Collection 2134 - Hoffman Mercantile Company Records, 1910-1922
Creator: Hoffman Mercantile Company
Provenance Note: Merrill G. Burlingame gave the Hoffman Mercantile Company records to the Museum of the Rockies, Montana State University, on February 4, 1957. The Museum transferred ownership to Special Collections on December 18, 1984.
Historical Note: George Brown Hoffman was born in Michigan sometime in the early 1840s, the fourth child of George Washington Hoffman and Esther Louise Wheeler Hoffman. His younger brother was Charles Wheeler Hoffman, an early day Bozeman, Montana merchant who had come to nearby Fort Ellis in 1871 to operate the sutler store at the post. It is not clear when George followed his brother to Montana but he was already established as a Bozeman resident by the date of his marriage to Susie Lovell on February 13, 1881. By 1900 George Hoffman had started the Hoffman Mercantile Company store along the Trail Creek road in the upper Paradise Valley of Park County. When a post office was authorized at his location in 1900, George also became the postmaster, a position he held until 1904 when it was temporarily discontinued. The village of Hoffman had by 1912 an estimated population of 200 with a school, two saloons, two saw mills, and a coal mine, but it quickly went into decline. The second Hoffman post office was discontinued in 1918 and little remains of the village today. It is not known when the Hoffman Mercantile Company ceased operation.
Content Description Note: The Hoffman Mercantile Company records consist of three record books. The first is an account ledger, with an alphabetic index and recorded transactions from 1910 to 1911. The second volume is also an account ledger, recording transactions from 1915 to 1917. The third book is a check register with mostly detachable blank checks. The remaining stubs record checks issued from February 5, 1916 to July 10, 1922.