 or 1899, George moved his wife, sons, and youngest daughter to St. John, North Dakota. His oldest three children were all daughters and all married. Already in that area of North Dakota were some of Elizabeth's HUFFORD and CRIPE relatives. When George and Elizabeth moved back to Carroll County sometime before 1910, their sons were grown men and did not return with them. George continued his appeals to have his pension increased, and eventually he won.

During WW I, the Civil War veteran had two children and a grandson in Europe serving in the U.S. Army. George's youngest child (his son Challence) served in Company E, 21st Engineers, and with 1st Battalion, Headquarters, 21st Engineers; he was honorably discharged as a Master Engineer, Junior Grade on June 20, 1919, at Camp Dodge, Iowa. George's youngest daughter (Dora) served as a nurse in an Army hospital. George's oldest grandson (John Beard) drove an ambulance in France.

On Tuesday, 3-May-1921, George went for a walk after breakfast. The following is from the 7-May-1921 issue of "The Hoosier Democrat," vol. 24. It tells the story of that day:

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

The little town of Pyrmont [Carroll Co., IN] 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 grewsome 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 postoffice. 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, Cal.; Will Hooker, of St. Paul, Minn.; Chalence and Theodore Hooker, Minot, M.D.; George Hooker, of Saskatchewan, Canada; James Hooker, of British Columbia; 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 Weil, of Delphi [Indiana].


George's body was buried at the cemetery serving his wife's church -- the Pyrmont Church of the Brethren, the church where the two had married 51 years before. Altho born and reared Catholic, George had married a non-Catholic woman. By the rules of that time, his marriage to a non-Catholic forever barred him from the Catholic church. (The Brethrens would not have barred his wife for marrying outside her religion.)

NOTE: [For ancestors of George's parents, check this page: CLICK HERE.]


GEORGE's CHRONOLOGY:

  • 8-Aug-1844, born in Ihren, Germany, near Trier (Prussia): Georg Hockertz
  • 14-Oct-1846, arrived in New York with family on ship named "Niobe"
  • October 1847, sister Mary born in the USA
  • Apr 1850, brother Henry born in Racine, WI
  • 1850 census, Racine, Racine Co., WI ["Hockards"]
  • Dec 1855, brother Theodore born in Racine, WI
  • 1860 census, Lafayette, Tippecanoe Co., IN ["Hickards"]
  • 29-Nov-1864, signed as a recruit in 12th Battery of Indiana Light Artillery, Lafayette, IN; name at enlistment spelled "George Hookard." Enlistment papers noted he was working as a butcher, had gray eyes, auburn hair, was 5 feet and 6 inches tall, was born in Germany, & was 20 years old.
  • 30-Nov-1864, mustered in, Lafayette, IN
  • 7-July-1865, mustered out, Indianapolis, IN; 8 months and 1 week of service; honorably discharged
  • 29-Sep-1870, Carroll Co., IN, married Elizabeth HUFFORD
  • 1880 census, Clay Twsp., Carroll Co., IN ["Hookards"]
  • 2-Sep-1889, applied for Civil War "Invalid's pension": application # 1174419, certificate # 549968, living in Indiana
  • pension papers under name "George HOOKARS"
  • 1890 Indiana census for veterans, Carroll Co., IN ["Hooker"]
  • 1894 Indiana census for veterans ["Veterans' Enrollment"] lists several of his children.
  • 1898/99 moved to St. John, North Dakota with wife & youngest 6 children
  • 1900 census, St. John, ND ["Hookeras"]
  • 1910 census, Clay Twsp., Carroll Co., Indiana ["Hooker"]
  • ALSO on the 1910 census of Hutcheson Twsp., Rolette Co., North Dakota, with his son William, William's wife Sylvia, and William's daughter Leona. Date of Census in Indiana was April 18, 1910; date of Census in North Dakota was May 23, 1910. There was a train running between the two towns, and it is not surprising that George traveled between the two towns in order to spend time with his sons, all of whom had remained in North Dakota.
  • May 1918, living in Pyrmont according to his son's letter to him
  • 1920 census, Clay Twsp., Carroll Co., IN ["Hooker"]
  • 3-May-1921, he died in Carroll Co., IN
  • buried Pyrmont Cemetery, Pyrmont, Carroll Co., IN
  • 7-May-1921, obituary notice appeared in "Hoosier Democrat," now known as "Carroll County Comet," out of Flora, IN. Notice said he was member of G.A.R., & Civil War veteran.
  • 22-May-1921, widow applied for Civil War widow's pension: application # 1174419, certificate # 902685; she resided in Indiana.
  • sometime after his burial, his grave was marked with a G.A.R. metal stake marker.

GEORGE's PARENTS:
John HOCKERTZ / a.k.a. Hockard / a.k.a. Hooker (abt 1814 - abt 1862)
Margaret HAMMES (abt 1817 - bef 1860)
[For ancestors of John & Margaret, check this page:
CLICK HERE.]

GEORGE's SIBLINGS:
(1) Katherine Hooker: b. abt 1842; d. 1890; bur. St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery, Lafayette, IN; m. John DAHM
(2) Mary Hooker: b. 1847, in U.S.A.; d. 1929 in Pasadena, CA; bur. Masonic Cemetery, Delphi, IN; m. Thomas Franklin WEIL
(3) Henry Hooker: b. 1850; d. after June 1880 when he was living with sister Mary and Mary's family in Clay Township, Carroll Co., IN. Census taker spelled name as "Hookards."
(4) Theodore Hooker: b. 1855; d. 1905; bur. Coburn Cemetery, Tippecanoe Co., IN

GEORGE's WIFE:
born Elizabeth HUFFORD (1851-1929), dau. of Andrew H. HUFFORD (1827-1881) and Sarah Catharine CRIPE (1833-1907).

GEORGE's CHILDREN: [all born by his wife]
(1) Sarah Catharine Hooker (1871-1952), m. BEARD
(2) Mary Elizabeth Hooker (b. 1873), m. HASLET
(3) Rosa Ellen Hooker (b. 1874), m. HURLEY
(4) George Washington Hooker (1877-1947)
(5) William Edward Hooker (1879-1950)
(6) Theodore John Wesley Hooker (1882-1957)
(7) James Burton Hooker (1884-1955)
(8) Dora Leona Hooker (b. 1886), m. MALONEY
(9) Challence Oscar Hooker (1889-1957)


PROPERTY OWNED:
The property George Hooker owned in Clay Township was near the property of John M. Beard, father of George's son-in-law. According to an 1880 "Map of Clay Township," George Hooker's 80 acres was south of John M. Beard's property by two farms. Between their two farms was one 100-acre farm owned by one of the Cripes, and one 80-acre chunk of land with 60 of the 80 acres owned by George's sister and her husband, Thomas Weil. The remaining 20 of the 80 acres was owned by one of the Huffords.


SOURCES:

  • Military records at National Archives
  • Pension records at National Archives
  • Alphabetical Card File of Indiana Civil War Volunteers, Roll 20, Indiana State Archives
  • Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Indiana, Volume 7, page 735
  • 1850 census, Racine, Racine Co., WI.
  • 1860 census, Lafayette, Tippecanoe Co., IN
  • 1870 marriage record, Carroll Co., IN
  • 1880 census, Clay Twsp., Carroll Co., IN
  • 1890 veterans census, Carroll Co., IN [Indiana State Archives]
  • 1894 veterans census [Indiana State Archives]
  • 1900 census, St. John, ND
  • 1910 census, Clay Twsp., Carroll Co., IN
  • 1920 census, Clay Twsp., Carroll Co., IN
  • 1921 death certificate, Carroll Co., IN
  • newspaper obituary
  • Cemetery gravestone marker for GAR [Grand Army of the Republic]
  • His son Challence's letter dated May 1918
  • His son Challence's letter to Dana Wright, dated 3-Sep-1952
  • His daughter Dora's letter to Challence's widow, dated 13-July-1968
  • His son George's son Jim's letter dated 10-Sep-1973
  • Interview and correspondence with the widow of his daughter Sarah's son Marvin
  • Handwritten note by George's son George W., written on page 81 of his copy of "The Hufford Family History"
  • Catholic Church records, Winterspelt, Germany
  • 1820-1850 New York Passenger and Immigration Lists: Arrival date, 14-Oct-1846; Age, 2; Port of Departure, Antwerp; Place of Origin, Deutschland; Ship, Niobe; Family Identification, 348389; Microfilm Serial Number, M237; Microfilm Roll Number, 64; Name misread and indexed as "George Hockerty."

George's descendants through his great-grandchildren:

1-- George HOOKER (1844-1921) (US Army, Civil War)
sp-Elizabeth HUFFORD (1851-1929)
.....2-- Sarah Catherine HOOKER (1871-1952) (m. BEARD)
..........3-- John Moore BEARD (1891-1979)
(US Army, WW I)
..........3-- Marvin Earl BEARD (1893-1972)
...............4-- Russell Edward BEARD (1915-2006)
(US Army, WW II)
...............4-- Glen Earl "Dutch" BEARD (1917-1947)
(US Army, WW II)
...............4-- Robert Jesse BEARD (1920)
(US Army, WW II)
...............4-- Roberta Fern BEARD (1920-2003) (m. SHEPARD)
..........3-- George Irvin BEARD (1897-1965)
...............4-- Miles Griffith BEARD (1918-2006)
(US Army, WW II)
...............4-- Max Irvin BEARD (1920-1988)
(US Army, WW II)
...............4-- Bruce Williard BEARD (1921-1990)
(US Army, WW II)
..........3-- Edith Eve BEARD (1902-1978) (m. GRIFFITH)
...............4-- living GRIFFITH (1943)
.....2-- Mary Elizabeth HOOKER (1873) (m. HAZLETT)
..........3-- Essie Fern HAZLETT (1893-1981) (m. SHEARER
...............4-- Janet SHEARER (1921)
...............4-- Mary Jean SHEARER (1925)
..........3-- Glenn HAZLETT (1894-bef 1910)
.....2-- Rosa Ellen HOOKER (1874) (m. HURLEY)
..........3-- Ruth Perrin HURLEY (1893) (m. KRAMER)
...............4-- Mary Katherine KRAMER (1918)
..........3-- Mabel Elizabeth HURLEY (1904-1965) (m. RUCH)
...............4-- Rose Mary RUCH (1925)
...............4-- Ruth Marie RUCH (1927)
.....2-- George Washington HOOKER (1877-1947)
..........3-- Robert J. HOOKER (1905-1977)
..........3-- Dora Rosella HOOKER (1908-1984) (m. JACKSON)
..........3-- James Benjamin HOOKER (1910-1984)
..........3-- Douglas Berdet (Bud) HOOKER (1914-1957)
..........3-- Herb HOOKER (1920-1967)
.....2-- William Edward HOOKER (1879-1950)
..........3-- Estella Leona HOOKER (1904)
.....2-- Theodore John Wesley HOOKER (1882-1957)
.....2-- James Burton HOOKER (1884-1955)
..........3-- Glen HOOKER (died as infant)
..........3-- Mabel Elizabeth HOOKER (1910-1910)
..........3-- Lawrence James HOOKER (1911)
..........3-- Ruth Sybil HOOKER (1914-1979) (m. 1st HARDIN; m. 2nd GANTON)
..........3-- Edward George HOOKER (1915-1936)
..........3-- Glen Burton HOOKER (1922)
..........3-- Theodore HOOKER
..........3-- Marion Margaret HOOKER (1924-1987) (m. CHAMBERS)
..........3-- Elizabeth Rose HOOKER (1925)
..........3-- Kenneth Walter HOOKER (1927)
..........3-- Clifford Arthur HOOKER (1930-1947)
.....2-- Dora Leona HOOKER, R.N. (1886-1974) (m. MALONEY)
(US Army, WW I)
..........3-- Challence Auburn MALONEY (1922)
(US Army, WW II)
..........3-- Sarah Catherine MALONEY (1926-1993) (m. GENSEMER)
..........3-- George F. MALONEY (1927-2005)
.....2-- Challence Oscar HOOKER (1889-1957)
(US Army, WW I)
..........3-- Thomas George HOOKER (1922-2006)
...............4-- living HOOKER (1954)
...............4-- living HOOKER (1955)
...............4-- living HOOKER (1957)
...............4-- living HOOKER (1962)
..........3-- Theodore Challence HOOKER, M.D. (1924-2008)
...............4-- living HOOKER (1950)
...............4-- living HOOKER (1953)
...............4-- living HOOKER (1964) (m. O'DAY)
..........3-- Joan Elizabeth HOOKER (1936-2010) (m. NEUMANN)
...............4-- living NEUMANN (1959)
...............4-- living NEUMANN (1960)
...............4-- living NEUMANN (1961)
...............4-- living NEUMANN (1964)


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