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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Roland Hoffman

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 549-550 of History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925, edited by Nelson Greene (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1925). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 974.7 G81h. This online edition includes lists of portraits, maps and illustrations. As noted by Paul Keesler in his article, "The Much Maligned Mr. Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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One of the most capable and popular of the younger Fort Plain, Montgomery county business men is Roland Hoffman, proprietor of the Fort Plain Motor Company and a veteran of the World war, with a distinguished service record. He was born in this county, at St. Johnsville, in 1892, and is the son of Silas L. Hoffman of that village. His early education was obtained in his native village, where he graduated from the high school in the class of 1911, following which he studied at Syracuse University. In 1914 Mr. Hoffman came to Fort Plain to take over the Fort Plain Motor Company and as the head of this enterprise has been very successful in the automobile business ever since. He is the local distributor for Ford cars, trucks and tractors and for the Lincoln motor car.

During the World war Mr. Hoffman served in the United States Navy as chief petty officer at Great Lakes, Illinois, in the naval aviation division. There he was one of the instructors in the aviation school and his excellent work so won the favorable notice of his superior officers that he was selected from a group of a hundred instructors to go to New York city for work at Columbia University, the appointment being made by Lieutenant Commander Lucke of the United States Naval Air Craft Board. Mr. Hoffman also assisted in the preparation of a standard textbook to be used in all the naval aviation schools of this country.

In the spring of 1923 Mr. Hoffman was appointed supervisor of the town of Minden to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Roof D. Miller, who at that time became postmaster. After completing the remaining nine months of this unexpired term he was elected to succeed himself in the office. Mr. Hoffman's record as a supervisor is an exceedingly creditable one, for he has been an energetic advocate of good roads and has done much to extend the permanent highways in his district. This young man also holds the office of trustee for the village of Fort Plain for the term expiring in March, 1925. A business man of mature judgment and excellent executive abilities, he has proved himself not only the successful head of his own business enterprise, but a "booster" for the entire community. He has been quick to see that the individual and the group are dependent upon each other for their prosperity, so that each person assists himself as well as his neighbor in supporting those things that make for the advancement of the common welfare. Nor has he confined his interest to village affairs and good roads. He is a member of the Montgomery County Farm Bureau, which is doing much to improve agricultural conditions in this section.

In September, 1920, Mr. Hoffman was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Ehle, daughter of the late Frank J. Ehle of Fort Plain. Mr. Hoffman is the past commander of Fort Plain Post, No. 554, American Legion; a member of St. Johnsville Lodge, No. 611, A. F. & A. M.; Otsquago Lodge, I. O. O. F.; and Little Falls Lodge, B. P. O. E. His clubs are the Fort Plain Club and Fort Rensselaer Club of Canajoharie and he is also identified with the Winning Hose Company.

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