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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


William Hockin

Few men have come to Sonoma county in young manhood and, with little to aid them save their own indomitable energy and fixity of purpose, succeeded so well in accomplishing their praiseworthy ambitions as William Hockin. No face is more familiar to the residents of Santa Rosa, nor does any name carry with it greater weight, whether from a business, agricultural or general standpoint. Prosperity, good judgment, o9ptimism and good will are suggested by the personality of Mr. Hockin, and one is interested in the study of his rise from its incipiency to his present position as land owner, proprietor of the Fashion livery and feed stables in Santa Rosa, and as one of the best known and most highly respected citizens of Sonoma county.

Mr. Hockinís earliest recollections are of a quiet home in Cornwall county, England, where he was born in 1850, and where he continued to make his home with his parents until reaching his majority. Leaving parents, friends and all with which he was familiar behind him, he set out for America at the age of twenty-two years, and at the end of an uneventful voyage landed at Quebec, Canada. He then went to Bowmanville, where he worked at his trade of miller for two years. From there he went to Humboldt, Tenn., there as in Canada working at the millerís trade and continuing there about one year. It was at the end of this time that he came to California and located in Sonoma county, and for over thirty-five years he has done a noble part of the upbuilding of this section of the state. For a time after settling in Santa Rosa he worked at his trade of miller, subsequently engaging in the blacksmith business in Sebastopol for about two years, when he went to Stewartís Point and filled the position of clerk in the John Fisk hotel for the same period. A change of location at the end of this time took him to Duncanís Mill, where he leased what is known as the Sewell stock ranch, managing it successfully for four years, after which he leased the Sea View summer resort and maintained it with profit for six years. It was with this varied experience to his credit that he finally returned to Santa Rosa, and since November 4, 1888, he has been proprietor of the finest and best appointed livery and feed stable in the city, known as the Fashion stables.

Mr. Hockinís marriage occurred in 1878 and united him with Miss Amanda Elizabeth Totton, who was born in Canada in 1857 and in whose veins flowed the blood of Scotch ancestors. Seven children were born of this union, and all of the number are still living. The eldest of the children, Gertrude A., was born October 30, 1880; Grace M., who was born in February, 1882, is married and lives in Marin county; Maud A. was born in November, 1884; Anna Belle, born in December 1886, is the wife of M. J. Forsythe, of Williams, Cal. William H., who was born in May, 1888, chose as his wife Miss Margaret Louise Lee, and they make their home in Santa Rosa; the two youngest children, Albert, born in 1893, and Margaret, born in 1894, are still at home with their parents. In the maintenance of the livery business Mr. Hockin has the assistance of his two sons, William H. and Albert, an association which is not only amicable, but one which is profitable to all concerned. In his stable Mr. Hockin has a number of fine horses which he raised himself, and throughout this section of Sonoma county there is probably no one more thoroughly versed in the training and care of horses than is he.

Politically Mr. Hockin is a Democrat; by appointment he filled the office of postmaster at Sea View during his residence in that place. Fraternally he is identified with the Masonic order, belonging to Santa Rosa Lodge No. 57, F. & A. M., and he is also a member of Santa Rosa Lodge No. 53, I. O. O. F., in which he has filled all of the chairs. As a citizen he takes a deep interest in the welfare of the city, and has never shirked his duty toward the public when opportunity has presented itself to assist in the advancement of its highest interests.

History of Sonoma County, California
Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been Identified With Its Growth and Development from the Early Days to the Present
History By: Tom Gregory
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1911)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011