Sophia Hofer and William Heiser

I've searching the web tonight looking to make contact with anyone reseaching the Hofer family of Kansas. My great great grandmother was Sophia Hofer, born 9 August 1849 to John and Anna Mossiman Hofer. You don't have her listed. Contact me please.


Now that I've read more of the information on your website, I see that you have Sophia listed as Mary. This is a mystery. She always went by Sophia as far as I know. There must have been some "mental issues" in the family. I see that her brother, John, took his own life. Some years after William Heiser was killed in a runaway team accident, Sophia was committed to Topeka State Hospital by one of her brothers (Godfrey?) because she was mentally unstable. She had delusions. She died there of TB though. I have always wondered how my great grandmother, named Lydia, after her aunt, ended up in Chicago where she met and married my great grandfather. Do you have any pictures of the older generation of Hofers?


I think that I might have emailed you in the past. I descended from Lydia Hofer who married William Heiser. (He didn't marry Mary) I'd like to find out some additional information about this family and perhaps get copies of pictures. I would be happy to pay for any expenses incurred. I have some information but not a lot. I'm happy to share whatever I have that you don't.


One more little change, Lydia was Sophia's daughter. William Heiser and Sophia had 7 children; Frederick, Elizabeth (Harbes), Lydia (who married Ferdinand Hilker) , Philip, Alfred, Edward, and Susan(Wolfmeyer). Susan was less than 2 years old when her father was killed in an accident. His team of horses ran away. I don't know if he was thrown from the buggy or what but it took him a week to die. This was in December 1884. I found his obit after 2 hours of searching through microfilms of old newspapers in Riley County. Now comes the even sadder part of the story. Apparently Lydia was a bit mentally unstable and Christian had her committed to Topeka State Hospital in 1890 and she died there in 1892. Considering one of the other siblings, John, took his own life, there must have been some mental issues going on in that family. Hopefully, it wasn't passed down. My mother says that her grandmother, Lydia, was a very jolly, outgoing, funny lady so it definitely escaped her. I'm attaching a picture of Lydia for you. I would love to find out how my great grandmother and her sister Susan ended up in Chicago in 1894. Frederick and Philip stayed in Kansas, as did Elizabeth who lived in Hutchinson. I'm not sure about Alfred. Edward moved to Southern California. He lived in Santa Ana, Orange County and grew, guess what (?), oranges. He died in 1961. I found his death date in the California Death Index and sent away for his will. He had 2 boys, Edward and Reynold. They would probably be dead now also or up in their late eighties. I have pictures of this family as my grandfather, Philip Hilker, visited his Uncle Edward in California right after WWI.
Carol Pattison


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