JAMES S. STOCKING. The family, of which this gentleman is a worthy representative, are on his paternal side of Ho!land Dutch ancestry who came to America at an early date, and on the maternal side are descended from "Mayflower" Pilgrims who established a settlement near Worcester, Mass. James Phillips, a lineal descendant of the latter, came in 1800 to Washington, where he died. He had several sons, one of whom, James, was in the Mexican war, and was killed at Pueblo. The father of these sons was the grandfather of the subject of this sketch.
Julius Stocking, father of James S., was born near Auburn, N. Y., was educated at the subscription schools of his day, and learned the trade of weaver. In 1835 he came to Washington, where he was engaged in trading and speculating, but later moved to Rockport, Ind. In 1836 he was married to Mary, daughter of James Phillips, above referred to, and a native of Washington county, Penn. To this union were born the following: Alfred, now in Ohio; Mary, wife of William Jenkinson, of the firm of R. & W. Jenkinson, in Pittsburgh, and James S. The father died in 1870, aged sixty eight years the mother in 1874, at the age of fifty four years.
James Stevens Stocking, the subject proper of this memoir, was born December 4, 1839, in Washington, Penn.; attended the public schools till twelve years of age, when He began to make his own living, but found time to acquire a good education by self teaching. At President Lincoln's first call for volunteers, for three months, he enlisted in Company E, Twelfth Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, and served for the term of enlistment; reenlisted in the One Hundredth Pennsylvania Volunteers ("Roundheads") and served two years and eight months; re-enlisted as a veteran for three years, and served thirteen months, making in all full four years' service in the Union army; lost an arm at Hatcher's Run, October 27, 1864; entered the army as a private, and was mustered out as first lieutenant; was appointed U. S. storekeeper in 1871; was unanimously nominated by the Republican County Convention of 1872 for clerk of courts, and was elected, receiving 5,465 votes to 4,818 for Samuel Ruth, Democrat, and running 171 votes ahead of his party's candidate for governor; was renominated without opposition in 1875, and re-elected, receiving 5,152 votes to 4,702 for W. C. Scott, Democrat, and running 235 votes ahead of the Republican candidate for governor; was one of the editors and proprietors of the Washington Observer from October 17, 1879, to October 17, 1882, when he sold his interest in the paper on account of ill health; was appointed postmaster at Washington by President Arthur in February, 1885, and served twenty months, when he was removed for being a Republican; was nominated and elected to the Assembly in 1888; renominated an re-elected in 1890, as a Republican. On November 1, 1891, without solicitation, he was offered and accepted the position of assistant chief and superintendent of the seed room in the Seed Division of the Agricultural Department at Washington, D. C., where at present he is located.
On January 4, 1866, Mr. Stocking was married to Miss Elizabeth Hallam, of Washington, Penn., a sister of the well-known Hallam Bros., and she bore him three children: Hugh, Harry (deceased) and Maud, and died of smallpox February 2,1881. On March 17, 1883, our subject married Mary Josephine, daughter of James Robinson, of Coshocton, Ohio, and great-granddaughter of Gen. Robinson, of Revolutionary fame, who made a settlement in the Muskingum Valley, where he took up a U. S. grant of 3,000 acres; he was captured by Indians, made to run the gauntlet, and was actually tied to the stake to be burned alive, when he was rescued by Logan, the Mingo chief. At the age of twenty-four Mr. Stocking lost his arm, as above related, and In his twenty fourth year his son, Hugh, lost his left arm by being caught in a power printing press. In 1884 Mr. James S. Stocking engaged in the real-estate business, and laid off an addition to Washington, Penn., known as Kalorama." In 1887, in connection with B. F. Hassun, Esq. platted and sold another addition, named "Woodland." In 1888, in connection with James Kuntz, Jr., L. McCarrell and E. F. Acheson, he platted and sold the Weaver farm, under the name of West End, and in 1889, in connection with the same parties, he platted and sold the ShirIs Grove property. Woodland, West End and Shirls Grove additions are now consolidated into a borough, and is known as "West Washington."
Text taken from page 214 of:
Beers, J. H. and Co., Commemorative Biographical Record of Washington County, Pennsylvania (Chicago: J. H. Beers & Co., 1893).
Transcribed March 1997 by George and Mary Ann Plance of Gainesville, FL as part of the Beers Project.
Published March 1997 on the Washington County, PA USGenWeb pages at http://www.chartiers.com/.
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