Ohio Biographies

Aloysius I. Hoeffel

Father Hoeffel, a priest of the Catholic Church, was born in France, May 14, 1832. His parents are Charles and Magdaline. They have eight children--Michael, Margaret, Joseph, Edward, Charles, Magdaline, A. J. and Catharine.


From 1875 Historical Atlas of Allen County, Ohio, by H. H. Hardesty & Co. Publishers, Chicago.



Rev. Aloysius I. Hoeffel, pastor of the Church of St. Johns the Evangelist at Delphos, whose portrait accompanies this sketch, was born at Lutzelbourg, Lorraine, Diocese of Nancy, France, May 14, 1832, but he has been a resident of Ohio for many years, coming as a pioneer priest to many of the now thickly populated counties of this State.

Father Hoeffel secured his early education at Cowtrey, Belgium, where his brother Joseph who died in 1898, was at college professor for a period of 40 years. Father Hoeffel pursued collegiate studies there for five years and he spent four years subsequently at Fenetrange and Pont-au-Mousson, France, completing his classical studies. In 1854 he came to America and in January 1855, was received at St. Mary's Theological Seminary. After three and a half years there, he was elevated to the priesthood by Bishop Rappe, June 13, 1858. On July 2d of that year he was appointed to the parish at Defiance, Ohio, which included work in six counties, his services of the greatest value. For a decade following, Father Hoeffel traveled through Paulding, Henry, Fulton, Williams and parts of Lucas and Putnam counties, carrying to many secluded homes the comfort of spiritual ministrations and performing at many points the various offices of the church. On January 28, 1868, Father Hoeffel was appointed pastor of the Church of St. John the Evangelist at Delphos, Ohio, since which time he has been identified with the work and people here. What he has accomplished fills and important chapter in church history in this part of Ohio. In 1868 he purchased two lots on which stood a frame house where worship was held. In 1869-70 a new brick school-house, three stories high, containing four rooms and hall, was erected; and in 1872 a Sisters' residence on First street. These narrowly escaped the fire of 1873, when the pioneer church and Sisters' residence were destroyed. In 1875 a new organ was installed in the church, and in 1879 the old wooden structure, which had out-lived its usefulness, was pulled down. On June of this year the corner stone was laid for the new edifice, which is now entirely clear of debt. The beautiful chime of bells were presented to the church by Father Hoeffel in 1894, when the 50th anniversary of the church may be found in Chapter VII of this work in the history of Delphos.

Father Hoeffel is much beloved by his congregation and by the general public at Delphos, this feeling of general esteem gaining him the name of the "Good Shepherd" of his parish. After the celebration of the silver jubilee, the good Father was afforded the opportunity to make an enjoyable trip to Europe. Although a man of scholarly acquirements and literary tastes, as will be seen, he is also a man of great executive ability and most practical ideas.


From History of Allen County, Ohio and Representative Citizens, Part 1, Edited & Compiled by Charles C. Miller, Ph. D.; Richmond & Arnold, Publishers, Chicago, 1906