Hofer/Loewen Family Papers

Identity elements

Reference code

MA 101

Name and location of repository

Level of description



Hofer/Loewen Family Papers


  • 1940-2018 (Accumulation)


2.54 linear feet (1 Paige Miracle Box, 1 Newspaper Box)

Name of creator


Biographical history

Ben Frank Hofer was born in Milford Township in Beadle County, South Dakota on August 16, 1926 to Josua and Anna Hofer. He married Elsie Waldner in 1946. They farmed in Spink County, South Dakota. The Hofers had three children, Lowell, Darla, and Rachel. Elsie died in 2000. In 2002, Ben married Agnes Glanzer Waldner. Hofer was a grain and livestock farmer in Spink County, South Dakota. He was named Outstanding Young Farmer by the Redfield, South Dakota Jaycees in 1961. As an agribusiness man, Ben was active in the Spink County community. He served on the Spink County Pest and Weed Board, the Union Township Board, and as chairman of the Yale Board of Directors for the Farmers Elevator Cooperative. Hofer also served on the South Dakota Weed and Pest Commission. In 1995, their daughter, Darla, and her husband, Harold Loewen, moved to the family farm. Ben and Elsie moved to Huron, South Dakota where he became a member of the Huron Area Chamber of Commerce and served on its Agriculture Committee and Consumer Awareness Committee. In 1996, Hofer was a Republican candidate for the State Senate in District 21 for Beadle and Spink Counties in South Dakota. He lost to Democrat Charlie Flowers who had 64.78% of the votes to Hofer's 35.22%. Ben was also active in the Bethel Mennonite Brethren Church in rural Yale, South Dakota. He served on various church committees, such as the Mennonite Aid Property Board. He also served on the Central District of Mennonite Brethren Churches Conference Board of Trustees as well as the Board of Youth and Evangelism. Ben died May 2, 2018

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

This collection consists of farm accounting records, material related to Hofer's 1996 campaign for the South Dakota State Senate, biographical material, calendars, and acreage measurements for Milford Township in Beadle County, South Dakota.

The accounting records contain detailed information on farm operations for each year recorded on South Dakota State College Extension Farm and Ranch Record Books (1947-1949), National Farmers' Income Tax Record Books, Mitchell (South Dakota) Publishing Company (1950-1956, 1959), South Dakota State College Agricultural Extension Service Farm and Ranch Business Record Books (1957-1958, 1962-1966, 1968-1980), Doane Agricultural Digest Income and Expenditure Record Book (1960), Blackbourn's farm and Ranch Bookkeeping Record Books (1961, 1967), South Dakota State University Cooperative Extension Service Account Books (1997-1999), and a Farm Credit Services Farm and Ranch Record Book (2000). Information includes an inventory of land, improvements, buildings and livestock; livestock fees and sales; machinery, equipment and automobile inventory and operating expenses; map of the farm and crop-system summary; crops raised and sold; inventory of feed, grain and supplies; cash receipts and expenses; summary of expenses including taxes and labor; capital purchases and sales; products used on the farm and a financial business analysis summary.

Other material in the collection is campaign material, consisting of advertising, newspaper clippings, posters, pamphlets, and a photograph; biographical material of Ben Hofer and his father, Josua; calendars noting daily appointments and events; and, acreage measurements for Milford Township in Beadle County, South Dakota compiled by Josua Hofer in 1940

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Conditions governing access

This collection is open to researchers without restrictions. The materials in the Archives do not circulate and may be used in-house only.
Researchers conducting extensive research are asked to make an advance appointment to access archival material. Please call or e-mail prior to visiting the collection and indicate as much detail as possible about a particular topic and intended use.

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Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

South Dakota State University supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections. Nonetheless, access to some items may be restricted as a result of their fragile
condition or by contractual agreements with donors.

Languages of the material

  • English

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