Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens
JOHN W. HOOVER. Many young men nowadays make a mistake by looking for positions that do not require much physical exertion, seemingly forgetting that there is much work to be done in the world which requires brawn as well as brain. Hard work has never hurt very many people. It is wrong living and wrong thinking that play the mischief, but some labor under the old illusion that they can't "stand" certain kinds of work. John W. Hoover, now living in honorable retirement in Springfield after a busy life, is not of that type.
He preferred to earn his living by the "sweat of his brow," which Holy Writ indicates is the most commendable way to earn it, and having been a man of good habits, he has lived already past the Psalmist's three score and ten.
Mr. Hoover was born on July 4, 1843, at Reading, Pennsylvania. He is a son of David and Lydia (Trump) Hoover, both natives of Pennsylvania, where they grew to maturity, received a limited education and were married and spent their lives, both dying in that state, both dying many years ago. The father was a stone contractor by profession and put in locks in canals, which were numerous in his day. His family consisted of four children, namely: Caroline, Laura and Henry, all deceased; John W., of this sketch.
John W. Hoover grew to manhood in the old Keystone state, and he received a limited education in the schools of Reading, Pennsylvania. After leaving school he learned the boilermaker's trade, beginning as an apprentice in Philadelphia, in 1861, and served four years. Leaving the City of Brotherly Love on October 15, 1866, he started west, and stopped at Indianapolis, Indiana, and worked at the Eagle Machine works there, as boilermaker, and later for the Big Four railroad in their shops there, the road then being known as the Bellefontaine railroad. After working there three years he went to Peru, Indiana, where he secured a better position with the Chicago, Indianapolis & Peru railroad, and worked there in their shops twelve years. He was then offered a still better position at Moberly, Missouri, to take charge of the boiler shops there of the Wabash railroad, and he spent ten years there, then came to Springfield, Missouri, where he had charge of the south side shops, the old Gulf shops, later owned by the Frisco, from 1890 until 1911, then was transferred to Memphis, Tennessee, to the Frisco's shops there, of which he remained in charge until July, 1913, when he reached the age limit of employees of this system, and was given a pension, and, although yet able to work, did not seek further employment, returning to Springfield and retiring, and is living quietly at his home at 1004 West Walnut street.
Mr. Hoover was married in Reading, Pennsylvania, September 22, 1862, to Nancy Mast, who was born near that city on February 22, 1844. She is a daughter of George and Mary (Smith) Mast. Mr. Mast was a native of Germany, from which country he came to the United States when ten years of age. The mother of our subject was born in Pennsylvania, of Quaker parents.
Seven children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Hoover, named as follows: Henry J., born on May 2, 1864, died in 1866; J. W., born on August 3, 1866, received his education in Indiana and Columbia Universities, and is now making his home in Fort Worth, Texas; David, born on March 16, 1869, died when three months old; Caroline, born on July 11, 1872, was educated in Indiana and in Moberly, Missouri, married Victor Winnburg, who is division foreman of the Missouri Pacific shops in Sedalia, and they are the parents of one child, a daughter, Selma, born on June 18, 1899; Nellie, born on August 4, 1877, died on May 25, 1891; Harry, born on August 26, 1882, married Martha Bohana, who is with the Griffen H. Deeves Lumber Company, Railway Exchange, Chicago; Walter, born on May 5, 1891, married Opal Smith, of Kansas City; they live in Chicago; he is a traveling salesman.
Politically, Mr. Hoover is a Republican. He cast his second vote for Abraham Lincoln for his second term as president. Religiously, he belongs to the Presbyterian church. Fraternally, he is a member of the Masonic Order, including the Blue Lodge, the Royal Arch Masons, the Commandery and the Ancient Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine.
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