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Rankin Family History Project

John Hof


John Hof, a prominent farmer of Bois Brule Township, Perry Co., Mo., has perhaps spent more years of his life in military service than any other man in the county. He was born in Hesse Darmstadt, Germany, in 1837, and is a son of William and Catherine (Schmidt) Hof. He is the youngest son of the family.

After attending school until hi sixteenth year he came to America. He wandered from place to place reaching Detroit Mich. in 1855.

The Crimean War being then in progress he enlisted in the English army as a member of the Third Rifle British Foreign Legion, with which he served until peace was declared, when he was discharged, although but one third of his term of enlistment had expired. Returning from Liverpool to Canada, he remained one year and went to Noble County, Ind., going from thence to Black Hawk and Jones Counties, Iowa.

In 1859, he came to Perry County, Mo., and remained until the breaking out of the Civil War. He enlisted as a private in Company H, Twenty second Illinois Volunteer Infantry, which was mostly raised in Randolph County. In the fall of 1862, he was promoted to corporal and upon the consolidation of his regiment with the one hundred and thirty-first Illinois was promoted to the rank of first sergeant.

In 1863 his regiment was again consolidated with another and became the Twenty-fifth Illinois, when he received another merited promotion being commissioned second lieutenant, in which capacity he served until the formal discharge of his company at the close of the war. Mr. Hof participated in many engagements, that of Belmont, Mo., being the first.

It is also a memorable one to him, as he was wounded by a bullet in the upper right arm which disabled him for a short time. Rejoining his company he was afterward to the battles of New Madrid, Island No. 10 the siege of Corinth, the siege and capture of Vicksburg, the engagement at Mobile and the capture of Spanish Fort.

After the war he returned to Missouri and since the spring of 1866 has been a resident of Perry County. He was married in 1868 to Elizabeth Dippold, and the purchase of his present farm was made in 1869.

The farm comprises 200 acres, most of which is under cultivation and Mr. Hof’s residence occupies the highest and most commanding point in the township. Far away to the south can be seen the city of Perryville, and a splendid view of St. Mary’s, Chester and the magnificent bottom land skirting the Mississippi can be had from the north.

Their ten children work on this beautiful homestead. They are John, Barbara, William, Lena, Emma, Martha, Theodore, Katie, Leonard and Louis.

Mr. Hof and wife are members of the Lutheran Church. He is a member of Difani Post No. 173, G. A. R. Since his residence in the county, he has been connected with the schools in the capacity of director.

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The Goodspeed Publishing Company compiled a series of histories of various counties in the U.S. in the late 19th century. The information in the History of Southeast Missouri, published in 1888, was provided by the contemporary residents of Perry County and her neighboring counties. The biographies are a valuable source of genealogical information, despite a few minor inaccuracies. We are glad to present the transcribed biographies here for anyone researching Perry County's history.

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