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Chicago: Chapman Bros., Publishers


SARAH P. HOCKENHULL. The subject of this biography, a lady widely known and highly respected throughout the city of Jacksonville, is a native of Southeastern Pennsylvania, born at Columbia, the county seat of Lancaster County, Aug. 28, 1814. Her father, Dennis McMackin, was a native of County Tyrone, Ireland, and her mother was in her girlhood Margaret Nelson, a native of Wilmington, Del. Dennis McMackin spent his early years in County Tyrone, and was one of a large family of children, and the first one of the family to come to the United States. He made his first journey hither in 1803, lived for a time in Pennsylvania, then returned to Ireland, and a year later came back to America, accompanied by his sister, Martha. They settled first in Soudersburg, Lancaster Co., Pa., and a year later removed to Columbia. Mr. McMackin was married soon after his second visit to the United States.

The father of our subject was a boot and shoe manufacturer by occupation, and about 1819 left Columbia and took up his residence with his little family in the city of Philadelphia. There he followed his trade until coming to Illinois, in the spring of 1836. He settled in Jacksonville, but only lived two years, his death taking place in the fall of 1838. The mother was one of a family of six children, and was born in Wilmington, Del. She accompanied her husband to Illinois, and survived him many years, her death taking place in Jacksonville, about 1865, at the ripe old age of eighty-four. Her father was a native of Scotland, and emigrated to America about 1764, settling in Wilmington, where he distinguished himself as a successful physician, and allied himself with the cause of the struggling Colonist, abandoning his profession for the time, to take an active part in the Revolutionary War. Prior to this he was a very wealthy man, but his property was confiscated by the British. He was stigmatized as the "learned Scotsman". He leased to Caesar A. Rodney, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, a tract of land known as the Cold Spring Farm, situated on the Christine, for a term of ninety-nine years. Gen. Washington frequently sojourned under his roof while passing through that section of country. Not only was his grandfather ruined financially during the agitation of those terrible times, but was broken down physically. The British offered a prize for his head, esteeming him a power among Colonists to be feared. He was a man of cultivated and literary tastes, a firm believer in the Christian religion, and published a number of works controverting the doctrines of Thomas Paine. He took a lively interest in educational matters, and taught Greek and Latin to the young men of his town. He built the First Presbyterian Church at Wilmington, a venerable pile which is still standing, and in the society officiated for many years as Elder.

Miss Martha McMackin, the aunt of our subject, was the mother of John McClintock, D.D., who at the time of his death was President of Drew Theological Seminary. For a number of years he was a professor in the Dickinson College, of Carlisle, Pa. To her and her husband, John McClintock, there was born among other children, he who became known as the celebrated Dr. James McClintock, one of the most eminent physicians and surgeons of the city of Philadelphia.

The brothers and sisters of Mrs. Hockenhull are recorded as follows: Jane P. was born in 1811, and married Stafford Smith, of Philadelphia; Margaret, who was born in 1813, became the wife of Joshua Moore, of Jacksonville, now deceased; Sarah P. was the third child; Catherine married Insley T. Goudy, and became the mother of several children, all of whom are deceased, with the exception of one son, Ainsley, who is now a resident of Jacksonville, this county; Matilda was born in 1818, in Philadelphia, and became the wife of Robert Hockenhull, a banker of Jacksonville, Ill.; she died in 1882; Eliza, who was born in 1820, is unmarried, and a resident of Atlantic City, N.J.; Mary A., born in 1822, became the wife of William Divine, of Philadelphia, where she now resides.

The subject of this sketch accompanied her parents to this county in May, 1836, there coming with also, Stafford Smith and wife. Jacksonville was then an unpretentious village. Mrs. Hockenhull was then a young lady twenty-two years of age, and had been educated in the schools of Philadelphia. She was first married to Joseph C. Thompson, a native of New Hampshire, but at that time, in 1845, a resident of Meredosia, Ill., to which he had come in 1831. He was an extensive farmer, and interested in merchandising and pork packing. He had previously married, and of his first union there had been born a son, Joseph W., who is now a resident of Jacksonville. Of his union with Miss McMackin, there were no children. Mr. Thompson departed this life at his home in Meredosia, on the 17th of July, 1855.

Mrs. Sarah P. Thompson continued her residence in Meredosia until her marriage with Mr. John Hockenhull, a retired merchant, of Jacksonville, who died in 1885. Mr. Hockenhull was a man of means, enterprising, active and industrious, and a citizen esteemed by all. He took an active part in the support of the Union cause during the Rebellion, and contributed liberally of his means to this end. He was a native of Manchester, Cheshire, England, and crossed the Atlantic during his youth. During the early days of that church, he identified himself with the Westminster Presbyterian Church, and after becoming a voting citizen, allied himself with the Republican party. He retired from active business about 1858, and purchased a place in Morgan County, which he named Mulberry Grove, and in the beautifying of which he took great delight. He possessed more than ordinary taste in matters pertaining to landscape gardening and floriculture, and his suburban home was literally an Eden of beauty. Mrs. Hockenhull, however, was injured by a fall, and on this account he sold his country home and moved to Jacksonville in the fall of 1875.

Mr. Hockenhull, in company with his wife, returned to his native land in the spring of 1871, and traveled all over England, visiting the principal scenes of its historical events, many of its old castles and ruins, and therefrom gathered many a souvenir in the line of choice paintings and engravings. Not only a lover of nature in all its forms, he was also a connoisseur in art matters, and his home was a model of taste and beauty. Providence had blest him with this world's goods, and he was numbered among the public spirited, and liberal men of his State, giving freely to those less fortunate, and to the projects calculated to benefit the community. IN all this he was careful that his right hand should not know what his left one did. His benefactions were made quietly and unostentatiously as one who felt that it was more blessed to give than to receive. Educational and religious institutions found in Mr. Hockenhull a never failing friend. In his private life and the home circle, he was kind and indulgent, and lived closely up to those principles taught by the great Master.

The father of Mr. Hockenhull, who was also of English birth and parentage, was an architect of rare ability, and there are still standing in the city of Manchester, in the shape of many of its public buildings, the monuments of his taste and skill. Notable among these is the famous Manchester Theatre. This worthy gentleman came to his death by being thrown from a horse while on his way to Balmoral, which is now chiefly notable as containing one of the favorite palaces of Queen Victoria. The town of Hockenhull, adjacent to the residence of Lord Byron, was named in honor of a member of this family.

1889 Index
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