Just a couple of things relating to the move to Hoff Family Iowa from Rochester, Millbrook Twp., Peoria Co., IL to either Des Moines (DSM) or Dallas Co., IA, and the timing of it:
1..We have a Peoria Co., IL Census Record showing the POWELL HOFF family living there in the year 1850.Neither AMOS nor PRUDENCE POWELL were listed as members of that household in that census.BILL HOFF lists the year of her death as “1853”, but I have also have seen “1847”, too for her.
2.My own 1XG Grandfather, JOHN H. HOFF was married in DSM on 11 April 1855.Presumably, he must have had some courtship period, however brief, with MARY ANN AKINS prior there to.I believe that he met her there in DSM, and they didn’t come to DSM together or having already been acquainted prior thereto.So, JOHN H. HOFF (1830-1909) must have come to DSM either late in 1854 or very early in 1855 – if he got married there just 3 ½ months into 1855.He may have come AHEAD of the others, “scouted” for available land, and the others followed later.Or they may all have some at the same time (early in 1855).
We know AMOS HOFF died in IOWA in 1855.I have seen a date of death for him as “6 May 1855”.So it appears that unless AMOS died “on the road trip”, he made it to DSM and died there.If so, POWELL and the others had left Illinois and they were there in Iowa at least by 6 May 1855.So, that would seem to help bracket the time of the move.
3.Land sale records indicate the POWELL HOFF purchase land in Dallas County, IA on 15 June 1855 (for #75-N), which was a month and a week AFTER the listed Date of Death listed for AMOS on 6 May 1855.This makes me wonder if he bought the land that they carved the small cemetery out of before the listed date of the one plot of land purchased.Or, what would they have done with ol’ AMOS’s body for the period of 5 weeks between when he died (6 May), and POWELL bought the land (on 15 June) to bury him in?
4.Curiously, other land records indicate that “POWELL HOFF” was in Illinois and buying land on both 17 Nov 1854 and again on 1 Nov 1855 (#11-N – Peoria).Why was he still buying land there in Peoria in late 1854 if a move to Iowa was being contemplated?And, if he had “packed the wagon”, sold off everything in Rochester, and “hit the road” for the DSM area (stacking old AMOS on top of all the furniture or someplace on that wagon) in time for AMOS to die there in Iowa on May 6, 1855, how could he be buying land in ILin mid November, some 6 months AFTER he was suppose to have been in Dallas Co., IA???I am wondering if the “POWELL” that earlier bought the Dallas Co. land might have been POWELL (the son) (without the middle name stated, making it look as if it were the father).Or, alternatively, perhaps the “POWELL” in Peoria still buying land 6 months AFTER ol’ AMOS died in Dallas Co., in early May 1855 might have been POWELL, JR., who may have remained behind in Illinois for a time there before joining the others in Dallas Co.I can’t tell.
Anyhow, the exact date of the BIG Hoff Family move from Illinois to Iowa is a bit problematic, but I have always assumed that the trek to the DSM area was most likely sometime early in 1855, and I just can’t explain the Peoria IL land purchase 6 months thereafter.
John S. Hoff
Attorney at Law
HOFF & HERRAN
135 S. LaSalle Street, Suite 3300
Chicago, Illinois 60603-4134