Ms. M. Catherine Bird
c/o Lincoln Library
Ms. Dawn Cobb
Illinois Historic Preservation Agency Monday, 6 July 2009
114 Meadowland Dr.
RE: Grave site of PRUDENCE POWELL HOFF
Died Peoria Co., IL ~1847
I read with interest the attached article that appeared on 12 June 2009 in the Chicago Tribune concerning the 388 graves located in Springfield, IL, which were recently unexcavated and moved to Springdale, Cemetery.
For quite some time, I have been looking for the burial site of PRUDENCE POWELL HOFF (b: ~1779 - ~1847), who many of my family members believe to have been my 3rd Great Grandmother (3XG).She was known to have been married to AMOS HOFF (1775-1855).She was also reportedly the mother of POWELL HOFF (1801 Pr. William Co., VA – 1870 Dallas Co. IA) (my 2XG grandfather), who was married to MARTHA BREWSTER HOFF (1802 Otsego Co., NY – 1892 Dallas Co., IA).This couplewere very early pioneers of Peoria Co, and Millbrook Twp., in the far NW corner of Peoria County, in a settlement formerly known as Richmond (now renamed Elmore).Through family records and local burial records (from the Peoria Genealogical Society), I have confirmed that POWELL & MARTHA had a 19 year old “name-sake” daughter, presumably named for her grandmother.The young PRUDENCE HOFF also died at age 19 in 1847 (9 July), and who was buried in a now-unmarked grave in The Glendale Cem., Sec. #7, Richmond, Millbrook Twp., Peoria Co., IL.However, there is no indication that the “Elder” PRUCENCE POWELL HOFF (her grandmother), and who also reportedly died the same year was buried in the same cemetery there in Richmond.There is just the ONE “Hoff” reportedly buried in that location, which seems strange, especially if they both resided near and both died the same year.So, where could PRUDENCE POWELL HOFF (the Elder) have gone?If, in fact, she and AMOS HOFF resided with (or near) to POWELL HOFF there in Rochester.It occurred to me that during her last illness, perhaps she might have been taken from the tiny community in remote Richmond into the City of Peoria (to a hospital or for medical treatment), where she may have died and was buried - and was one of the 388 occupants of that site you recently excavated.This all could have also have occurred before the family moved out to the Rochester area.I would like to explore, and exhaust, this possibility.
My Hoff family “moved on” from the Peoria area to Dallas Co., IA, when Iowa opened up for Homesteading in ~1854-55, ending my family’s nexus to Peoria, and leaving only the graves of these two individuals there.The elderly widower, AMOS HOFF, died very shortly after the family’s arrival in Iowa in 1855, and was buried in Dallas Co., (near Des Moines) IA.The family’s presumed strenuous overland move doubtlessly took a toll on the then age 80 year old man.However, I can’t find any definitive documentation (like census data, land purchase or tax records) establishing positively that either AMOS HOFF or his spouse PRUDENCE POWELL HOFF actually resided with or near POWELL HOFF while the family resided either in the City of Peoria, or the outer County area of Richmond, Sec. 11, Millbrook Twp., where they eventually bought land and farmed.I believe that they arrived there in Peoria from Washington Co. (Chesterhill), Ohio in about 1841-42, based on family birth records of some of their children who were known to have been born there in Peoria in 1842.They may also have resided in the City of Peoria for a time - before purchasing the farm land in Rochester, Peoria Co., IL, building a house, and then moving there.
If you have burial records or identities on any of these 388 early pioneering occupants of the site you excavated, could you please try to confirm (or exhaust the possibility of) PRUDENCE POWELL HOFF’s presence there, and advise me concerning this?If you have any City of Peoria or county records (like census, land purchase or tax data), that would be helpful, too.Was any DNA sampling or testing performed on any of the removed bodies to assist in later identification?Any information or assistance would be sincerely appreciated.Naturally, I would be happy to share what family and genealogical information I have on my very early Peoria pioneering ancestors.
John S. Hoff
Attorney at Law
Hoff & Herran
20 S. Clark Street
Chicago, Illinois 60603
312 346-8111 - T