Sidewalk Markers Beneath Our Feet

Eli David Hofeller


TEXT Beneath Illustrations

Forest Lawn Cemetery

Eli David Hofeller, contractor and philanthropist, was born in Buffalo, New York, February 10, 1857, son of Sigmund and Schanette (Goldsmith) Hofeller.

His father, a native of Germany, came to the United States in 1849 and engaged in business in Buffalo, New York.

The son was educated in the public schools of Buffalo, Rochester, New York, and in Stuttgart, Germany. Hofeller's success in the editorship of his school periodical led to a connection as a writer with the Rochester daily newspapers.

In 1880, he entered the service of the Stein Casket Company of Rochester as a traveling salesman, and in 1884 was placed in charge of that concern's exhibit at the Cotton Centennial Exposition in New Orleans, Louisiana.

In 1893, he established himself in the concrete paving business in Buffalo, New York, specializing in his "Crescent" pavement, the superior qualities of which soon made a financial success of the Crescent Concrete Company. Hofeller named his company in honor of his wife, Bertha, who was born in the "Crescent City" -- New Orleans.

Hofeller's company also handled on a large scale the famous Roebling System of fireproof construction for floors and partitions. He carried out numerous important works for commercial concerns and municipal corporations, in various parts of the United States and Canada, and also satisfactorily completed a number of large railroad and government contracts.

His company, in 1907, received the gold medal and diploma awarded for concrete construction at the Canadian National Exhibition, Toronto, Canada.

At the time of his death in 1918, the corporation, with headquarters in Buffalo, had branches in Cleveland, Ohio, Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto,Canada.

Civic Life

Mr. Hofeller was a member of Buffalo Consistory, 32nd degree, and of Ismailia Temple, Mystic Shrine. He was a life member of the Buffalo Orphan Asylum and a trustee of the Western New York
Orphan Asylum, Rochester, NY. He was a director of the Buffalo Chamber of Commerce. He was also a member of the Buffalo Historical Society, Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences, the National Geographic Society and the Lambs Club of New York.

Politically, he was a Republican and he was a communicant of Temple Beth Zion. He founded the Eli D. Hofeller Foundation by donating a tract of land on the shore of Lake Erie, near Buffalo, where the Jewish Fresh Air Camp is located.

Family Life

He was married December 29, 1891, to Bertha, daughter of Louis Kaiser, a merchant of New Orleans, Louisiana. She died in 1915, leaving two sons:

Mr. E. D. Hofeller died in Buffalo, NY, December 28, 1918.

Main source of information: The 1926 National Cyclopaedia of American Biography.

Special thanks: Information about the origin of "Crescent" and some information about Sigmar K. Hofeller contributed by Elaine Hofeller Kuper

Special thanks: Hofeller photo provided by Jeff Bricker

Color photos and their arrangement 2003 Chuck LaChiusa
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