The present popular and efficient circuit clerk of Clinton county was born in the town of Hermann, Gasconade county, Missouri, August 14, 1848. His father was a native of Muenster, in the province of Westphalia, Germany, where he was an extensive lumber dealer, and operated largely in Holland and Northern Germany. In 1824 he emigrated to America and came to St. Louis, where he followed the trade of carpenter. A few years later he removed to Gasconade county, Mo., and was one of the first German settlers in that part of the state. There he followed his trade, and at a later date purchased teams and conveyed parties to different parts of the country. He died in 1861.
While yet a resident of Germany he was united in marriage to an estimable lady, who died soon after her arrival in this country. There was one child by that union named Bernard NIEHOFF, who is yet a resident of Hemann, Mo. He afterwards married Miss Margaret Alice APKEN, the mother of the subject of this sketch. She was born in Hanover, Germany. She died in 1878.
H. A. NIEHOFF is the only survivor of that union. He received a good education in the public and graded schools of his native state, and also received private instructions for two years, in which time he studied Latin and the higher branches of mathematics. He remained in Hermann until 1865, then left home, and started out to seek his fortune. He went to St. Louis and endeavored to find a situation in the mercantile business. but was unsuccessful. He went to Belleville in St. Clair county, Ill., and soon after found work on a farm. Some time after he received an offer to teach a school at Carlyle. He accepted the offer, and came here and taught in both the English and German languages, and continued until 1872, when he received the nomination for the office of circuit clerk at the hands of the democratic party, and was elected. In 1876 he became his own successor by an increased majority, and in 1880 was elected for the third term by a majority of 1,600 votes. His frequent elections to the position he holds is the best evidence of his worth as a man and a citizen, and of his ability and integrity as a public officer.
Politically, he is most soundly indoctrinated in the principles and tenets of the democratic party, and has been an active member of that political organization from 1868, when he cast his first vote for Horatio SEYMOUR, of New York, until the present time.
As a circuit clerk, Mr. NIEHOFF is recognized as and able and capable officer. He is correct, methodical, and of an obliging disposition. He has sustained the high character given him by his friends and others who honored him with their suffrages.
On the 7th of September, 1868, he was united in marriage to Miss Anna HOYER, who is of German parentage, but a native of New York. Her father, Vincent HOYER, came to Illinois in 1855, and died soon after. Her mother is yet living, and a resident of Carlyle. By this marriage there are five children - three sons and two daughters. Their names, in order of their birth, are: Henry, Katie, Alice, Joseph Williams, and Mary NIEHOFF. Both he and his wife are members of the Catholic Church. He is also a member of the beneficiary order of Catholic Knights of America. Mr. NIEHOFF is a genial, whole-souled gentleman of broad and liberal views, possessing social qualities of a high order.
Source: History of Marion and Clinton Counties, Illinois, 1881, Brink, McDonough & Co., Philadelphia
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