History of the County of Perth, 1825-1902
William Johnston, 1903
Valentine STOCK, M.P.P., was born June 30, 1852, in East Zorra, County of Oxford, of German parents. His father and mother came to Canada in the early 'forties, and worked with farmers in North Easthope until 1850, when they married, settling on lot 31, concession 16, East Zorra. At the age of six years Mr Stock was sent to school, not knowing a word of English. A few years subsequently he was retained at home to assist his father on the farm. At 17 he swung the cradle in harvest, having along with one of his sisters for several years previous bound all their crops. When 16 years of age he began teaching in the Sabbath school, in a little log church erected on his father's farm, in which laudable vocation on Sabbath days he still continues. In those old times he did his share of severe manual toil in clearing land, chipping cord woods, and ditching and underdraining with basswood and pine slabs in the swamps, as his humble position required that he should do. At 22, from certain injuries he had received, he returned to school to qualify himself as a teacher. In this he was successful, and taught nearly seven years in section No. 13, East Zorra, and one year in Tavistock. In 1884 he entered into business in Tavistock without experience or knowledge, and although having to come into competition with other established firms, through energy and upright conduct found his way into public confidence. In 1901, with another young man of Tavistock, he organized the Tavistock Flax co., thus affording profitable labour to many citizens of the village.
In 1889 he was chosen clerk of South Easthope, which office he still retains. Hitherto he had not devoted much interest to politics, but in 1891 was solicited to address meetings in North Perth. This led to his nomination in South PERTH in 1899 as candidate in the Reform interest against Mr Nelson Monteith. On this occasion he was defeated. In 1902 he was again chosen as the Reform candidate, with Mr Monteith as his opponent, and in this contest was elected. Mr Stock is truly what we call a self- made man, having by his own unaided efforts raised himself from obscurity to a position of dignity and honour. He is a good public speaker, a true patriotic Canadian, and a worthy citizen. He says, "In am a farmer's son, raised on a farm, spent my young days there, and their welfare is mine also." Mr Stock is still a young man, and has many days of usefulness before him.
Meg Fuller Perth County Coordinator
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