BIOGRAPHY - Henry Brock

HENRY BROCK, a retired farmer who makes his home in Piper City, was born in Tompkins County, N. Y., May 8, 1824, and is of Scotch descent. The great-grandfather, accompanied by two brothers, came from Scotland to America prior to the Revolutionary War, and the former served in the struggle for independence. He was with Washington during the hard winter at Valley Forge, where the bleeding feet of the soldiers made tracks upon the snow.

The father of our subject, Thomas Brock, was born and reared in Dutchess County, N. Y., upon a farm, and in an early day removed to Tompkins County. After his father's death, he and his brothers took care of, and supported, the family. He was married, in that county, to Phoebe Woodruff, a native of Connecticut. In politics, he was a Democrat for some years, and afterward became a Whig. In religious belief, he was a Congregationalist. He died in 1872, at the age of sixty-seven years. His wife survived him several years, and passed away at the advanced age of eighty-four. During the last years of her life she was blind. The family numbered the following children: Maria, deceased; Henry, of this sketch; John, who is living near the old homestead; Lavina, wife of Abel Baker, who was a teacher in the Deaf and Dumb Asylum of Illinois for a time; Alfred, who lives on the old homestead in New York; Chester, who died in childhood; Alecta, now Mrs. Holister, of New York, and Phoebe; one died in infancy.

Our subject acquired his education in the public and at a select school. His school life was ended at the age of eighteen years, after which he devoted his entire time and attention to farm work. On attaining his majority, he began working for himself, and four years later came to Illinois, in 1849, locating near Ottawa, where he engaged in agricultural pursuits for twenty years. During that time, he was united in marriage to Miss Sarah J. Woodruff, who died in La Salle County. Mr. Brock was again married in 1882, in this county, his second union being with Mrs. Mariette Thomas, widow of Francis Thomas. She has one son by her first marriage, John, who resides at home and operates eighty acres of land.

In 1869, Mr. Brock came to Ford County, and purchased one hundred and twenty acres of unimproved prairie land in Pella Township. This he drained, transforming the wild land into rich and fertile fields, and making it a valuable farm, upon which he resided until 1885, although he continued to operate his land until two years ago. His health having failed, he has since lived a retired life in Piper City. He is a man of good business ability, enterprising and progressive, and by his own efforts has accumulated his property.

Mr. Brock is a member of the Masonic lodge, of Piper City. In early life, he was a supporter of the Whig party, and cast his first Presidential vote for Gen. Taylor. In 1860, he supported Lincoln, and since that time has voted with the Republican party, except in 1872, when he cast his ballot for Horace Greeley. While in La Salle County, he served as Commissioner of Highways, has been School Trustee for a number of years, and has served as Trustee of Piper City, but has never been an office-seeker. He is recognized as one of the substantial citizens of the community, and is both well and favorably known throughout his adopted county.

Extracted 28 Mar 2020 by Norma Hass from Portrait and Biographical Record of Ford County, Illinois, published in 1892, page 282.

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