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Brock, Hiram C.
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Brock, Hiram C.
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Source: Portrait and Biographical Album of Pike and Calhoun Counties, Illinois, 1891; Page 196 - 198

HIRAM C. BROCK. The loyal hearts of Americans are ever thrilled with admiration for the unswerving patriotism and valor displayed by those whom we are proud to honor as "old soldiers," and whose deeds will be remembered as long as history endures. Among the dwellers in Pike County who gave up the comforts of home, endured the privations and dangers found on the tented field, and braved the loss of health for the sake of their country, is Hiram C. Brock, now living in Montezuma Township. The years which he spent in the Union Army are not the only ones of his life during which he was subject to danger by flood and field, and bore a part in experiences somewhat out of the common run. Time and space forbid the biographical writer to enlarge upon the incidents of his career, but even a brief outline will prove of interest to our renders.

The parents of our subject were Selah S. and Mary Ann (Compton) Brock, the former born in Orange County, N. Y., April 19, 1804, and the latter in the same State March 26, 1810. Their wedding rites were celebrated March 17, 1827, and a few years later they removed from the Empire State to New Jersey. Mr. Brock began the battle of life as a school teacher, then engaged in agriculture, but after removing to New Jersey, found employment at clearing timber at Hackettstown. In 1846 he removed to Pennsylvania, and four years later came to Illinois, settling on a farm in Fulton County. After a time he changed his place of residence to Bureau County, and in 1853 went to Iowa. From that State he came to Pike County in 1865, making a permanent settlement on section 31, Montezuma Township. There he breathed his last September 14, 1874, being followed to the tomb a few years later by his good wife, who passed away September 12, 1878. They were both consistent members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The family of the worthy couple consisted of eleven children, but two of whom are now living.

The gentleman of whom we write was born October 28, 1837, in Sussex County, N. J., and assisted his father in their various places of abode until 1860. He then, in company with a Mr. Leonard, prepared an outfit of two wagons, four yoke of cows and a yoke of oxen, and started for Pike's Peak. The comrades milked the cows, and the shaking of the wagon churned the cream, so that they had fresh butter every day. After traveling thirty days they reached their destination, where they sold the flour they had remaining for $18 per sack. They camped on the Missouri Flats, where people were dying off with mountain fever, and went into the Gregory Mines. Young Brock wandered about the mountains, went to work building a ditch, and finally left the mountains with nothing. He had visited Leadville in its early days, but saw no indication of its present prosperity.

Finding mining a delusion and a snare, Mr. Brock took up a piece of land in Caeha Leprudia Valley, built a, log house and put up hay which he hauled to the mountains with oxen. In the fall of 1861. he enlisted in Denver, and was enrolled as a private in Company A, First Colorado Cavalry. The regiment was mustered in as Infantry, and made the march of six hundred miles to Ft. Union, N. M. They took part in the battle of Pigeon's Ranch and Verda in that Territory, then went to Ft. Lyon, Col., and later to Colorado City, where they were mounted and employed in protecting Government property against Indians. Mr. Brock fought under Col. Chivington at Sand Creek where six hundred Indian men, women, and children were killed. His connection with the army continued four years and two months, during which time he saw much of the Indian warfare, and skirmish work in a mountainous country, where danger lurks behind every rock and tree. While on a night march in Colorado he received an injury in the foot which left him badly crippled, and for which he has recently received u considerable back pension.

After his discharge, Mr. Brock returned to the Prairie State and again turned his attention to agricultural pursuits in Pike County. He bought eighty acres of land in Spring Creek Township, that was about half improved, and made it his home until 1872, when he settled on section 31, Montezuma Township. In 1879 he removed to the farm he now. occupies, which consists of one hundred and five acres of improved laud, containing a good natural fish pond which is now stocked with German carp. Mr. Brock superintends the farm, upon which both grain and stock are raised. He has prospered in worldly affairs, is quite well-to-do, and abundantly able to surround his family with all the comforts and conveniences of modern farm life. He occupies a pleasant residence, built in 1882, at a cost of $2,200, the appearance of which gives evidence of the presence within of refined womanhood. Mr. Brock has made ten trips to the West, and proves an entertaining companion to all who enjoy hearing of the scenes and incidents which his journeys cover.

Mr. Brock has been fortunate in securing for his companion a lady of intelligence and genuine worth of character, with whom he was united in marriage January 16, 1868. She bore the maiden name of Florence R. Cox, her parents being Robert and Mary (Curtis) Cox, formerly well-known in this vicinity as members of the agricultural community, enterprising, prosperous and public-spirited. Both Mr. and Mrs. Cox were natives of the Buckeye State, where they were married and resided until 1852. They then came to this State, settling on the farm now occupied by our subject, where the husband died in February, 1870, and the wife in April, 1879. Both belonged to the Methodist Episcopal Church, and bestowed great care upon their children, seven of whom are now living, Mr. Cox owned one thousand acres of land. The birthplace of Mrs. Brock was Highland County, Ohio, and her natal day October 4, 1843. She pursued her studies in the log schoolhouse of that day, and under the parental roof acquired the attainments which fitted her for the position she has filled. Her union with our subject has been blessed with the birth of eight children, those now living being Clarence R., Claudis D., Leo L., Hila R., and Chester A. They are still attending school, it being the desire of their parents that they shall become thoroughly informed.

Both Mr. and Mrs. Brock belong to the Methodist Episcopal Church at Milton, and have good standing in the society, where Mr. Brock has held the positions of Steward, Class-Leader and Sunday-school Superintendent. He has been connected with the administration of civil affairs as Highway Commissioner, and identified with the school work as Director. He belongs to the United Workmen at Milton. In politics he was first a Republican, then for a time a Greenbacker, but has returned to the Republican fold.

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Submitted: 09/05/09 (Edited 09/05/09)

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