John Milton Hoffman, the author of the "Slash-away" stories and many others, was born in 1846. He died at 210 Keystone Avenue, River Forest, Illinois, Christmas Eve, 1928, and was buried in Forest Home Cemetery. In his younger days he wrote many novels, but for quite a number of years before his death, until his health failed, he was in the real-estate business in Chicago, and is so listed in the directories from 1885 to 1889. He was said to have received much money in royalties for his books, but, disliking banks and bankers, hid his money or carried it about with him. At times, according to the newspapers, he is said to have had as much as $40,000 on his person. His wife, Naomi Cadman, who died several years before him, had left a fortune in jewels, but after Hoffman's death, no jewels and only $35 were found. The house was left furnished but deserted, and it became known as the "haunted house." On November 23, 1938, some small boys, entering it to look for treasure, dropped a match in a closet and started a fire which partly destroyed it.
Besides the three stories written for the Boy's Library, and several times reprinted by Beadle, he wrote some shorts in the Saturday Journal. He also wrote a few Nickel Libraries in the late 1870's and early 1880's.
REFERENCES: Chicago Daily News, November 23, 1938; New York Times, November 6 and 7, 1933; Dime Novel Round-Up, No. 27, February, 1934; Personal communications from his sister-in-law, Mrs. Elmer Hoffman, April 7 and 19, 1941.
Boy's Library (quarto). Nos. 56, 81, 95
Boy's Library (octavo). Nos. 88, 107, 110
Pocket Library. Nos. 385, 414