For the opening of Hofman and Grant avenues, the establishment of an up-to-date sewer system and important public improvements, the people of Geneva are indebted to Frank C. Hofmann, an enterprising and progressive German-American citizen, whose faithful performance of the various duties he has been called upon to fulfill under both town and city governments, has proved of inestimable value to the city of his adoption.
Mr. Hofmann doubtless inherited his marked business ability and sterling integrity from his Teutonic ancestors, who were of the industrial class, to which the German Empire of to-day owes its strength and stability. His grandfather, Peter Hofmann, was born in Germany in 1776, died in 1864; his grandmother, Katherine (Grim) Hofmann, was born in Baden, Germany, in 1776, died in 1872. His father, Hubert C. Hofmann, born in Germany, 1820, died in 1860, owned and operated two tanneries. Hubert C. Hofmann married Catherine Hofmann, born in 1822, came to America in 1890, and died in 1894.
Frank Christian Hofmann, son of Hubert C. and Catherine Hofmann, was born in Amerbach, Germany, December 10, 1849. He was reared and educated in the “Fatherland,” and at the age of thirteen began an apprenticeship of four years at the butcher’s trade. Arriving in this country in 1869 he located first in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, and later in Buffalo, New York, and some three years later removed to Rochester, this state. About 1895 he went to Geneva, where he found employment as a butcher with W. I. Higgins, and finding himself at the expiration of two years in a position to engage in business for himself, he entered the meat and provision trade in partnership with Gustavus C. Wilkens. After a prosperous existence of seven years the firm of Hofmann & Wilkens was dissolved by mutual consent, and Mr. Hofmann continued in business alone, opening a meat market and provision store at Nos. 49 and 51 Seneca street, and carrying it on successfully for twelve years, at the expiration of which time he retired permanently from that trade. For a number of years Mr. Hofmann has devoted his attention to the real estate business, and also to several profitable commercial enterprises. In 1895 he opened Hofmann avenue, and in 1900 opened Grant avenue, both of which are exceedingly desirable residential sections, and in addition to developing property for building purposes he has erected some substantial buildings for residential and business use. These include a large brick block on Avenue B, Torrey Park, divided into flats and stores (built in 1898), and the Masonic Temple, and an attractive brick and stone office building located on Seneca street in the heart of the business district. The foundation of this building was begun June 2, 1898, and it was completed and occupied by September 1, of the same year, thus establishing a record for rapidity of construction hitherto unequalled in Western New York. A strange fact might be recorded that it never rained during the day time during the the construction of this building. Besides his real estate enterprises he is proprietor of the Torrey Park Drug Store, president of the Allen Drug Company, of Geneva, and also of the City Hall Pharmacy, of Auburn, New York. In politics Mr. Hofmann is a Republican. In 1894 he was elected a trustee of the village from the second ward. and was re-elected in 1896; was chosen police commissioner in 1896 for a term of six years, and was therefore the last to hold that office under the old town government. He was elected an assessor in 1898 and again in 1900, and was chairman of the committee on electric lights. During the administration of President Herendeen he secured the enactment by the village government of a bill providing for the purchase by the municipality of the Geneva Water Works, hitherto a private corporation, and was also responsible for the establishment of an entirely new sewer system, a sanitary improvement, the value of which cannot be too highly estimated.
In 1910 he was a delegate to the Republican state convention at Saratoga and assisted in the selection of candidates to he nominated by that body. He has served as president of the Geneva Board of Trade a number of terms, and is treasurer of the Economic Relief Association. He is called the father of the city charter, as he worked faithfully to bring about the charter that made Geneva a city. In the Masonic Order he has attained the thirty-second degree, being a member of the local blue lodge, chapter and commandery; has held all of the important offices of these bodies including that of eminent commander, and is numbered among the Ancient and Accepted Nobles of the Order of the Mystic Shrine in Rochester. He also affiliates with the Improved Order of Red Men, and the German Harugari.
In 1880 Mr. Hofmann was married in Geneva to Margaret Catherine Klopfer, born in Williamsburg, New York, June 3, 1855, daughter of John Michael and Anna Barbara (Kerndter) Klopfer. Children: 1. Frank, born in 1882, died in infancy. 2. Anna G., born in 1884, married Frank Day in 1908; one child, Margaret. 3. Charles, born in 1886, died in 1901. 4. Elizabeth, born in 1888, graduate of the Genesee Normal School, teacher in the pnblic schools. 5. Edward John, born in 1900.