ISAAC AND ANNA HOOVER

By Jo Ann Hopper, a 3-G granddaughter. <JHopper494@AOL.com>


April 29, 2000, The Hoover's Valley Cemetery Association dedicated a chapel, built on cemetery grounds. It is a replica of the school/church that was originally built by Isaac Hoover and his family over a hundred years ago. This simple, yet elegant building is a monument to the pioneers who settled Hoover's Valley in the mid-nineteenth century and to their descendants who, for so many years, have continued to live and thrive in this area. The historic cemetery serves as a final resting-place for the early settlers and their descendants. Several families can recount family history by simply moving from monument to monument counting the generations of the family buried there. [Photo of Isaac Hoover] -- [Photo of Isaac and Anna Hoover]

Isaac and Anna Hoover moved their family into Burnet County around 1853. The area that would become known as Hoovers Valley was settled in 1854 after Isaac Hoover bought 640 acres of the Smith Bailey Survey from Jacob De Cordova in western Burnet County near the Colorado River and moved his wife Anna and his children into this peaceful destination. The Hoovers had came from Rutherford County, Tennessee where the 1850 census recorded Isaac Hoover, 26,TN, farmer and Anna, 24,TN with children May (Mary) A. 7, TN; Malinda A 4, TN; Tanny (Fanny), 1, TN. They were located in the Big Spring District, along with seven other Hoover families. [Photo of daughter Mary Ann]

Other Hoover family members had come with Isaac, including his brother Jacob T. and Anna's older sister, Rachel, who had married G. C. Keele. They formed a new Hoover clan in Texas, much as Hoovers had been doing in their westward movement for over a century.

The story of Isaac and Anna Hoover's family began in Switzerland with Hans Huber who made his way to America as he sought a peaceful place to practice his religion. Hans Huber fled his native Switzerland with his wife, Margaret Koch, and their family to escape religious persecution. The Hubers were Mennonites, disliked by both Catholics and Lutherans. (Note: In 1160 Peter Waldo separated with the Catholic Church and had many followers in Central Europe. In Switzerland at an early day, they were known as Anabaptists or Waldenese by the Catholic Church. In 1496, Menno Simons was born and educated for the Catholic priesthood and became a priest in 1524. He soon became convinced that Catholic doctrine and practice were in error and set about to make reforms in the Church. He met so much opposition that he withdrew from the Catholic Church. Afterwards the Anabaptists asked him to be their leader. While the Anabaptists called themselves Brethren, they were also called Mennonites. Their beliefs were antagonistic to both Lutheran and Catholics, therefore they suffered great persecution.)

The Hubers moved first to Strasburg in the German Palatinate, but because they received little better treatment there, they migrated to Pennsylvania, stopping first at Strasburg, Pennsylvania, and then moving on taking up land on Mill Creek. William Penn had become aware of the persecution of the Mennonites and had invited them to his new colony. How the Hoover story evolved in the early years may best be understood by looking at an excerpt from The Huber-Hoover Family History, by Harry M. Hoover:

The name Huber originated from an old German word Hube pronounced "Hubay" meaning the possessor of a tract of land or a small farm. In the German dialect the name is invariably pronounced Huver, as if spelled with v instead of b. which accounts for the many variations in the English tongue. From the original name Huber we have Huver, Hover, Hoover, and Hoober. The descendants of Hans Huber with the exception of one branch have changed the name to Hoover: that is No. 28 John Huber branch which retain the original spelling.

There is a tradition among the Hubers and Hoovers that they are descended from three brothers who came to this country with the early settlers: one went to Bucks Co., Pa., one to Lancaster Co., Pa. and one to North Carolina. Tradition hold; that a fourth brother remained at home with his parents and took care of them in their declining years; he, consequently, inherited their estate and having never married left at his death a vast estate to his relatives in America. This fortune was supposed to have been held in trust until 1855 and, having run into millions, caused quite a stir among the Huber clan in America. An investigation, however, soon shattered their dreams as the whole thing; was only a scheme to extort money from the clan by some clever person who wanted to get money to take a trip to Europe, claiming it would tale a certain amount to investigate and prove their claim. The ship records show that instead of three there were over fifty Hubers arrived at the port of Philadelphia alone prior to 1774, not including women and children. These included Mennonites, Lutherans, German Reformed. and Moravians.

The Mennonite immigrants can be distinguished in the records as affirming allegiance to the king of England instead of taking the oath, which was required of all foreign immigrants, although there were some exceptions to the rule as some others also affirmed who were not Mennonites. There have also a number of Hubers come to the United States since the Revolution. Although the Hubers first settled in Pennsylvania they have spread to every state in the union; in fact, the descendants of Hans Huber are found in every state except the New England states. The name Huber and Hoover is found in every wall; and profession of life from the millionaire oil magnate, Henry Hoover, to the "knight" of the road, and from the minister in the pulpit to the convict behind the bars. The Hubers are of Swiss origin and there are said to be records in Zurich relative to the Huber name that date back eight hundred years. The name is common in many parts of Germany at the present day, as well as in Switzerland.

Hans Huber

Very little is known of the early life of our common ancestor. His life in Switzerland and Germany is best portrayed in the persecutions and sufferings of the Mennonite Brethren as pictured in Van Bracht's "Martyrs! Mirror:" How they were driven from their homes, their property confiscated, and the unstable government in the Palatinate where many sought refuge only to find their condition little better than their native country.

Isaac Hoover No. 323, from whose letters and records we have gleaned much information, states that Hans Huber was born in Switzerland and married there, but was forced to flee on account of religious persecution. He with his family went to Strasburg in the Palatinate and, after a few years there, came to Pennsylvania, stopping first at Strasburg, PA., some time before taking up the land on Mill Creek as stated in the patent he received for the same, May 15, 1735. This tract of land was surveyed June 23, 1721, but what year Hans Huber took up the land is not known. In many cases the land was not surveyed for some time after it was taken up by the settlers. According to Isaac Hoover, Hans Huber and his family came to Pennsylvania between 1710 and 1715. Rupp's "History of Lancaster County" mentions a Hans Huber who came over in 1710, which was probably the same person. At any rate some time elapsed between his coming to the Strasburg colony and taking up the land on Mill Creek. Although his land did not extend as far south as Mill Creek because his tract joined Hans Musselman's land on the west which did run to Mill Creek and both were surveyed at the same time, it is mentioned in the survey as lying on Mill Creek.

In the absence of any biography of Hans Huber or any written record concerning his life, actions, movements, or attainments, we need not draw very largely upon our imagination for a picture of his life and character, as we have several reliable sources from which to draw: First, the fact that he was a native of Switzerland reveals a resolute mind and character, and a strong physical makeup; second, he being a follower of Menno Simons, which led to persecution and exile from his native land, shows a steadfastness of true faith in the church of his choice which would not waver in the face of persecution and oppression; third, his courage in facing the perils of a voyage across the Atlantic ocean in the frail wooden vessels of his day with his family, and taking up his abode in the wilderness of "Penn's Woods" among howling wild beasts and prowling Indians where he could worship his Creator according to the dictates of his own conscience, revealed in him an inherent desire for religious freedom for himself and his offspring which was denied him and his brethren in his native land; fourth, his will which is recorded at Lancaster shows his abiding faith in the principles and doctrines of the church of his choice until his death, and also reveals his interest in his less fortunate brethren both in Pennsylvania and in Germany by bequeathing money for their assistance and relief.

Hans Huber's son Jacob was born in about 1698 in Switzerland or German Palinate, Germany and died July 9, 1759 in Lancaster County Pennsylvania. His first wife is unknown, but he had several children by her. In 1739, he married his second wife, Anna, the mother of Matthias Hoover, born between 1740-46 in Earl Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. (Note: The children of Jacob and Anna used the name Hoover rather than Huber.

Matthais Hoover was the first of the clan to leave Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and the Mennonite Church. He was a Methodist. He married Mary (or Maria) in Lancaster County. Between 1774 to 1776 he moved to Rockingham County, Virginia and then before 1788 to Tennessee, first in Greene County and finally in Rutherford County. By 1793 Hoover's Gap was settled.

Mathais and Maria Hoover had eight children and are the common grandparents of the Burnet County Hoovers. One son, Martin, born January 5, 1774, married Sallie (Sarah) Bradford and was the parents of Isaac, born February 24, 1824 and Jacob T., born August 22, 1825. Martin died February 11, 1862 and is buried in Tennessee. Another son of Mathais, Jacob, born in 1770, married Jermima Broyles, June 1799 in Green County, Tennessee. Their son Henry, born June 18, 1802 in Davidson County Tennessee married Mary Moreland in 1819 in Davidson County, Tennessee and they are the parents of Anna Hoover, born September 19, 1825, in Davidson County, Tennessee

Isaac and Anna lived and worked in Hoover's Valley, building a church and school, while rearing their family. Isaac was a Methodist minister and in 1875, he deeded two aces of land to the Methodist Protestant church for a burying ground, thus Hoover's Valley Cemetery. Isaac Hoover died November 8, 1904 and Anna, December 17, 1909. They are both buried in Hoover's Valley Cemetery, marked by a single, gray granite obelisk. They are now surrounded by several generations of their family.

(See Pioneer Lineages for the descendants of Isaac and Anna Hoover)

Main Sources:

The Huber-Hoover Family History, by Harry M. Hoover; Mennonite Publishing House, Scottdale, PA, 1928

Burnet County History Vol. II, by Darrell Debo, Burnet County Historical Commission; Eakin Press, Burnet, TX, 1979

U. S Census Records, 1850, 1860

Web pages of Sandra D. Holland and Ron Myers

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