Groff Memorial Park
About Groff Memorial Park and the Groff/Miller Family
The Groff Memorial Park was created by Elizabeth and John Miller and donated to the Borough of New Holland for the enjoyment of its citizens. The Park is a permanent memorial which honors the contributions made by Elizabeth’s parents to the history and development of the town.
The Park was conceived also as a place where visitors could gain a glimpse of the majesty of the primordial forests that preceded the agricultural revolution in Lancaster County. Elizabeth loved the Pennsylvania woodlands and her interest is reflected in her direction that the Park should include only trees and plants native to Pennsylvania.
A.B. Charles Groff who was known to everyone as Charlie, was a second generation New Holland business entrepreneur. His father, Abraham B. Groff started a successful hardware store and a carriage factory, located on Railroad Avenue. The carriage factory expanded and relocate to an adjacent building in 1920s. Charlie succeeded his father as an owner and president of the carriage factory and presided over its transition to becoming a well-known implement and farm machinery store. Subsequently known as A.B.C. Groff, Inc. the store featured John Deere equipment.
Abraham B. Groff was also a founding board member and first president of the New Holland Farmers National Bank . Charlie was elected as president of the New Holland Farmers Bank, where he served without remuneration after his father’s death from 1926 to 1965. The New Holland Farmers National Bank was instrumental in financing the growth of important industries in the town, including Zausners Cheese Factory (now Fleur de Lait), Weavers Poultry (now Tyson), Frank Ix & Sons silk mill. The bank ceased to operate as an independent local bank after a series of mergers and acquisitions, beginning in 1987 when it was merged with Dauphin Deposit Bank.
Charlie married Edna Pearl Stauffer. Edna’s father was an original investor in the New Holland Sales Barn. When the opportunity arose, Charlie purchased Edna’s childhood farmstead, known locally as Stauffer Homestead Farm. Charlie focused the operation of the farm on producing pure-bred Angus cattle and Hampshire hogs. Later, it was one of the first farms in the United States to offer pure-bred Swiss Charolais cattle. Charlie’s activities at Stauffer Homestead Farm complimented his sister’s involvement in the livestock business. Anna married John Hoober, principal owner of the Lancaster Stock Yards.