Buena Vista County, IA
USGenWeb Project

Extracted from:  Wegerslev, C. H. and Thomas Walpole. 
 Past and Present of Buena Vista County, Iowa
Chicago:  S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1909, p. 378-80.

Transcribed by Paul Nagy

Biography of  August G. Hoch

August G. Hoch is proprietor of the largest jewelry store in northwestern Iowa.  He has conducted business in this line at Storm Lake since the fall of 1893 and is meeting with well merited success in his undertakings.  He follows modern commercial methods and carries on his business affairs along lines that neither seek nor require disguise.  Iowa numbers him among her native sons and he belongs to that class of citizens who uphold its political and legal status and stand as the advocates of its progress in all commendable lines.  He was born in Dubuque county, August 1, 1876, and is of German lineage in both paternal and maternal lines. 


John Hoch, the father, was born in Stuttgart, Germany, in 1836, and is now living at Galena, Illinois.  He came to the United States when a lad of fourteen years in company with his mother, his father having previously died.  The family home was established at Galena, Illinois, and there John Hoch learned and followed the shoemaker's trade.  He afterward removed to Dubuque county, Iowa, where he lived until after the close of the Civil war.  He worked for a few months at his trade in Dubuque county following, the cessation of hostilities between the north and the south and then returned to Galena, where he now makes his home.  In his business affairs he has been prosperous, for his diligence and energy have enabled him to overthrow various difficulties and obstacles in his path.  He belongs to the Methodist Episcopal church and to the Odd Fellows society, while in his political views he has been a stalwart republican since age conferred upon him the right of franchise.  He proved his loyalty to his adopted country by his active service in the Civil war, enlisting at Rockford, Illinois, in the summer of 1861, as a member of Company A, Ninety-sixth Illinois Volunteer Infantry.  He thus served until the war ended and was mustered out at Springfield, Illinois, July 4, l865.  Since that time he has never enjoyed good health, owing to the rigors and hardships of war.  He participated in various hotly contested battles, including the engagements at Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge, Chattanooga, Murfreesboro and Atlanta, after which the troops returned to Vicksburg and thence came to the north.  He is now an interested member of the Grand Army of the Republic.


In early manhood John Hoch married Katherine Briegel, who was born in Stuttgart, Germany, in 1844.  She came with her father and two sisters to the United States, her mother having passed away ere the emigration of the family.  The father settled in Galena and there she gave her hand in marriage to Mr. Hoch on the 17th of March, 1869.  Like her husband she is a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and their upright lives have gained for them the esteem and good will of all with whom they have been associated.  They became the parents of seven children:  Edwin B., who is associated with his brother-in-law, H. W. Krause, in Storm Lake; Julia F., the wife of H. W. Krause, of Storm Lake; John W., who is manager of the gas plant at Storm Lake; August G., of this review; Alfred H., who is a carpenter and makes his home at Schaller, Iowa; Lillian G., the wife of R. S. Schaefer, a farmer of Schaller; and Arthur O., who is with his brother August.


August G. Hoch attended the common schools of Galena, Illinois, and clerked in a book store when his education was completed.  He was employed in a building at one time occupied by General Grant.   In the fall of 1893 he came to Storm Lake and has since been identified with the jewelry business here, at first securing a clerkship in the employ of Frank Witter, with whom he remained as salesman until 1899.  In that year he became an equal partner in the business under the firm style of Witter & Hoch and for eight years they successfully conducted the store, at the end of which time Mr. Witter sold out, on the 1st of April, 1907, leaving Mr. Hoch sole proprietor of the largest jewelry store in this section of the state outside of Sioux City or Fort Dodge.  He now carries a large and well selected line of goods and has an extensive patronage, while his store is a credit to the city and would prove a valuable addition to many a town of larger size.  Mr. Hoch has recently purchased a tract of land of forty-eight acres within the city limits of the west border of the lake, known as the old Benson place.  On this he has erected a beautiful, modern residence which he now occupies.


On the 16th of July, 1903, Mr. Hoch was married to Miss Florence C. Schulz, who was born in Colesburg, Iowa, December 7, 1879, and is a daughter of Christoph and Katherine Schulz, the former a minister of the German Methodist church and at one time presiding elder of the upper Iowa district.  Unto Mr. and Mrs. Hoch have been born two children:  Katherine, born July 2, 1904; and Winton, July 31, 1905.  The parents hold membership in the First Methodist Episcopal church and take a most active and helpful part in its work.  Mr. Hoch is a member of the choir and for twelve years has been treasurer of the Sunday school.  He is also president of the local Young Men's Christian Association, and for three years was treasurer and director of the Young Men's Commercial Club of Storm Lake.  In politics he is a republican and aside from political connections is interested in all that pertains to the welfare and substantial progress of this part of the state.  In him are embraced the characteristics of unbending energy, unfaltering integrity and industry that never flags, and he commands in large measure the trust and respect of his fellowmen who know him as a courteous, genial gentleman and straightforward merchant.