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Biography - Joseph Stocks

Portrait and Biographical Record
Joseph Stocks was proprietor and owner of the Montana Farm, situated on section 15, Dora Township, Moultrie County.  A native of England, he was born on April 6 1838.  His father Benjamin Stocks was also born in England in 1797 and in 1818 was united with Sarah Campinot.  Seven children were born of their union, Mary, Ellen, George, James, Ann, Emma and Joseph, all whom died before Joseph.

Joseph started work at the age of 14 for $1 per week, working on the Lancashire & Yorkshire railway.  He remained with them for 5 years, the last year getting $3 per week, out of which he saved a portion for coming to America, where better opportunities and privileged afforded young men he believed.

At the age of 19, he sailed from Liverpool, April 7 1857 arriving in Now York, May 8.  He went at once to Vinton County, Ohio and there started out with only 10c to his name.  While there he learnt the wagon-maker’s trade, working the first year for $5 per month and board, whilst the second year he received the magnificent salary of $7.50 per month.  After this, Joseph learned the blacksmiths trade and when he had mastered the business, he and Ira Day built a shop for themselves in Scotia Valley, in Ohio where they remained till the spring of 1863. That year witnessed: his arrival in Illinois.  He went to Mattoon in charge of the wagons, carriages and horses belonging to E. W. Vause, who was moving out, and he worked for that gentleman until the 1st of October 1863 when he removed to Stark County.  There he remained until January, when he returned to Ohio, but after a short time he started for California.  On the way he stopped in Iowa and Minnesota for a short time, and there, meeting a party bound for Montana with ox-teams, he joined them and they reach their destination after a trip of five months as seven days.  There Mr tocks began working in the gold diggings, and followed mining and blacksmithing for about eight years.

In the fall of 1869 he made a trip to England by way of California, stopping to see his brother George who lived south of Decatur.  When he came to  Moultrie County, he bought 160 acres of land of George Shrull, which was his first real estate and present home, but afterwards returned to Montana, in May, 1870, and December 15 1872, he returned to Moultrie to try farming.

In 1874 Mr Stocks again returned on a visit to his old home, where he spent a number of pleasant months with his aged parents, remaining until 1875 and leaving them in good care.  His mother died April 23 1875, aged 77 years, and his father died June 17 1875, aged 78 years.  The latter sold off his furniture twice, in preparation to come to America, but sickness prevented him doing so.  He often remarked that his body was in England but his thoughts were in America.

When Joseph came back to Illinois, our subject bought at different times 400 acres of land in Moiltrie and Macon Counties.  The greater part of the land however, is situated on section 15, Dora Township, Moultrie County.  Although the farm is all in one, divided only by the invisible county line.  The farm is one of the best in the community, in fact it ranks among the model farms of the nineteenth century.  There he engages in stock-raising in addition to general farming, and keeps on hand a fine grade of horse, cattle and hogs.  The improvements upon the place all stand as monuments to his thrift and enterprise, and the buildings are excellent, including a fine barn, which was erected at a cost of $6,000.

In his political affiliations, Mr Stocks is identified with the Democratic party, and has held the office of Township Clerk or Dora County.  Socially, he is connected with the Masonic and Odd Fellows’ fraternities and the Knights of the Maccabees.  Upright and honourable in all his dealings, he is a gentleman in every sense of the word, and enjoys the respect and esteem of the entire community in which he lives, and to this regard he is justly entitles.
The cited information was sourced from Book published about 1910 (Ref: Pages 662-3) The author/originator was Natalie Stocks. This citation is considered to be secondary evidence, data officially recorded sometime after event.
History of Macon County, IL, USA. 
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      Biography of Joseph Stocks

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