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Oconto County WIGenWeb Project
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and Family
Contributed by Descendant Host: John Andrews





Containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative
 citizens, and of many of the early settled families.


J. H. Beers & Co.,

To visit the page of wife Frances Knowles Hoeffel please click    HERE

[Polly Sainton English has included comments and information]

 [Page 168] JOSEPH HOEFFEL, president of the Allouez Mineral Spring Company of Green bay was born March 25, 1825 in the town of Leutzelberg, Province of Lorraine, France. The first of the family of whom we have any record was Joseph Hoeffel (grandfather of our subject) [Polly English: Joseph's grandfather was Jacob, a Weaver], who was a mechanic, following his trade in France. He reared a family of six children-five sons and one daughter-all of whom received good educations, becoming for the most part teachers and musicians.

 Of the sons, Anthony (father of our subject) was brought up to the trade of weaver, which he followed in Europe for some time. In his military service, which ended with Waterloo, he was in the army of Napoleon the Great, doing garrison duty chiefly.  In 1810 he was united in marriage to Miss Cecelia Carabin, who bore him ten children of whom Louis died at Havre, France in the fall of 1828 while the family were en route to America. In the United States they made their home at Norwalk, Huron Co., Ohio, where they followed farming with considerable success.  The father being a weaver, as already related, constructed a loom for himself and manufactured cloth for his neighbors as well as for family use. He was devoted to music and was for many years leader of church choirs. His wife died at the age of forty in 1840 [died 1831 per Polly English] and two years later he married Miss Mary Beyer who passed away in 1857, aged sixty-five years.  Both wives died at Norwalk where he himself departed this life March 10, 1861, aged seventy-four years.

 Joseph Hoeffel, the subject proper of this sketch, received his education at Norwalk, Ohio. When seventeen years of age he began to learn carriage making and at the end of a three-years’ apprenticeship, October 8, 1845, came to Milwaukee, Wis., where he followed his trade as a journeyman one year. One August 10, 1846, he moved to Brookfield, Waukesha County, and here he engaged in the business of manufacturing carriages, etc.  In 1848, he visited Norwalk, Ohio and was married November 3 to Miss Catherine Frye, who bore him a son, A. Louis Hoeffel. Mrs. Hoeffel died [in 1849 per Polly English] at Brookfield, Wis., June 13, 1850 and May 20, 1851, Mr. Hoeffel was again married, this time at Waukesha, Wis., to Miss Frances Knowles, by which union nine children have been born, of whom are now living the following named six:  Frank, Sylvester, Elizabeth, Agnes, Joseph P. and James I.

 In the fall of 1853, at the first Wisconsin State Fair, held at Watertown, Wis., Mr. Hoeffel exhibited a full line of carriages, wagons, etc. of his own manufacture and received awards on his patents in gearings. On May 1, 1856, he sold out his Brookfield business and removed to Green Bay, Wis., arriving June 28, 1856. The same year he erected a store building on Washington Street, and opened a general store, conducting same until 1871. In the spring of 1872, having acquired property at Oconto, Wis., he moved there and started a store. Business prospered and his sons, Frank and Sylvester, after assisting him in the business a number of years, purchased same in 1886, Mr. Hoeffel retiring owing to poor health.

 In 1888, an accidental discovery decided Mr. Hoeffel to again enter business life. While overseeing some improvements on his Astor Hill property at Green Bay, he drank freely of the waters of a spring at the foot of the hill. The prompt action of the water on his enfeebled system and the remarkable relief he experiences from its use convinced him of its great medicinal value. He arranged at once for a thorough and exhaustive analysis of the water. Samples were forwarded to Prof. W. W. Daniells, the distinguished professor of chemistry and pharmacy in the Wisconsin State University, Madison, and, after a complete and scientific analysis of the water, he submitted same:

University of Wisconsin
Chemical laboratories
Madison, Wis., August 13, 1888

Joseph Hoeffel:
 Dear Sir:  The sample of spring water received from you for analysis has the following composition, expressed in grains per United States standard gallon of 231 cubic inches:

 Sodium chloride  4.25525
Potassium sulphate  0.12072
Sodium sulphate  3.45826
Calcium sulphate  0.10788
Sodium phosphate  trace
Bicarbonite of iron   0.06257
Bicarbonite of lime  24.68662
Bicarbonite of magnesia  27.53300
Oxide of aluminum (alumina)  0.17470
Silica and insoluble residue  1.97160
Total grains per U.S. gal  62.38060
Temperature 46 degrees Fahrenheit

This is an unusually large amount of solids to find in a Wisconsin mineral water – the largest amount I have ever found.  The salts that exist in unusual quantities are magnesia, sodium salts, sulpheric acid, lime and chlorine. Of these I have made duplicate determinations to be assured of their accuracy.

 You will note its freedom of organic matter.

   Yours truly,

    Professor of Analytical and Applied Chemistry

 The receipt of this exceedingly favorable analysis from so reliable a source and the action of the water on Mr. Hoeffel having proved same to be possessed of positive curative virtues, determined him to develop the springs and place the water before the public that others might likewise enjoy its healing powers.  The analysis of Allouez Water reveals the fact  that it is the strongest alkaline (antacid) mineral water known. The combination of the salts of sodium, magnesia, lime, iron and silica with carbonic, sulpheric and hydrochloric acids all in perfect solution is a rare one.  This fact at once brought it into prominence before the public. Physicians especially recognized in the harmonious blending of these therapeutic properties a sovereign remedy whose use is indicated in all diseases of the allied phenomena of the uric acid diathesis, viz: Diabetes, Bright’s disease, inflammation of the bladder and kidneys, rheumatism, dyspepsia, torpid liver, cloudy urine, gravel, suppression of urine, calculi or stone in bladder, constipation, piles, catarrh of the stomach, nervous debility, gout, rheumatic gout, dropsy, sick headache, female weakness and eczema. In the short period of time since the discovery of the medicinal virtues of Allouez, the reputation and fame of the water have become widespread. The marvelous curative power it possesses has gained for it the attention of the medical profession in various parts of this country who recommend an proscribe it often where medicine has failed to effect a cure. As a remedy it acts the same alone or in connection with medical treatment. The demand for Allouez is constantly increasing and thousands of cases of bottled water are shipped annually. The springs were named “Allouez” in honor of Pere Claude Allouez, the intrepid missionary whom founded the first Indian mission in 1668 (225 years ago) but a short distance from these springs. That the medical virtues of the waters of these springs were known to the Indians and early missionaries may be inferred from extracts taken from Marquette’s Journal: “Embarking in our canoes, we left the river and nation of the Wild Oats (Menominees) and soon reached the extremity of Bay des Puants (Green Bay). Leaving this bay, we entered the river emptying into it. We found the river full of bustard, duck, teal and other water birds attracted by the wild oats growing. I had the curiosity to drink the mineral waters found not far from here.”

 The following is a short sketch of Mr. Hoeffel’s seven living children:

(I) A. Louis, eldest of the seven living children was born at Brookfield Wis., September 4, 1849 and moved with his parents to Green Bay where he was educated. He became a marine engineer, which vocation he now follows. He is married and has four children.

(II) John Francis was born at Brookfield, Wis., June 25, 1853 and came with his parents to green Bay where he received his education in the public schools. Later he attended St. Francis Seminary at Milwaukee, Wis.. In 1883, he married Miss Clara Saylor of Saugatuck, Mich., who died June 12, 1883. On January 25, 1888, he was united in marriage to Miss Adelaide Doolittle at Whitewater, Wis. He is now located in business at Chicago. They have one son, Basil D., born October 26, 1888.

Sylvester Hoeffel Family

(III) Sylvester was born October 10, 1857 at Brookfield, Wis., came to Green Bay with his parents, and pursued his studies in the public schools. In 1871, he engaged in mercantile business in Oconto where he still resides. He was married may 25, 1881 to Miss Genevieve Heath of Oshkosh and they have five children, their names and dates of birth being as follows: Paul S., June 12, 1885; Mildred G., October 27, 1888; Marion F., October 27, 1888; Gerald N., June 20, 1892; Kenneth M., March 29, 1894.

(IV) Elizabeth was born  at Green Bay, Wis., June 8, 1858. After graduating from the high school there, she attended St. Mary’s Institute at Milwaukee, Wis., in 1875 where she graduated four years later. She was united in Marriage with Dr. P. O’Keefe at Oconto, Wis., January 31, 1883, where they still reside. They have four children: Horace V., born December 28, 1884; Jessica A., born October 9, 1886; Carroll J., born September 1, 1889; and Gertrude L., born June 2, 1894.

(V) Agnes C. was born December 3, 1860 [Polly Sainton English has her birth as December 23, 1859], at Green Bay, Wis.,; received a thorough high school and convent education. In 1878, she studied painting at Chicago under Prof. Gregori for two years, also music at the Chicago Conservatory. On October 10, 1881 she was united in marriage at Oconto, Wis. To Henry U. Cole where they continue to reside. They have seven children, their names and dates of birth being as follows: Francis M., August 3, 1882; Minnie Cecile, December 15, 1883; Helen, August 1886; Henry U., April 26, 1888; Pauline A., July 15, 1889; Agnes C., September 27, 1892; Kathleen, June 9, 1894.

(VI) Joseph P., born September 17, 1861 at Green Bay, Wis., was educated at the public schools. In 1879, he attended the College of the Sacred Heart at Watertown, Wis., finishing his studies there. After seven years’ experience in his father’s store in Oconto, he came to Green Bay in April 1889 where he and James I. (mentioned below) engaged in the shoe business. He is interested in the Allouez Mineral Spring Company at Green Bay, directing the management of the same. Hw was united in marriage to Miss Christine Romana Waite of Pewaukee, Wis., February 3, 1890 and they have one son, Joseph Merrill, born October 31, 1890.

(VII)  James I. was born April 1, 1863 at Green Bay, Wis. After attend ing the public schools here and at Oconto, he entered the College of the Sacred Heart at Watertown, Wis., finishing his studies there in 1881. Having secured a business education in his father’s store at Oconto, he came to Green bay, 1889, and associated himself in the shoe business with his brother, Joseph P. He is also interested in the Allouez Mineral Spring Company. He is not married. [Polly Sainton English: James I. married later in life]