GEORGE HOKE, deceased, was born near Cooperstown, Otsego Co., N. Y., July 29, 1817. He was a son of Mathias Hoke, who was of German descent. His father was a farmer and in connection ran a hotel at an early day. George's early life was spent in the hotel and on the farm. He was married in Oswego County, N. Y., to Miss Lydia M. Luddington, who was born in Herkimer County, N. Y., Jan. 16, 1818. She was the daughter of Stephen R. and Catherine (Slayton) Luddington, her father a native of Connecticut and her mother of Massachusetts. Her grandfather, Capt. Reuben Slayton, served in the Revolutionary War, upon the staff of Gen. Washington. The first meeting of her parents was accidental and savored a little of the romantic. Miss Slayton while passing through a heavy piece of timber, got lost, and wandering around came to where Mr. Luddington was chopping wood. She told him who she was and that she was lost, and asked his assistance in piloting her out of the woods. Whether it was love at first sight cannot be said, but it suffices to say that the young couple were subsequently married, and became the parents of eleven children, ten of whom grew to be adults — Franklin G., deceased; Stephen, deceased; Almira, Mason City, Iowa; Cornelius C., Ottawa, Canada; Cornelia, wife of Joseph Oshoru, Oswego County, N. Y.; Lydia M., widow of our subject; Harriet, widow of David Ackley, Oswego County; Mary K., wife of Henry Dyke, Charles City, Iowa; Archibald, attorney at law, Syracuse, N. Y.; George W., retired merchant, Oswego County, N. Y. Mr. and Mrs. Luddington are now deceased. They were members of the Presbyterian Church and took a very active interest in all church affairs. Mrs. Luddington was a woman of excellent qualities, doing the very best she could in all positions in which she was placed, and at all times strove to promulgate any means tending to good results. Whatever she did was done quietly, and in an unostentatious manner; she was highly esteemed and beloved by all, and her death was deeply mourned by fhe poor, to whom she was a kind and sincere friend.
Mr. and Mrs. Hoke came to Vinton in September, 1857, where he embarked in the drug business. He subsequently became associated with E. H. Stedman in the grocery business, under the firm name of Stedman & Hoke, and led an active business life until failing health necessitated his retirement. He died at his residence in Vinton, Feb. 1, 1886. He was a member of the I. O. O. F. and took an active interest in the order. Mr. and Mrs. Hoke were the parents of one child — Eva Adel, who was born in the town of Paris, Oswego Co., N. Y., and subsequently married Matthew Stedman. She died Aug. 26, 1864, leaving many friends to mourn her loss. Mrs. Hoke was the first to engage in the millinery trade in the city of Vinton.
Source Citation: "1887 Benton County, Iowa Biographies" [database online] Benton County IAGenWeb Project. <http://iagenweb.org/benton/>
Original data: "Portrait and Biographical Album of Benton County, Iowa." Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887, p. 198.
Transcribed by: Sue Soden. Submitted to the Benton County IAGenWeb Project on January 28th, 2009. Copyright © 2009 The IAGenWeb Project.