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Below is a family biography included in the book, Portrait and Biographical Record of Johnson and Pettis County Missouri published by Chapman Publishing Company in 1895.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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WILLIAM DOCK was long one of the best esteemed and public-spirited men of Johnson County, owning a well improved farm on section 13, township 46, range 29, which at the time of his demise was one of the best in the County. He was a very progressive agriculturist, and was not averse to accepting new and practical ideas in regard to the management of his farm, though he did not neglect any of the tried and established methods.

Our subject, who was born in Cumberland County, Pa., in 1828, was fairly well educated, but, being trained to farm life by his honored father, was well instructed in this vocation when he began life for himself. During the gold excitement of 1848, our subject crossed the plains to California, and for two years was engaged in mining. The journey was fraught with many perils, and was tedious in the extreme, although the success with which he met amply rewarded him for the undertaking. From the Pacific Coast he boarded a vessel bound for Australia, and after a voyage filled with adventures was landed on that island, where it was his intention to also enter the gold mines. He remained there for a time, and on his return home came by way of New York.

Prior to the war our subject settled on the place which is now owned and managed by his widow. At that time he entered three hundred acres from the Government, and from that time until the outbreak of the Civil War made his home within the limits of this county, with whose welfare he was ever afterward associated.

During the war, when his country needed his assistance, Mr. Dock enlisted in Captain Duncan’s Home Guards, which was attached to the militia, and for three years rendered valiant service. His first marriage united him with Mary May, and after her death he chose for his second companion Nancy Reeves, who makes her home at present on the home farm. By the first marriage there were born a son and daughter. William and Mary E., both of whom are deceased. The nine children resulting from his union with Miss Reeves were Julia, Mattie, Laura, Stephen, Effie, Louisa, James, Jacob and Joseph. Of these, Julia married Samuel Leach, and makes her home in this county. Their family includes the following-named children: Eula, Dock, May, Goldie and William. Mattie is now Mrs. Charles Wall, and lives one-quarter of a mile from the home of her mother. Her family comprises Stephen, Beulah and Bessie. Laura became the wife of James Underwood, and their three children are Effie, Robert and Joseph; they make their home in this county, two miles from the home of Mrs. Dock. The remaining members of the family are at home, with the exception of James, who is deceased.

Mrs. Nancy E. Dock was born December 25, 1841, in North Carolina, and is the daughter of John and Sally Reeves. She is a most agreeable and pleasant lady, and on the demise of her husband, which occurred about fifteen years ago, she took upon herself the management of the large estate left in her care. She has given her children good educations, and Effie is now engaged in teaching in the vicinity of her home. The sons and daughters early identified themselves with the Methodist Episcopal Church, with which Mrs. Dock is also connected.

Although prior to the war a Democrat, our subject after leaving the service voted for Republican candidates until the time of his decease. He was public-spirited, took a deep interest in the cause of education, and was foremost in any enterprise which would in any way benefit the community in which he lived.

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This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in the Johnson County, Missouri portion of the book,  Portrait and Biographical Record of Johnson and Pettis County Missouri published in 1895 by Chapman Publishing Co.  For the complete description, click here: Johnson County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Johnson County, Missouri family biographies here: Johnson County, Missouri Biographies

View a map of 1904 Johnson County, Missouri here: Johnson County, Missouri Map

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