Biography - Joseph J. Smock

JOSEPH J. SMOCK, resides on section 2, of Rural Township, Shelby County, his residence in the county, dating from 1862. He is a native of Sullivan County, Ind., where he was born, February 20, 1844. Joseph Smock is a son of Abram and Mary E. (Weeks) Smock, of whom a fuller history may he found under the sketch of the Rev. Barnett Smock, in another part of this volume. Our subject's early life was not dissimilar to that of the majority of lads who are raised on a farm. He early became acquainted with the mysteries of milking, feeding the stock, ploughing, hoeing corn, and kindred work that the farmer boy is apt to attempt to escape unless he has a vigilant eye placed over him. It is much pleasanter in a hot, June day, to go a-fishing than to cultivate corn.

The educational advantages enjoyed by our subject, were limited, although he attained a good foundation for a practical education in the district schools in the vicinity in which he lived. In 1862 he came to Shelby County, Ill., and for one year was engaged in work as a farm hand. He then rented land and tilled the same in order to get means to purchase. In 1866, January 25, he was united in marriage to Susanna Casey, a daughter of Judge John and Nancy (Denton) Casey. She was born in Shelby County, this State, December 17, 1846. Her father was a native of Kentucky, and when but a child of fourteen years of age, was brought by his parents Levi and Chloe Casey, to Illinois. The family settled in Ridge Township in the year 1835, and at that time entered a large tract of Government land, upon which they made many improvements.

Levi and Chloe Casey died at quite advanced ages. They were parents of eight children. Their son, John Casey, Mrs. Smock's father, was born February 16, 1813, in Warren County, Ky. The family removed to Illinois in 1816, and resided in Bond County until 1835. John Casey was married February 20, 1834 to Mahala Jackson, who died in July, 1835, leaving one child as a reminder of his gentle and affectionate wife. October 19, 1837, Mr. Casey again married, his bride being Nancy Denton. Their union was blessed by the birth of eleven children. Of these four daughters and one son survive him. In the early days Judge John Casey was a man of considerable prominence. He filled the position of Justice of the Peace from 1845 to 1860, and during this period he solemnized many marriages. In 1846, he became a volunteer, enlisting in the Mexican War, entering the army in Company B, Third Regiment, Captain Foreman in command. He served to the end of the war and was regarded as a brave soldier and a loyal citizen of the Republic of the United States. He made a record for being the fleetest runner and the hot rifleman in the regiment.

Before Mr. Casey left home for service, he purchased a pair of shoes of General Thornton and these he wore during the whole time in which he was in service and on his return, the General presented him with a new pair in exchange for the old ones, which he kept as a souvenir and which are properly labeled as a treasured relic of that stormy period. Judge Casey was one of the Associate Judges under the old system. He was a member of the Twenty-seventh General Assembly, and served as a Supervisor for several terms. In 1874, he removed to Shelbyville, which he made his home until his death. He was that extremely rare thing in law, an honest judge, and prided himself that his word was as good at any time, as his bond. In his religious preference, he was a Baptist. Personally he was an immense man, weighing from three hundred to three hundred and fifty pounds.

After marriage our subject, Mr. Smock, resided in Ridge Township for two years, there operating land which he rented. They then returned to Flat Branch Township, also renting their land for one year. Thence they went to Pickaway Township, where they rented land for three years. From there they came to Rural Township, making a stay of six years. Then they returned to Pickaway Township, where they remained for ten years, since which time they have lived in Rural Township, where he purchased a farm of one hundred and twenty acres, all of which is good and well improved land.

Mr. and Mrs. Smock have had their lives enriched by the advent into their family of live children. Two of these were lent them but for a short time. The three living are Alva B., Chloe Ellen and Eliza A. Politically our subject is a follower of the Democratic party, casting his vote and influence with it. Mrs. Smock is a member of the United Baptist Church. She is an intelligent, as well as amiable and cultured woman.

Extracted 16 Feb 2019 by Norma Hass from 1891 Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties Illinois, pages 589-590.

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