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Written and kindly submitted by Peggy Carpenter
Jakob Hofmeister was born February 25, 1819 in Switzerland. A registered citizen of Luzein in the Canton of Graubunden, he was the oldest of six children born to Hans Jakob and Anna Maria (Meyer) Hofmeister. Jakob's first wife Anna, was Verena's older sister. Anna and Verena were the daughters of Ambrosi and Katharina (Conzett) Lotscher of Ascharina (just outside of St. Antonien in the Canton of Graubunden). Anna was born on November 7, 1824 and married Jakob on November 19, 1848. They had four children together, Jakob, Ambrosi, Hans and Anna Maria. Hans died in Switzerland at the age of ten months. Anna (Lotscher) Hofmeister passed away in 1858 at the age of thirty-three. Jakob then married Anna's sister, Verena, just over a year later. Verena was born January 31, 1833 and she and Jakob married on April 10, 1859. Jakob and Verena's first two children, a girl and then a boy died when very young. They had two more girls and when the youngest of these was about ten months old the family emigrated to the U.S. in October, 1866. They had three more children after arriving here.
The family first came to Buffalo County where Jakob filed an application for citizenship in December, 1866 and then by 1875 had settled near Plum City in Union Township, Pierce County on 120 acres in Section 4. They homesteaded on the present site of the Nugget Lake Dam. The log cabin formerly snuggled near the base of the dam is no longer there but an old hand pump marks the location. The house built later on a nearby site on the homestead still stands and remains within the family.
Their oldest son, Jakob (my great-grandfather) born August 8, 1848, farmed an adjacent 40 acre property tending a large orchard and raising bees. He married Elizabeth Parkhurst on December 9, 1876. Lizzie was the daughter of David and Rosina (Kaiser) Parkhurst. Lizzie grew up on a 40 acre farm in Section 22. She attended the first pioneer school and became a teacher. They had 8 children: Jennie, who died in infancy; John Ambrose, 1879-1958; Jacob (Jake), 1886-1936; Marguerite May, 1887-1953; Fredrick, Verena (Fannie), Rosella (Ella), and Garold, July 21, 1893- August 4, 1980. Jakob died on July 6, 1919, after a fall from his roof. Lizzie died in Plum City on December 26, 1928. Both are buried in the Union Cemetery.
Ambrosi, the second son, born December 31, 1850, lived in Wabasha, MN with his wife, Emma, and had a daughter, Ethyl. Nothing is known about Anna Maria, born January 24,1 857. Anna born August 14, 1863, married August Witt, born ca. 1854. Their children were known to be Eda, Emma, Paul and Sarah. Katharina (Kate) born November 23, 1865, died in Union Township in 1936. Kate married Julius Lewis on March 31, 1889. They had six children, two died in infancy. Louisa born ca. 1869, married a Harrison and lived in Canada. Garold, born ca. 1872 served in the Spanish American War and lived in California with a wife. Maria (Mary), born ca. 1874 died in 1953. She was married to John Witt on April 7, 1893. She married a second time to Silas A. Miliren.
Jakob died on December 23, 1888, at the age of 69. Verena died on March 13, 1895, at the age of 62. They are buried together with many of their descendants in the Hofmeister Lot in the Union Cemetery in Plum City.
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