Beginning as Hoffman Coal and Milling Co., the Hoffman Coal Company served the Sandusky area for sixty-five years. In the 1890 city directory, Daniel Hoffman advertised as a dealer in coal and wood at the corner of Scott and Hancock Streets. Later he also sold feed and grain. Daniel’s sons Charles J. and William H. Hoffman took over the business when Daniel retired. Brothers Fred and Daniel Hoffman, Jr. were also associated with the family coal business through the years. Charles and William Hoffman also owned the Electric Glass Cleaner Company in Sandusky.
Below, we see Daniel Hoffman, Sr. with his five sons, at their Masonic induction ceremony.
Charles J. Hoffman obtained a patent in 1901 for an elevating truck. The Sandusky Evening Star of August 31, 1903 stated that the handy combination truck is said to be a fine device, “combining all the requirements of elevator, store, mill and warehouse trucks.” This truck is featured prominently in an advertisement for his company, in the 1903 publication What (which also features stereotypes of the era).
The patent for this truck can be viewed online at the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
The Hoffman family was well known in the Sandusky area. Charles J. Hoffman ran an ice cream and sandwich shop on Scott Street in the 1920’s and 1930’s. The figure “Puck” was located at this site. (You can see views of the shop with Puck on the roof, along with images of the Hoffman Coal Company, at a site operated by a private collector here.) Carlyle Hoffman grandson of Daniel Hoffman, Sr, was a lawyer with the Veterans Administration in Cleveland for many years, and granddaughter Dr. Kathryn E. Hoffman was a physician and surgeon in Cleveland.
Visit the Archives Research Center of the Sandusky Library to learn more about early area residents.