Philip P. Hoffman, farmer, section 35, Ashland Township, was born May 18, 1830, in Prussia, also the native country of his parents, Philip P. and Mary M. Hoffman. The son received the degree of education common to his class in Prussia (which is much more thorough than in this country) up to a certain age, when the final disposal of young men is determined upon, either to the trades or military life, save in time of war, when no choice can be enjoyed.
Mr. Hoffman was apprenticed at the age of 15 years for two and a half years to acquire the trade of a builder, at which he worked until he was of age, when he was drafted into the German Government service and remained two years. He stayed at home but a short period after his discharge, and in the spring of 1854 came to the United States and settled in the city of Newark, N. J., where he operated as a builder until the fall of 1858, when he set out on a prospecting tour through the "Great West." He finally stopped at Milwaukee, and in the spring of 1859 came to Muskegon, and remained until the summer of 1860, when he came to Bridgeton and entered the employ of I. D. Merrill as "shingle-packer,' and continued in that occupation until 1870. Meanwhile, in 1863, he purchased 80 acres of land on section 35. Of this he took possession in all the high hopefulness and ardent anticipation of a man who brings the efforts of his life and all his expanding energies to bear upon the one purpose which gives promise to the future and makes labor sweet and privation endurable,- the building up of a home and domestic ties. Mr. Hogan enlisted all the forces of his warm Teutonic nature in the crowning event of his life and devoted his best energies to preparing a home for the bride whose promise he had won, and to whose precincts she would soon bring the grace and beauty which in his sight was pre-eminent to that of all others of her sex in the world. But she was also fair to the angels of God, and shortly before the date appointed for her marriage she was called hence to an undying youth and a life of fadeless promise in the realms of eternal beauty. Loyal to the love of his young, hopeful manhood, Mr. Hoffman has passed his years in the sacred observance of the vows to which he considers himself bound by the early death of his promised wife, and, after he had reconciled himself to an occupation of the place which once meant so much to him, he devoted his succeeding years to rendering it beautiful and attractive. He is living in quiet, reserved retirement, hoping for reunion and the fulfillment of his delayed happiness and companionship.