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Richmond & Arnold
Chicago, Illinois

Page 549


Frederick W. A. Bock, one of the well known and most highly respected retired German citizens of Girard, was born in Germany on November 20, 1830, and is a son of Daniel Bock and a brother of the late Henry Bock, of Girard, a sketch of whom will be found in this volume.

Mr. Bock was reared to manhood and educated in the schools and trained in the trade of a carpenter before he came to the United States. He had also worked at coopering and butchering and was apt enough to turn his hand to almost anything. In 1856 he left his home with the intention of settling in Illinois. the vessel on which he sailed landed him in Texas, whence he made his way to New Orleans, where he found opportunity to work for his passage to Cincinnati. From that city he worked his way until he reached Girard and soon found employment here, doing general work in the grist mill of Howard & Bride. Although the mill changed hands, Mr. Bock made himself too useful to have his services dispensed with and he remained until the chance came for him to rent the mill for $25 a month. By 1867 he had accumulated enough capital to buy the mill, and he operated it successfully until it was destroyed by fire. This disaster visited him three times, each time the mill being rebuilt, and then Mr. Bock admitted Harris Bridges to partnership. For the fourth time fire destroyed the mill and Mr. Bock again rebuilt and conducted it until he finally sold the property. He has always lived a very busy life and, in addition to other lines of business, has spent about 30 years working, at various times, in the coal mines. Wherever he has been, he has shown the same tenacity of purpose and persevering industry, which has resulted in making him one of the city's moneyed men.

Mr. Bock married Catherine Morris, who died February 22, 1896. They had a family of 13 children, of whom 10 are now living, namely: Henry W., born October 22, 1863; Augusta, born December 16, 1864; Charles, born April 10, 1866; Anna M., born June 28, 1868; Birdie K., born January 11, 1871; Lena, born July 24, 1873; Nora A., born April 1, 1876; Clara A., born April 1, 1877; Minnie S., born December 12, 1878, and Fred W. A., Jr., born July 12, 1880. those deceased are: Oscar A., who died September 8, 1882; Sophia, who died July 27, 1869; and Amelia, who died May 8, 1874. The surviving children all reside at home, a happy, united household.

In politics, Mr. Bock has affiliated with the Democratic party ever since he was naturalized. He has been called upon on numerous occasions to serve in public office at Girard, and for a number of years was a city alderman. For four years he served most efficiently as street inspector and his administration is remembered with satisfaction by the tax-payers and those most interested. He has been connected with the Masonic fraternity for a long period and belongs to the Girard lodge. Like his late brother, he is a representative German-American of the northeastern section of Macoupin County, and is held in very high regard by the citizens of Girard.

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