March 14, 2013

Catherina Hoffman Pflaumer - Great-Grandmother

Jacob Pflaumer's second wife was Catherina/Katherina Hoffman.  After immigrating, she was quickly married, and within a year had begun a family.  She raised three children, worked on the farm, and cared for an elderly spouse.

Her husband preceded her in death by almost 20 years and her daughter by 4 years.  After the loss of her daughter in 1924, Grandmother Kate lived back and forth between her sons, Will and Ed most of the time.

Catherine died on March 16, 1928 at St. Joseph's Hospital in Fort Wayne, Indiana at the age of 84 years, 4 months and 18 days of heart disease.  According to her death certificate, her father was Conrad Hoffman, but her mother was not named.  A search of German births and baptisms found a good match for the date of birth and name of father found on the death certificate: "Katharina Hoffman, born October 28, 1843, baptised Obrigheim, Baden, Germany on November 5, 1843, father - Konrad Hoffman and mother - Magdalena Beis."  A search of a map of Germany showed her village quite close to Elsenz, Jacob's village, so it is definitely a good lead for future research.

Two obituaries were found, one quite extensive, although incorrect in a few details.  
--The News Sentinel, Fort Wayne, Indiana, Friday, March 16, 1928
"Mrs. Katherine Pflaumer, aged 84, widow of Jacob Pflaumer, Springfield Township, died at 9:05 o'clock today in St. Joseph's hospital.  Funeral services will be held at 2 o'clock Sunday at the home of Edward Pflaumer, one mile north of Spencerville.  Burial at Scipio."

--St. Joe News, March 22, 1928
"A well spent life came to its close in this world with the departure of Kathrin Pflaumer from this world of vanity into the realms of eternal bliss and happiness.  Kathrin Pflaumer, nee Hoffman, was born October 28, 1843, in Baden, Germany; died March 16, 1928 at the age of 84 years, 4 months and 17 days. 
Born into and brought up in a Christian home, she was in infancy received into the Christian church by holy Baptism, later in confirmation she professed Christ and confirmed the vows made for her in baptism.

When eighteen years of age she was united in the bands of holy matrimony with Jacob Pflaumer, October 11, 1870 and came with him to America where they settled west of Harlan in Allen County, Indiana.*
Eighteen years ago her husband preceded her into eternity and she made her home with her daughter, Kathrin, for fifteen years, until four years ago when this daughter also was called into the presence of her Creator. Having reached by this time the biblical age she was ready and willing to depart to be with her Lord and Savior always.  But four years of grace were granted her in which she should and did enjoy and sun herself in the love of her sons who took care of her, but she became more and more a sufferer of the infirmities of age, until a few weeks ago she became seriously ill and had to be taken to the St. Joseph hospital in Fort Wayne where her earthly life terminated after two and one half weeks entire confinement.

Now her two sons, William, of Fort Wayne and Ed, of Spencerville, their wive, her nine grandchildren and one great grandchild, await the time to meet her again on the eternal shore.  A good, devoted, loving and beloved mother and grandmother, we say about her, 'Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.' Psalms 116:15

A sister of the departed in Pforsheim, Germany is also surviving her.
Funeral services were held from the home of Mr. and Mrs. Ed Pflaumer, Sunday afternoon, March 18, the Rev. P. B. Roediger, Lutheran pastor, officiating.  Burial in Scipio cemetery.  E. R. Kinsey, funeral director."

So in this obituary, we have the age of marriage as 18, but 1870 - 1843 still makes 27, which was her age on the immigration list, as well.  The other error, I think, is the story of marrying in Germany unless they married both there and in the states. 

The obituary also mentions only one surviving sister in Germany.  Yet, among the photos are these two labeled as Hoffman.  Are they other siblings who preceded her in death?  Cousins? Niece and nephew? The photo of Madelin is actually a postcard inscribed on the back to Mrs. Jacob Pflaumer (no address or stamp)and signed, Madelin Hoffman, age 17.  The other photo is marked on the back, John R. Hoffmann, age 20.
Another mystery.


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