ROBERT HOCKENHULL. This esteemed and highly respected citizen, is widely and favorable known to the people of Jacksonville. He was born in the town of Bunbury, Cheshire, England, on the 23d of November, 1816, and is the son of Thomas and Elizabeth (Woodward) Hockenhull, and the eldest of their family of three children. The other two children, John and Sarah, are now deceased.
The genealogy of the Hockenhull family is traceable through many generations, and in days gone by, the male members were prominently identified with the local and political affairs of Cheshire, officiating as Sheriffs, and occupying other positions of responsibility and trust. Robert, out subject, came to the United States in the spring of 1838, and traveled extensively over the Western Continent. The prairie land of Illinois appeared to him the most pleasant stretch of country he had found, and he resolved to make his future home here. Six months after his arrival he returned to England, where he remained the following seven months. Finally persuading his parents to allow him funds to invest in the United States, he returned hither, accompanied by his brother, John, in the spring of 1839. They came directly to this county, and Robert established himself in the drug trade at Jacksonville, his brother John acting as clerk until 1845. The latter then secured a half-interest in the business, but it soon reverted to its former owner.
Mr. Hockenhull continued in the drug trade until 1865, when he sold an interest in his business to J. W. Young and S. B. Hardy, and at once formed a co-partnership with Edward R. Elliott & Samuel R. King for the purposes of banking, under the firm name of Hockenhull, King & Elliott. This institution has taken its place among the leading banking houses of the country, and is recognized as one of the most substantial, conservative, yet enterprising and public-spirited financial concerns in the country.
The marriage of Mr. Hockenhull and Miss Matilda McMackin, was celebrated in 1847, and to them were born the children named as follows: Elizabeth, Margaret, who died in infancy, Jennie, Sarah, John N., and Robert M. Elizabeth is the wife of Dr. M. A. Halsted, of Jacksonville; Jennie married Mr. T. J. Hook, of Jacksonville; Sarah married Rev. William J. Harsha, pastor of the Second Presbyterian Church, at Omaha, Neb.; John married Miss Aspasia LaSalle, of Orange, N.J.; Robert M. married Miss May Weagley, of Jacksonville. The sons are both connected with the banking house.
Mrs. Matilda (McMackin) Hocckenhull was born in the city of Philadelphia, Pa., and was the fifth in a family of nine children. She came with her parents to Jacksonville, in 1836, and after fulfilling in a most creditable manner the duties of a wife and mother, departed this life in the spring of 1882. Her family was of Scotch ancestry, and possessed in a marked degree the reliable and honest characteristics of that nationality. Mr. Hockenhull was married a second time to Miss Rebecca Rust, of Jacksonville, this event occurring in June, 1884.
Mr. Hockenhull during his early manhood voted with the old Whig party, and upon its abandonment cordially endorsed Republican principles. He was very conscientious regarding the right of suffrage, and refused to vote until he had been a citizen of the United States for seven years. He has become fully identified with the interests of his adopted country, and claims that he has the advantage of the native-born citizen in that he is an American by choice, while the other is an American from force of circumstances. Providence has blessed him with a competence, as a result of his labors. He has given liberally of his means for the establishment of worthy institutions, among them the Presbyterian Academy, and the church of that denomination, with which he is connected, while he has also assisted in the erection of the Illinois College building, and two Presbyterian Church buildings that were destroyed by fire. He has been a Trustee of the Illinois College for many years, and occupies a leading position among the men who have contributed to the growth and development of Morgan County.
A portrait of Mr. Hockenhull on another page of this work, is an important addition to its value, and will be viewed with interest by its many readers.