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Lorenz L. Stocker

STOCKER, Lorenz L. (deceased), formerly the proprietor of the largest jewelry concern in McDonough County, Ill., and in his life-time one of the leading citizens of Macomb, was born in Schneckenlohe, Bavaria, Germany, April 26, 1830, and died in Macomb, October 12, 1903. He was a son of Nicholaus and Elizabeth (Frankenberger) Stocker, natives of Germany, and his father's occupation was that of a watchmaker. The subject of this sketch attended the public schools of Bavaria in his boyhood, where he applied himself diligently to his studies. As he was also a constant reader, he ultimately became a very intelligent man. In that country, the compulsory school period of a boy is terminated at the age of thirteen. After his schooling was completed, young Stocker studied music and assisted his father in the watchmaking line. On August 17, 1851, he came to the United States and located in St. Louis, Mo., where he spent three years, thence coming to Macomb in the fall of 1854. At that period he started in the jewelry trade with little means, and in the course of time developed the largest business of the kind in the county. His first location was on the west side of the Square in the same building with John Brown's clothing store, from which, he moved to the south side where Blnnie's Bank now stands. In 1860 he built a store where the concern is now located, afterward enlarging it to its present size. In 1890 he withdrew from active participation in the enterprise and was succeeded by his sons, Edward and Herman, who still conduct it. Mr. Stocker accumulated a competency, and held stock in both of the Macomb sewer-pipe companies and in the Union National Bank. During his residence in Macomb, he made three trips to Europe, and traveled somewhat in the United States.

On .January 1, 1852, at St. Louis, Mo., Mr. Stocker was wedded to Marguerita Barbara Pechtold, whose parents were natives of Germany. Eight children resulted from this union, one of whom died in infancy. The others are as follows: Edward, Amelia (Mrs. Johnson), Josephine (Mrs. Odenweiler), and Herman, all of Macomb; Adolph, who was drowned in Killjordon Creek, July 7, 1869, aged nine years and six months; and Pauline (Mrs. Porter), of Syracuse, N. Y. Politically, Mr. Stocker was a Republican until 1865 or 1866, when he became a Democrat. He was a member of the Board of Education of Macomb for ten years. Religiously, his views nearly coincided with the creed of the Universalist Church. In fraternal circles, he was identified with the A. P. & A. M., being a Knight Templar and a member of the Chapter and Commandery. He was also affiliated with the I. O. O. F. He was a man of keen business perception, and one of the most energetic, diligent and upright merchants of his adopted city. The deceased was also a thoroughly qualified musician, especially prominent as a violinist and organist. He was, in fact, the leading instrumental performer in the county; was the leader and instructor of two bands in Macomb which were noted throughout the Military Tract, and did much to educate the community in high-class music.

Source: The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of McDonough County, compiled by Dr. Newton Bateman, and Paul Shelby, 1907, volume 2, pages 1011-1012, extracted 30 Jul 2020 by Norma Hass.

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