Saturday, July 21 was the final day for this historic building located downtown Freeman, between the Mr. G's Tires warehouse and Styled Sisters/Trendz. The structure, known most recently as the Raymond Hofer building, was removed beginning that morning and ending later in the day.
According to information compiled by Ben Bengston and posted on his history site, freemansd.webs.com, the property at 458 South Main — known most recently as the Raymond Hofer building —‚ was home to Abraham Kautz, who opened a harness shop in the building on the property starting in the early 1900s. In 1923 E.F. Tiesen opened a chiropractic office behind the harness shop and operated there for a few years. In 1943 Freeman Coop Oil purchased the building. In 1962, Charlie Gering, (who had taken over his father's shoe repair business in 1929) moved his shoe store into the building. Information from Raymond M. “Scratchy” Hofer provided to the Courier in 1979 provides the next chapter in the history of that building. In 1967, he bought the shoe business from Charlie Gering and opened Ray's Shoe Shop in that location. Hofer had earlier starting selling York grain bins and the Main Street location also became home to that business, Ray Hofer Steel Sales and Construction. In 1973, Hofer purchased the John P. Kleinsasser Insurance Agency and in 1976, the Carl Miller Insurance Agency. Hofer was a Freeman businessman for more than five decades; he died Nov. 4, 2016; he was 87.