”JOHN D. SCHOCK. —One of the finest homes in Blue Springs is that of John D. Schock, who is now living in honorable retirement. Mr. Schock was born in Seneca county, Ohio, September 25, 1849. His father, George Schock, was born in Union county, Pennsylvania, in 1819, and when a young man he learned the carpenter’s trade. He became an early settler of Seneca county, Ohio, near the town of Bellevue. There he bought land and became a successful farmer. He continued bis residence in Seneca county until 1872, when he sold his property there and bought a farm in St. Joseph county, Michigan, near Three Rivers. This latter farm was the stage of his endeavors until he retired from active life. In 1900 he became a resident of Blue Springs, Nebraska, where his last days were spent and where he had often visited his sons, the latter having lived in Gage county for a number of years. The grandfather of our subject was John Schock, a native of Union county, Pennsylvania, born about 1778. In 1815 John Schock became one of the pioneer settlers of Seneca county, Ohio. The maiden name of the mother of the subject of this review was Lucy A. Ware. She was born in Lehigh county, Pennsylvania, and in 1814, when ten years of age, accompanied her parents to Seneca county, Ohio. There she was reared to adult age and there she met and married George Schock. She accompanied her husband on the removal to Michigan and later to Gage county, her death occurring at Blue Springs.
John D. Schock was reared on a farm in Seneca county, Ohio, and when a boy of nineteen he came to Nebraska for the benefit of his health. He here employed himself at anything he could find to do, and one of the first jobs he found was helping to dig the mill race for the first dam built on the Blue river at Blue Springs. He thereafter secured three yokes of open and engaged in breaking prairie. Though only a poor boy, working by day and month, he donated twenty-five dollars toward building the first Methodist church at Beatrice, besides which he secured the contract for hauling material used in the erecting of that church. He was not old enough to take a homestead but he purchased a land warrant held by a soldier of the war of 1812. On this land he erected a one-story frame house fourteen by twenty-two feet in dimensions, and there he engaged in farming. When the town of Wymore was founded he gave the undivided one-half of forty acres to start the town, and some of the finest residences as well as some of the business blocks of Wymore are on the land where he once carried on farming pursuits. In 1881 he sold the remainder of his one hundred and sixty acres to the Lincoln Land Company. In the same year he purchased a farm in Blue Springs township, and here he continued to be successfully engaged in farming until 1901, when he sold the property. After a year spent in traveling he erected his present residence in Blue Springs, where he now lives in the enjoyment of well earned rest and comfort.
In 1873 Mr. Schock returned to Ohio and was united in marriage to Miss Susan B. SnaveIy, a native of Lebanon county, Pennsylvania. They have become the parents of six children, two of whom are living: Charles W., who as a young man manifested unusual mechanical talent and who is now engaged in the manufacture of special machinery, electrical instruments, etc., is married and resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota; Hettie Maude is the widow of Frank Rieff, residing in Beatrice.
In point of continuous residence few men in the south-central part of the county have been here longer than Mr. Schock. Blue Springs contained three log cabins when he arrived. His first home in the county is still doing service as a residence and the cellar he bricked up more than forty-five years ago is still in service.
Mr. Schock was a Republican for many years, but he voted for Woodrow Wilson twice and hopes to do so again. He has never aspired to nor held public office. He was one of the organizers of the Farmers’ Elevator Company of Blue Springs, served as its treasurer ten years, and was the main factor in organizing the Gage County Insurance Company, several years ago. Coming to Gage county when pioneer conditions were to be seen on every hand, he has contributed his full share toward bringing about present-day conditions, and in his ventures he has been successful, justly deserving to spend his declining years in the enjoyment of a well earned rest.”
Source: History of Gage, County, Nebraska, by Hugh Jackson Dobbs, Western Publishing and Engraving Co., Lincoln , Nebraska, 1918, pages 822-3
More recent photo. 1st Schock house – 414 W I Street, Wymore. 2 clues 1) window trim on the front of the house matches the original 2) the front of the house faces the alley (it used to be on a farm).
Photo and information courtesy of Jan Elois Morris.