Submitted by Marrie Miller
To the development and substantial gain of the United States no land has contributed more than the German Fatherland, whether the comparison be made in mere physical force or in reference to force of character, both elements of good citizenship. Among her esteemed contributions, who have planted and cultivated in the New World the manliness and persistent application, the thrift and industry, the sturdy independence and the mental energy for which her people are noted at home, is Albert Hoge, of Crook county, Wyoming, practically the founder of Sundance and now one of its most esteemed citizens. He was the first settler in what is now Crook county, and, on the land on which he first "stuck his stake," a new and promising municipality has grown into being, which has at his behest taken its name from the majestic mountain at whose base it lies, and which was called Sundance Mountain from the fact that in the early days the Indians gathered on its shaggy side to carry on their war dance from sunrise to sunset, in its performance to show their bravery and endurance to their pale-face enemies. Mr Hoge was born on January 28, 1835, in Prussia, the son of Frederick and Louisa Hoge, also natives of Germany, where the father was a miller to the end of his life. There their son, Albert, grew to be sixteen years old, receiving his education in the state schools and yearning for opportunity to see and mingle with the great world far from his hamlet home. Accordingly he went to sea when he was yet a youth and sailed on merchantmen for fifteen years, touching every part of the Mediterranean and most of the navigable Atlantic in his numerous voyages. In 1866 he enlisted in the German navy and served for a term of years, returning to the merchant marine in 1870, on his first trip reaching New York. He then determined to abandon the sea, and, going to Chicago, began a term of service on the great lakes. Quitting this in 1875, he came westward to the Black Hills in search of gold, and there followed prospecting and mining for four years. In 1879 he came to Wyoming, and yielding himself as boldly unto the pathless wilderness, as he had done to the pathless sea, he preempted a claim on the land where the town site of Sundance is now plotted and settled upon it as a permanent home. But the quickening march of civilization into this region made it necessary to prepare for a town, and he laid out and named the new town of Sundance, built a hotel and a store, and gave to the new enterprise a healthy impulse towards its present commercial and political importance. His were the first buildings erected in the place, and. after three years successful use, he sold them and took up his present ranch situated three and one-half miles south of the town, and here he has since remained engaged in farming and raising stock. He has 480 acres of land, forming one of the attractive and desirable agricultural properties in the county, and he carries on an extensive stock business. He also owns considerable property of value in the town of Sundance, and his stepson, George Durkee, owns the two ranches adjoining his. When he came into Wyoming, Mr Hoge was one of a party of six who were attacked by Indians at the old stockade, now the residence of Mr Burns, where one of the party was killed. For some years the savages were hostile and gave their white settlers much trouble and annoyance. But the hardy pioneers persevered in their determination to remain and conquer the country, and, in course of time, they were able to enjoy the fruits of their valor in a permanent and prosperous peace. In the spring of 1883, at Sundance, the town he had founded and named, Mr Hoge was united in marriage with Mrs Sophia (Brown) Durkee, a widow; having three children, George, Charles and Carrie, who had come with her children to make her home at Sundance in the home of a brother the year before. She died on June 17, 1901, and two of her children are living elsewhere. George, however, makes his home with his stepfather. In his politics Mr Hoge is an active Republican. The country in which he settled in the land of his adoption has prospered and developed into a populous and enterprising section under his inspiration and guidance; the people among whom he has lived hold him in high esteem; the mercantile, agricultural and educational forces he has set in motion are flourishing; he can look upon the work of his hands and the products of his energies, and see that they are good. And thus blessed with the realization that he has not lived in vain, he can find enjoyment in both prospect and retrospect during the remainder of his well-spent life.
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