California Genealogy and History Archives
Coming to California in pioneer days, the late David Bock was for many years intimately associated with the agricultural interests of Sonoma county as an industrious and prosperous rancher. A man of energy and thrift, frugal and prudent, he was in truth the architect of his own fortune, by his persistency and perseverance obtaining a good annual income from his property.
A native of the east, David Bock was born in McKeansburg, Schuylkill county, Pa., in 1822, and died June 28, 1888. He was the son of Andrew Bock, whose father came from Germany and settled in Pennsylvania, and served in the Revolutionary war. David Bock learned the blacksmith's trade, after which he followed this until coming to the west in 1852. In April of that year he set out for California on a sailing vessel which made the perilous voyage around Cape Horn, but the vessel was sea-worthy and made the voyage in safety, consuming nine months. In San Francisco, where the vessel landed her human freight, he remained one year working at his trade. Following this he farmed at San Leandro for one year, and in 1854 he came to Sonoma county and this was his home continuously thereafter until his death. Soon after locating here, in 1854, he selected and purchased the ranch upon which his life was thereafter passed, consisting of three hundred and sixty acres of land near Petaluma. Politically he was a Republican.
The marriage of David Bock, in 1850, united him with Miss Lucy Renn, who was born in Sunbury, Montour county, Pa., in 1828, and who died in 1896. Eight children were born to them, five sons and three daughters, all of whom were born in California except the eldest. Named in the order of their birth they are as follows: Andrew, deceased; Edward H.; George L., deceased; Walter B., deceased; John P.; Kate M.; Blanche E. and E. Josephine, The eldest daughter, Kate M., became the wife of W. H. Magoon, formerly postmaster at Stony Point, and an instructor in the schools of this county for many years; he is deceased, and his widow is living at Stony Point. Edward H. married Miss Emma Colyar and has two sons, Lester and Harley. Walter B. chose as his wife Miss Anna Parks, by whom he has three children, Shirley, Charles and Clarence; the family reside near Goshen, Cal. Since the death of the father John P. Bock, and his sisters Blanche E. and E. Josephine have maintained the homestead ranch, property which their father purchased over fifty-six years ago. This now consists of two hundred and thirty-seven acres of land, of which twelve acres are in orchard, the balance of the land in hay and pasture, the latter supplying grazing for the twenty-six cows which comprise the dairy.
A department of the ranch enterprise which is of
special interest to the present managers of the ranch is the hennery
which forms such a large income from the property, the returns for the
year 1909 amounting to $3,000. They have a cherry orchard of ten acres,
principally Royal Anns, which they set out eight years ago. This is a
splendid variety of cherry and bears bountifully. There are several old
cherry trees on the ranch set out years ago by the father, and two of
these are probably the largest cherry trees in the county. The ranch is
located on the Bloomfield road, one mile west of Roblar station.
Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011