Elizabeth Hoffman Kirk (1915-2008) oral history

Track 1:
Kirk, Elizabeth Hoffman, 1915-2008, Interviewee
Adler, Rhea Saul, 1906-1990
, Interviewer
Hoffmann, Mary
, Interviewee
Media Type:
Item Type:
Interview with Elizabeth Hoffman Kirk and Mary Hoffman by Rhea Adler in 1976. ABSTRACT: Previous residences of Hoffman family--first 1843 -- boyhood of Hoffman brothers -- farming and raising produce for the Chicago Market, --South Water St.-- First retail store (general merchandise) at Ridge/Wilmette Ave. - burned Dec. 8 --well stocked for Christmas trade Ice house at Twin Lakes, Wisconsin Grandparent's journey from Germany described Childhood of John and --Phi Hoffman - father's death when John was 12 years old and Phil was 14 - boys ran farm Drove produce to South Water St. Market-- $.05 beer and a free lunch Decision that there were easier ways to make money than farming Hoffman Brothers first store on southeast corner Ridge and Wilmette Ave.-- business prospered -- fire in 1909 -- lumber yard fire - Ice House at Twin Lakes burned Wholesale houses who replenished merchandise Commerce to and from Wilmette by ships --Gage piers -- Drury builders Stores built on N.E. corner Ridge/Wilmette Ave. Witt's Dairy --livery stable -- first fire house Purchased Coal and Lumber Co. and called it Hoffman Bros. Coal and Lumber Co. -- John ran it and Phil ran the merchandise -- no accounting from 1888 until 1945 when Philip Hoffman died Gross Point from Central St., Evanston to Lake Ave., Wilmette had 13 or 14 saloons -- drinkers as well as "riff raff" came -- Lauermann's at Elmwood and Ridge (N.B. N.W. corner) Lauermann/ Vollmann family account Towns in Germany from whence they came Hoffman's trip to Denn, Germany in 1950 Elizabeth Hoffman manages merchandise store for 25 years -- Girl Scout leadership --people involved Father Netstraeter and St. Joseph parish Father Vattmann -- Spanish American War chaplain -- father -- typhoid fever 1908-09 St. Joseph's - parish in Chicago Dioscese -- old school and church in one building Discussion of higher education in latter 19th century in Illinois --originally post office was "Wynetka" in census of 1860 Hoffman family great travelers --travel much more prevalent than we realize Uncle Phil and Grandmother Hoffman's two European trips --an uncle and John Hoffman to Europe - Mrs. John Hoffman and three daughters and a niece went in 1950 for almost three months. John Hoffman, Jr. -- library board members--Police/ Fire Commission -- on first board of First Federal and Loan - Director of Wilmette Bank 1945 to 75 - brother Phil also served in various capacities in village -- brother Joe served in World War II with the "Seabees" for 4 years- managed the hardware store (now Spitzer's) Mary Hoffman an attorney -- younger sister Ann an artist and teacher -- American Academy of Art -- died suddenly very young Ridge Ave. - a "family street" --settled by a group who came together Treaties -- Chicago 1833 Gypsies at 17th Lawndale for weeks every year - Willows and willow whistles Visits to Lincoln Park -- open Cadillac--Leghorn hats -- popcorn balls -- cotton candy -- organ grinder/monkey man

Place of Publication:
Wilmette, Illinois
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
R 977.31 KI
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Copyright Statement:
Protected by copyright: Uses other than research or private study require the permission of the rightsholder(s). Responsibility for obtaining permissions and for any use rests exclusively with the user.
Copyright Date:
Copyright Holder:
Wilmette Public Library
Copyright Holder Contact Information:
1242 Wilmette Ave.
Wilmette, IL 60091
Recommended Citation:
Kirk, Elizabeth Hoffman, and Rhea Saul Adler. Elizabeth Hoffman Kirk. Wilmette, Ill: Wilmette Public Library District, 1976.
Wilmette Public Library
WWW address:
Agency street/mail address:
1242 Wilmette Avenue
Wilmette, IL
U.S.A. Phone: 847-256-6930
Elizabeth Hoffman Kirk (1915-2008) oral history
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