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Susanna (Sturtz) Hoyman


Susanna "Susan" (Sturtz) Hoyman was born in about 1807 in Southampton Township, Somerset County, PA, the daughter of John "Adam" and Maria "Catherine" (Gaumer) Sturtz Sr. She and her husband were pioneers of Illinois.

She married Rev. John Hoyman (1811-1867), a native of Somerset County. In a profile of his son Henry in the book In the Foot-prints of the Pioneers of Stephenson County, Illinois, the following is written about Rev. John: 

[He] was an honored clergyman of the German Reformed church, and left a name as an unselfish and earnest worker in the cause of religion.... In early life he was a farmer, and had learned the carpenter trade. He had a mill on the farm, and was an active and pushing character. He became interested in religious questions however, while still a young man, and studied for the ministry at Tiffin, Ohio. His wife, Susan Stirtz, was born in Somerset county, Pennsylvania, and died in Freeport in 1891, at the age of seventy-five.

They are believed to be the same John and Susanna Hoyman who, in 1850, resided in Berlin, Somerset County, PA. 

If so, their 10 children were Catherine Hoyman, Charles Hoyman, Elizabeth Hoyman, George Hoyman, Mary Hoyman, Susanna Hoyman, Henry Hoyman, Matilda Hoyman, Nancy J. Hoyman and Louise E. Hoyman, all born over a 16-year-span between 1833 and 1849.

John is believed to be the same "J. Hoyman" who in 1853 served as pastor of the Stoystown Reformed Church. A profile of the church, in Waterman Watkins & Co.'s 1884 book, History of Bedford, Somerset and Fulton Counties, lists him by name and states that the "congregation formerly worshiped in an old log church (Reformed and Lutheran) situated in the cemetery east of town. The present church is an old frame building, capable of seating about three hundred persons, with steepe, bell and organ." He also is named in the book as pastor of the Shanksville Reformed Church, organized in 1848.

In 1856, John received a call to lead a church congregation in Illinois, and so uprooted his family and relocated to Orangeville, Stephenson County. There, he remained in his church for a decade. Then, he accepted a position with a church in Marion County, OH. In about 1867, after spending a year there, he died in Marion County at the age of 56.

Susan survived her husband by 24 years, and made her home in Freeport, IL.


Twin cave in Krape Park, Freeport, Illinois


~ Daughter Catharine Hoyman ~

Daughter Catharine Hoyman (1833- ? ) was born in about 1833. Evidence suggests that on March 24, 1853, Catharine married Aaron Balser (or "Baltzer"), son of John and Mary (Gehrhart) Baltzer of Berlin, PA. At the time, Aaron was a chair maker and lived in Stonycreek Township, Somerset County. The ceremony was held in "The City" in Shade Township, according to the precepts of the Lutheran Church, with J.K. Miller officiating.


~ Son Charles Hoyman ~

Son Charles Hoyman (1835- ? ) was born in about 1835.


~ Daughter Elizabeth Hoyman ~

Daughter Elizabeth Hoyman (1837- ? ) was born in about 1837.


~ Son George Hoyman ~

Son George Hoyman (1839- ? ) was born in about 1839.


~ Daughter Mary Hoyman ~

Daughter Mary Hoyman (1841- ? ) was born in about 1841.


~ Daughter Susanna Hoyman ~

Daughter Susanna Hoyman (1843- ? ) was born in about 1843.


~ Son Henry Hoyman ~

Son Henry Hoyman (1844-1915) was born on March 25, 1844 in Somerset County, near the Maryland state line. At the age of 12, in 1856, he traveled with his parents when his father was appointed pastor of a church in Stephenson County, IL.

At the age of 16, said a history, "the exigencies of the family situation at home compelled him to assume the responsibility of his own maintenance, and he became a clerk in a hardware story." He stood five feet, 10 inches tall, weighed 165 lbs and had a fair complexion, hazel eyes and dark hair.

When the Civil War erupted, he was living in Freeport, IL and enlisted in the 46th Illinois Volunteer Infantry, Company A. His regiment was dispatched to New Orleans and took part in the battles of Fort Spanish and Fort Blakely. Later, he took part in the capture of Mobile, AL and was on the Red River expedition. While at Natchitoches, LA, he was debilitated by sore eyes, impairing his vision. He eventually was honorably discharged at Baton Rouge, LA.

He returned home to Stephenson County where he was met at the railroad depot by friend Eli S. Chamberlin and was driven a dozen miles to his home. For two years, he boarded with Chamberlin and sold feed and flour. His eyes were so bad, he said, that he had to be kept in a dark room for months. Then he sold pumps for a year, possibly in Monroe, MI, followed by a dozen years selling grain in Shannon, Carroll County, IL. He then relocated to Dakota and spent three years engaged in the grain business followed by five years in a similar line of work at Lena. In February 1891, he moved again and came to Freeport, opening his own livery, feed and sale stable business, catering in weddings, parties and funerals. He joined the Modern Woodmen of America and the John A. Davis Post of the Grant Army of the Republic.

On May 30, 1874, at the age of 30, he was united in marriage with 20-year-old Alice Margaret Schmeltzer (1854-1936), daughter of Jacob D. and Anna Maria (Mingle) Schmeltzer and a native of Rock Grove, Stephenson County. Rev. Isaac A. Stites officiated at the nuptials held in Dakota, IL. Henry was a decade older than his bride.

They produced three children -- Edith McDonald, Bessie Hoyman and Harry Holland Hoyman.

He is profiled in the 1900 book In the Foot-prints of the Pioneers of Stephenson County, Illinois. The chapter reads, in part: 

Henry Hoyman, Freeport, is the proprietor of a well appointed livery and sales stable, and is known to the traveling public as a genial and accommodating gentleman. he has had a varied experience, confronted danger on the battlefield, and wrestled with adverse fate, and now as the shadows are beginning to lengthen down the road of life, he has the privilege of looking back over years of honorable and useful toil with the feeling that he has acquitted himself with credit wherever he has been placed.


Henry's letterhead, 1904


As he aged, during the years 1890 to 1915, Henry worked as a liveryman. He remained afflicted with rheumatism as well as heart and stomach ailments, rendering him unable to undertake manual labor. His eyes often were red and inflamed, and he had trouble reading and making out objects in the distance. He finally succumbed at the age of 71 on Oct. 18, 1915. Edith spent her final years at 410 South Walnut Street in Freeport. Diagnosed with hardening of the arteries, she suffered a stroke and died on June 12, 1936 at the age of 81. Son Harry signed the death certificate. Burial was with her husband in Oakland Cemetery in nearby Florence, Stephenson County.

Daughter Jennie Edith Hoyman (1877- ? ) was born on Jan. 30, 1877. She married attorney Peter E. McDonald (1872-1935) in 1930. Peter was active in politics and served as a master in chancery in Freeport, Stephenson County. Tragically, on Nov. 4, 1935, Peter died of injuries sustained after being struck by an automobile. They are mentioned in the 1935 book Illinois Democracy: A History of the Party and Its Representative Members, Past and Present, volume 2, and in the 1936 Annual Report of the Illinois Bar Association. Jennie's fate is not known.

Daughter Bessie May Hoyman (1879- ? ) was born on July 13, 1879.

Son Harry Holland Hoyman (1892-1989) was born on Feb. 20, 1892 in Freeport, Stephenson County. During World War I, from May 1, 1918 to Oct. 29, 1919, he served as a private in the supply company of the 8th U.S. Infantry, with activity in Siberia, Russia. He took many photographs during the war, and his album today is preserved by the Stephenson County Historical Museum in Freeport. He also wrote about his Russia experiences for the 1970 book History of Stephenson County [link]. Harry was united in marriage with Freeport native Doris Kruse (1892-1993). They resided in Freeport but did not reproduce. Said a newspaper, Doris "was employed by State Bank and Freeport Building & Loan before retiring. She was a member of Scottish Rite Woman's Club, Commandery Auxiliary, Freeport Country Club and Old Freeport Club. A member of First Presbyterian Church, she sang in the choir there many years. Before that, she sang in Chicago and Rockford churches." He died in Freeport at the age of 97 on May 1, 1989. His name is etched in a wall along the Walk of Honor at the National World War I Museum and Liberty Memorial in Kansas City. Doris outlived her husband by four years. She passed into eternity at the age of 100 on March 24, 1993. [Find-a-Grave]


~ Daughter Matilda Hoyman ~

Daughter Matilda Hoyman (1846- ? ) was born in about 1846.


~ Daughter Nancy J. Hoyman ~

Daughter Nancy J. Hoyman (1848- ? ) was born in about 1848.


~ Daughter Louise E. Hoyman ~

Daughter Louise E. Hoyman (1849- ? ) was born in about 1849.


~ More ~

We are grateful for records provided by Gilbert R. Gaumer of Glendale, MO (compiled 1973-1980), Paul K. Gaumer and Mary L. Shirer in the preparation of this biography.

The Gaumer and Hoyman clans are profiled in the 486-page book Some Notes, Quotes, and Quips of the Hoyman Clan and Related Lines, authored by David LeRoy Baldwin and published by Gateway Press in 1993.


Copyright 2000, 2011, 2015-2018 Mark A. Miner

Contributing their knowledge to this biography have been the late Gilbert R. Gaumer, Barbara (Moss) Wardsworth and Keith Sturts.