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2017-02-02

First Sheriff of Bandera County

By Raymond V. Carter, Jr. BCHC Research Historian ©2017

Andrew Hoffman, (correct spelling) who has been misidentified with other early settlers of Medina and Bandera Counties was the first Sheriff of Bandera County.
Andrew Hoffman was one of Lyman Wight's Mormon colonists. He came with the group who arrived in the Bandera Settlement on March 1, 1854. He was born in York, Athens County, Ohio about the year 1826 and was a Joseph Smith follower in the Mormon religion. After Joseph Smith's death and the disagreement between Lyman Wight and Brigham Young, Hoffman followed Wight to Texas in 1846.
According to Melvin C. Johnson's "Polygamy on the Pedernales", Alexander Hoffman married Jennet Hay on January 1, 1852 at Mormon Mill, Texas. Johnson writes, "For several weeks the Wight's prospected near the Pack Saddle Mountains, looking for and failing to find an old Spanish silver mine. By the early part of December 1853, their wagons and herds were traveling south ...." In February of 1854, Hoffman was also tracking and fighting Comanche Indians. By March of 1854 they were at the Bandera Settlement.
Andrew Hoffman and Jennet (Jenet) evidently lived apart in Bandera. Jennet Hay was the daughter of Alexander Hay and Jessie Ballantyne Hay and was born May 24, 1838. Jennet Hay (Hoffman) died on April 1, 1863 and is buried in the Bandera City Cemetery. After, Jennet Hay's death, Andrew married Mary Beaufort Rine (1845-?) on September 9,1863 in Bandera, Texas. Her brother, Thaddeus C. Rine, was Tax Assessor Collector (sworn in on January 1, 1866) and later, Bandera County Sheriff (sworn in on October 13, 1866).
Andrew Hoffman was a "Bandera Ranger" and is listed on the muster roll of Captain Bladen Mitchell's Company, 3rd Frontier District, Texas State Troupers. Hoffman enrolled in February of 1864 at the age of 37 in Bandera County. Andrew and Mary Hoffman sold their properties (40 acres and two town lots) in Bandera County on May 25, 1866 to Eugene Oborski and then moved to Iowa. Andrew and others returned to Bandera just after the War between the States ended to conduct RLDS revival services. Andrew Hoffman died on December 16, 1888 in Monona County, Iowa and is buried in Pisgah, Harrison County, Iowa. Andrew and Mary Hoffman's children were Margrit (1865-?), Mary H. "Alice" (1865-1916), Andrew (1867-?), and Dora Ella (1869-1925). Margrit and Mary were born in Texas and Andrew and Dora were born in Missouri.
Andrew Hoffman of early Bandera County history has been confused with Alexander Hoffmann (correct spelling) of the Seco Creek country and early Medina County history. Alexander Hoffmann that is buried in St. Domonic's Cemetery in Old D'Hanis was born in Austria in 1828 arrived in Texas before September of 1847 and was killed by Comanche Indians on March 17th, 1860. His headstone stated that he was first Sheriff of Bandera County, but that is a mistake. Alexander Hoffmann was in the regular United States Army and served in the Mexican War and was stationed at Fort Duncan in 1850. His life history will be presented in detail in my book "Bandera de Oro y Plata", which is about silver, gold and lead mining in central Texas.