Major General Samuel Hof was born in Boscobel, Wisconsin on October 24, 1870 and graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1894.
He was originally a Cavalry officer and later transferred to Ordnance. Early in his career, he distinguished himself while serving as Commanding Officer, Frankford Arsenal from 1918 to 1919, where he brought tracer, incendiary, and armor-piercing ammunition to a production basis. Because of his energetic efforts, these munitions were produced in adequate quantities to support the Army's requirements.
Later, as Acting Chairman of the Ordnance Claims Board, because of his many abilities and tact, he secured the settlement of many World War I outstanding obligations of the Ordnance Department.
During the interwar period, as Chief of Field Service Ordnance Department, he perfected the organization and controlled the disposition of vast quantities of production facilities left over from the war. During a period of drastic change in the Army's equipment inventory, he served as Assistant Chief of Ordnance from 1927 to 1930 and as Chief of Ordnance from 1930 to 1934.
His greatest accomplishment was his ability to administer the Ordnance Department and introduce new items at a time when government funding for military procurement was being drastically reduced due to the problems associated with the Great Depression. During his tenure, he dealt with the challenges of increased motorization and mechanization of the Army. Under his guidance, improvements to the supply function of the Ordnance Department were realized. Maj. Gen. Hof was also instrumental in the development of wartime plans in conjunction with industry for the development of munitions, small arms, and weapons systems. General Hof retired in 1934 and died in Washington, D.C. on March 10, 1937.