HENRY M. BRINKERHOFF, deceased, who was engaged in the dairy business in Rockford for several years, was born in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, January 5, 1856, his parents being John M. and Margaret (Creswell) Brinkerhoff. The mother died in the Keystone state when her son Henry was but eight years of age. The father afterward carried on agricultural pursuits in Pennsylvania until 1887, when he came west with his son Henry and settled in Franklin Grove, Illinois, where he lived retired until the son removed to Rockford, the father accompanying him. There he also lived retired until his death, which occurred December 24, 1894.
Henry M. Brinkerhoff was a student in the common schools near Gettysburg and in his youth assisted in the operation of the home farm until the father sold the property in 1887. As stated, they came together to Illinois and the subject of this review secured a position as baggage man for the Chicago & Northwestern Railway Company at Franklin Grove. Later he was transferred to Dixon, Illinois, where he occupied a similar position for the same corporation for about two years. He then removed to Rockford in 1890 and entered into partnership with his brother-in-law, W. A. Moore, in the establishment and conduct of a grocery store at the northwest corner of Church and State streets. They engaged in business there for two years, at the end of which time Mr. Brinkerhoff sold his interests to Mr. Sharp, but continued in the store as an employe[e] for a brief period. He then turned his attention to the diary business at No. 826 Mulberry street and used several milk wagons in the delivery of the dairy products, being accorded a very liberal patronage. He engaged in business up to the time of his death and was quite successful, his labors bringing to him a good financial return annually.
Mr. Brinkerhoff was married in Franklin Grove to Miss Flora V. Plank, a native of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and a daughter of George and Tirzah (Kittinger) Plank, both of whom were natives of Pennsylvania, where the father followed farming throughout his entire life. He died in that state and his widow is still residing upon the old home farm there. Mr. and Mrs. Brinkerhoff had one daughter, Tirzah, who is living at home with her mother.
The death of Mr. Brinkerhoff occurred on the 6th of March, 1905. He was a member of the Woodmen camp and the Fraternal League, both of Rockford, and he gave his political allegiance to the republican party, but never sought or desired office. He was known throughout his home neighborhood as the “early riser,” as he always had his milk wagons out at a very early hour. His close application to his work and his unremitting diligence undermined his health. On the 1st of September, 1904, he purchased a residence at No. 715 Rockton avenue, where his widow and daughter now reside. Mrs. Brinkerhoff is a member of the German Baptist church of Rockford and is living with her daughter in the home prepared for her by her husband, together with her two cousins, Raphael Kittinger and Nancy Berger.
Source: Charles A. Church, Past and Present of the City of Rockford and Winnebago County, Illinois (Chicago: S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1905), pp. 251-252.