HISTORY OF SOUTHEAST MISSOURI

Biographical Appendix

  

John W. Hancock

John W. Hancock, ex-judge, was born in Perry County, MO., March 28, 1821, his parents being William and Neeley (West) Hancock, natives of Virginia and Delaware, respectively. They were married in Tennessee, and immigrated to Indiana, near Vincennes, where he remained two years.  About 1814 they immigrated to Perry County, MO., and located about ten miles from Perryville. He was one of the first settlers of that county, moving there when the Indians were numerous and his son, John W., used to play with them.  The father was a farmer, miller and stonemason, and was handy at all kinds of work. He remained in that County until his death, which occurred in 1851.  The mother died one year later.  Both were consistent members of the Methodist Episcopal Church in which Mr. Hancock took quite an active interest.  They were the parents of twelve children five now living.  John W. Hancock was reared in Perry County, receiving such an education as the schools at that day afforded and assisted his father on the farm until seventeen years of age, when he was employed as an overseer of a number of slaves for Charles Ingram, remaining with him for three years.  He then lived with Burrell C. Potter, engaged in the same business for one year.  While with him, in July 1839, he married Miss Susan Callaway, a native of Virginia, who bore him eight children, five now living: A.C., Lizzie, Mary, William and Martha. After his marriage Mr. Hancock moved to the eastern part of Madison County, where he remained for seven years.  In 1847 he came to Iron County, and located near Pilot Knob, where he engaged in the livery business.  He also kept hotel and carried on merchandising until 1872.  He had in the meantime engaged in building extensively, and was in the sawmill business.  At the last named date he moved to his present farm, where he has since resided.  For the past seven years he has been engaged in the butchering and stock business.  He owns a fine little farm, with good improvements.  In 1860 he was elected judge of the county court, holding that office for five years.  He has also been justice of the peace for nearly twenty years.  Judge Hancock is a member of the Law and Order Society and he and wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South.