Germany has furnished to the United States many bright, enterprising young men who have left the fatherla and to enter the business circles of this country with its more progressive methods, livelier competition and advancement more quickly served. Among the number is Valentine Hooker. He has somewhat of the strong, rugged and persevering characteristics developed by his earlier environments, which, coupled with the livelier impulses of the Teutonic blood ot his ancestors, made him at an early day seek wider field in which to give full scope to his ambition and industry—his dominant qualities. He found the opportunities he sought in the freedom and appreciation of this country. Though born across the water he is thoroughly American in thought and feeling, and is patriotic and sincere in his love for the stars and stripes. His career is identified with the history of Fairfield county, where he has acquired a competence and where he is an honored and respected citizen.


Mr. Hooker is a native of Baden, Germany, his birth having occurred near Heidelberg on the 18th of December, 1842. His parents were George and Anna Mary (Zenrick) Hooker. The father was also a native of the locality in which our subject was born and for many years engaged in business as a brewer and distiller, spending his entire life in his native country. In the family were six children, of whom five are yet living, and all of this number came to America with the exception of one—Catherine, who resides in Germany. Elizabeth is the widow of John W. Bans. Charles is a resident of Lancaster. Christina is the wife of Philip Muler, of New York city. George, who was a resident of Lancaster, died in 1895.


In accordance with the laws of the fatherland.,Valentine Hooker attended the public schools, and on putting aside his text-books, he was apprenticed to learn the trade of a stone cutter. Hearing favorable reports of the business opportunities of the United States he determined to seek a home beyond the Atlantic and after arriving in New York city made his way direct to Lancaster, Ohio. Here he engaged in stone cutting, in building and contracting, working mostly in free stone. He has constructed many of the foundations of the business blocks, dwellings, churches and factories of Lancaster and his efficiency in the line of his chosen vocation secures to him a liberal patronage. He continued an active factor in that department of industry until 1884 when he was appointed superintendent of the Forest Rose cemetery and was made secretary of the board, which responsible position he still fills. His efficient service has been the means of continuing him in office through the various administrations. The company has provided him with a comfortable and well equipped office in which he transacts his business. He has made the city of the dead most beautiful, its appearance indicating his care and close attention.


In 1865 Mr. Hooker was united in marriage to Miss Nettie J. Murray, of Lancaster, a daughter of George W. and Mary Murray. Mrs. Hooker and her parents were natives of Fairfield county, her grandparents having removed to Ohio from New York. The marriage of our subject and his wife has been blessed with three children: Nettie C, Katie E., who is the wife of Marion Hankison, of Lancaster, and has three children: Nettie C., William J. and Margaret; and William M., who is a carpenter in the building business in Lancaster. Mr. Hooker and his family are worthy members of St. Peter's Evangelical church, taking very active and beneficial interest in its work. For a quarter of a century Mr. Hooker has been superintendent of the Sunday school and he is fraternally connected with Mount Pleasant Lodge, No. 48, K. of P. The hope that led him to leave his native land and seek a home in America has been more than realized. He found the onportunities he sought, which, by the way, are always open to the ambitious, energetic man, and making the best of these he has steadily worked his way upward. He possesses the resolution, perseverane and reliability so characteristic of the people of his nation, and his name is now enrolled among the best citizens of Fairtield county.

 

From A Biographical Record of Fairfield County, Ohio, S. J. Clarke Publishing, New York and Chicago, 1902