BIOGRAPHY - James Hock

JAMES HOCK, a pioneer of the territory now comprising Ford County, who dates his first coming here from 1852, and permanently settled at what is now the city of Paxton in the winter of 1853-4, was born in Fountain County, Ind., November 5, 1834, and is a son of Jacob and Amy (Leatherman) Hock. His father was twice married and James was the youngest of the second family of children. There were eight children in all who grew to mature years. Mr. Hock, Sr., was a native of Pennsylvania, and during his childhood removed with his parents to Preble County, Ohio. In the Buckeye State, he was married and then took up his residence in Fountain County, Ind., where he spent the remainder of his days, dying at the age of fifty-two years. His wife, the mother of our subject, was born in Ohio, and died in middle life.

In 1852, James Hock came to Illinois to what is now Ford County, but made no permanent settlement. The following summer he returned to Indiana and, in the spring of 1853, we once more find him in Illinois. During the greater part of the succeeding summer, he was employed in hauling timber for bridge and culvert building on the Illinois Central Railroad through Iroquois County, and also engaged at farm work. In the winter of 1853-4, he returned to Ford County and made his home a mile from Prairie City, now Paxton. For a while he rented land and was engaged in farming. A few years later, he removed to the neighborhood of Danville, where he followed agricultural pursuits.

On the 27th of March, 1859, in Prairie City, Mr. Hock was united in marriage with Miss Cordelia Day, a daughter of Samuel and Peggy (Puviance) Day. She was born in Preble County, Ohio, and came to Illinois in the fall of 1851 with her parents, the family settling in Paxton in the summer of 1854. A sketch of her father appears elsewhere in this work. Mr. and Mr. Hock have two children, a son and a daughter: Clara, now the wife of George Laybourn, a resident of Duluth, Minn., and Ross, who is engaged in the lumber business in Peoria.

In 1866, Mr. Hock purchased a quarter-section of land on section 34, township of Wall, Ford County, adjoining the north line of Patton Township, and situated about four miles northwest of the city of Paxton, which he still owns and which is one of the best improved and most valued farms of Ford County. There he engaged in farming and stock-raising until 1871, when he removed to Paxton and engaged in the live-stock business, continuing operations in that line very successfully for twelve years. Later he was engaged in the grain and farm implement business and for a time was in the grocery business in Paxton, also was owner of a lumber yard for a year. At the present time, he is practically living a retired life, attending only to the care of his property. Himself and wife are members of the Congregational Church and their daughter of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and, in politics, Mr. Hock is a Republican, having supported that party since he cast his first Presidential vote for John C. Fremont. With the exception of an interval of two years, he has made his home in Ford County since coming here forty years ago, and is highly esteemed for his integrity of character and the upright and manly spirit that has always marked his intercourse with his fellow-citizens.

Extracted 22 Aug 2019 by Norma Hass from Portrait and Biographical Record of Ford County, Illinois, published in 1892, pages 244-247.

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