Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Dimmitt Heard Hoffman (1884-1965)

Portrait from the Official Manual of the State of Missouri, 1957.

   An attorney based in Sedalia, Missouri, Dimmitt Heard Hoffman was later elected as a judge for Missouri's 30th judicial circuit court, subsequently holding that post for a total of thirty-six years. One of three children born to Judge Louis Hoffman and the former Sarah Eleanor Dimmitt, Dimmitt H. Hoffman was born in Sedalia, Missouri on August 29, 1884. Hoffman was bestowed the unusual first name "Dimmitt" due to it being his mother's maiden name and would be a student in the public school system of Sedalia
   In the early 1900s Dimmitt Hoffman entered the University of Missouri and in 1907 graduated with his A.B. degree. He earned his Bachelor of Laws degree two years later and for a time taught a commercial law class at a business school in his home city of Sedalia. Following his admission to the state bar Hoffman joined his father Louis (a former county prosecuting attorney and circuit court judge) in the law firm of Hoffman and Hoffman, which would attain "high place amongst the legal firms of Pettis County and western Missouri".
  Dimmitt H. Hoffman married in September 1916 to Agnes Lucille Davis (1891-1930), with whom he had one daughter, Mary Alice (born ca. 1928). Following Agnes' death at age 39 in 1930 Hoffman remarried to Maurine Hieronymus (1899-1959) and had another daughter, Ruth Maurine (born ca. 1936)

Dimmitt H. Hoffman, from the 1905 Savitar yearbook.

    After a decade of practicing law in Sedalia Dimmitt Hoffman won election as judge for Missouri's 30th judicial circuit court in 1922, defeating his Democratic opponent by a vote of 7,570 to 5,504. He would win reelection  on five further occasions (1928, 1934, 1940, 1946 and 1952)  and during his lengthy tenure on the bench was elected as a member of the executive council of the Missouri Judicial Conference's Kansas City Court of Appeals district. He was first elected to that council in 1944 and two years later won another three year term. 
    In 1958 Hoffman was not a candidate for reelection to the circuit court. In October of that year he had been hospitalized in Wisconsin due to a blood clot in his leg, leading to speculation that he would "not be able to finish out his term". He retired from the bench at the end of his term in December 1958. Tragedy struck Hoffman in August 1959 when his second wife Maurine died at age 59. He would marry for a third time sometime later to Lois Driskell (died 1976), about whom little is known.
    Judge Dimmitt Hoffman died at age 81 on November 30, 1965. He was survived by his third wife Lois and was later interred at the Crown Hill Cemetery located in Sedalia, Missouri.

From the 1937-38 Official Manual of the State of Missouri.

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