JOHN STOCKDALE, a well-known citizen of Randolph Township, owns and occupies a valuable homestead located on
section 32. It comprises 150 acres of land and he has occupied it since 1856. In addition to other natural advantages
possessed by this beautiful country-seat, there is a spring of mineral water, besides a creek which provides an
unfailing supply for the farm stock and other needful purposes. The family residence and the buildings adjoining
are tasteful structures.
John Stockdale is the eldest son of William and Jane (McNown) Stockdale, who came from County Down, Ireland, having been married there before their emigration to this country. They were of pure Irish ancestry and parentage. The parents of our subject, immediately after their marriage, which occurred in 1810, started for the New World. They located in Allegheny County, Pa., on a farm of 120 acres, which remained their home for a period of sixteen years. They then sold out and removed into Washington County, just across the river from their old home. The father here purchased 226 acres upon which they remained the balance of their lives, the mother dying in 1833, when forty years of age, and the father in 1851, aged fifty-eight years. Their family consisted of ten children, five sons and five daughters, two of the younger sons being deceased. The others are all married and comfortably established in homes of their own.
The grandfather of our subject, John Stockdale, Sr., was also a native of County Down, Ireland, where he spent his entire life, engaged in agricultural pursuits. His wife was a Miss Philps, a native of his own country, and they reared a family of three sons and two daughters. Of these the father of our subject was the youngest son. While yet a young man and when crossing the English Channel, he was pressed into the British service and compelled to follow the fortunes of a soldier for two years, although they were usually held for seven. He possessed a good education and obtained his release through his own efforts, and assisted by friends. He soon afterward came to America and became prominent in the political affairs of his adopted State. He was identified with the Whig party and was a man whose opinions were greatly respected, both upon political and general matters.
The subject of this history was reared in Washington County, Pa., and at an early age labored hard around the homestead and in the grain fields of his father. The harvest was then gathered by the sickle and later with the cradle, the convenient machinery of to-day being unknown, and the labors of the farmer were arduous and almost endless. Our subject lived at home until his marriage, which occurred on the same farm where he was born, but in a house which was erected later. The maiden of his choice was Miss Margaret Corry, and their wedding took place Feb. 26, 1847. Mrs. S. was born in Pittsburgh, Pa., in October, about 1820, her parents being James and Isabell (Stockdale) Corry, who were also born, reared and married in County Down, Ireland. They also soon afterward came to this country and located in Pittsburgh, her father being connected with the iron works of that city. He afterward purchased the first tract of land upon which a farm was opened up in Allegheny County, this being owned by William Stockdale, the father of our subject. There he established a comfortable home and there the mother died while yet in the prime of life, leaving her husband with eleven children to mourn their irreparable loss. The wife of our subject was the eldest daughter but one of these and only two besides herself are living. The father came to Iowa in 1862 and died in Van Buren County, that State, in 1879, having reached the advanced age of ninety-six years. His father before him, Frank Corry, lived and died in Ireland, and was one hundred and one years of age.
Mr. and Mrs. Stockdale of this sketch became the parents of three children: William B., a hardware merchant of Heyworth, married Miss Anna Wakefield; James C. is manager of the home farm, and Alice B. also lives with her parents. Mr. and Mrs. S. soon after their marriage located upon the farm in Pennsylvania, and in about 1855 came to Sangamon County, Ill., where they purchased a farm and after living upon it a few months became homesick and selling out went back to that State. The year following they tried coming West again, and after coming to this State and county resolved to endure a little homesickness and have succeeded admirably. They, with their son William B. and their daughter Alice, are worthy members of the Presbyterian Church. Politically Mr. Stockdale is a Republican and a citizen who has gained the esteem of his neighbors. The grandparents on the maternal side were John and Miss (Hunter) McNown and the names of the grandparents of Mrs. Stockdale of our sketch were William and Miss (Hastings) Stockdale.
Portrait and biographical album of McLean County, Ill. : containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Illinois, and of the presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887), 699. Transcribed by Judy Rosella Edwards.