August Hofferth, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of August Hofferth


AUGUST HOFFERTH AND SONS -- MASON CONTRACTORS was the first mason business established at Pleasant Twp. August (1852-1932), Germany trained in bricklaying and plastering, immigrated to United States (1880) with August Wandrey and August Honehouse to join his brother John. These young men found German Lutheran wives in the Kouts vicinity though the Hofferths were Catholic. August married Theresa Wittenburg (1860-1952), a skilled seamstress and midwife. He built a small house and lime shop in Kouts south of the original Pennsylvania R.R. coal dock. He was busily engaged in building chimneys and plastering houses and stores, including the first Lutheran church.

After Confirmation and one year of high school, Albert, "Burt" (1875-) joined his father. In 1906 a business shop and small water tower were erected and equipment installed for production of hand-tamped cement blocks and drainage tile. Cement masonry was added to the business, including foundations for houses and farm buildings, basements and sidewalks.

The youngest son, Emil "Mike", K.H.S. baseball pitcher -- later for the Kouts team -- after graduation (1912) became a partner in the Hofferth company. By 1915 the plant had been enlarged; modern machinery and cement mixers were installed by which 5 blocks a minute were turned out. Equipment was added for making burial vaults. When August retired the name was changed to KOUTS BUILDING SUPPLY (sold in 1958).

From 1913 to 1921 Burt left the business to serve as Kouts Postmaster, during which time he secured the second rural route mail service. He also became the first Town Clerk and served for 5 years; in 1918 m. Margaret Betterton (1896-1961). Their sons, Burt and Wallace, Purdue graduates, are associated with ARMSTRONG LINOLEUM CO.

August Hofferth's son Charles deceased in early boyhood. The oldest daughter, Alta (1889-1929), was employed with the GAGE HAT CO. in Chicago. Later was a Kouts postoffice clerk until her death. Hattie (1891-1948) served as Kouts postoffice clerk and rural delivery substitute until her marriage to Edward ("Eddie") Rosenbaum, one of the rural mail carriers who served until his illness and death in 1957. He also owned a farm with an accredited dairy herd and established the first satte-inspected dairy service in Kouts. Their one daughter, LaVerne (Mrs. Pinney Sommers), lives on the farm -- no longer a dairy -- also is in the postal service at Kouts. She is the Presbyterian Church organist and is active in church and community affairs. They have two sons, Ronnie (Supervisor of UPJOHN EXPERIMENTAL FARMS), Tom (Salesman for IBM computers), and daughter Donna (Mrs. Philip Stewart).

After his return from over two years of service in the U. S. Navy and the front line Telephone Battalion Volunteers in France during World War I, plus seven trips across the Atlantic on the U.S.S. Mobile returning U. S. service men, Emil resumed his work in the Hofferth business. In 1920 he married Mabelle Salzer (1895- ), Pleasant Twp. teacher and first president of the Kouts Band Boosters. They have one daughter, Estrella (Mrs. Franklin Rosenbaum), talented in music, played cornet and bass horn in Kouts High School Band, piano and violin, and was the Lutheran Church organist for several years. After K.H.S. graduation she entered South Bend Business College and is a legal and business secretary. They have two sons, Franklin Jr. and John, and one daughter, Carol.

Emil enjoyed hunting and fishing. He served on the Town Board for twenty some years and was trustee in the Lutheran Church for many years. He had become a skilled bricklayer and an expert in fireplace construction. His work can be found in LaCrosse, Wanatah, Hebron, Valparaiso and Crown Point as well as in Kouts including the original 1936 new school building, his own brick home on Church and McKinley, and his daughter's, on 25245 Roosevelt Rd., South Bend.

Source: American Revolution Bicentennial Committee of Porter County. 1976. A Biographical History of Porter County, Indiana. Valparaiso, Indiana: American Revolution Bicentennial Committee of Porter County, Inc. 180 p.
Page(s) in Source: 122-123

This biography has been transcribed exactly as it was originally published in the source. Please note that we do not provide photocopies or digital scans of biographies appearing on this website.

Biography transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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