W. O. Bock

W.O. Bock

W. O. Bock, well known in New Albin by reason of many years of capable, intelligent and faithful service as postmaster of the city, was born in Sweden in 1859, and is a son of Charles J. and Mary E. Bock, natives of that country. The parents crossed the Atlantic to America in 1868 and came immediately to Iowa, settling in Lansing, where the father followed his trade until his retirement from active life, when he moved to New Albin, where he made his home until his death, which occurred when he was eighty years of age. The mother had also reached the age of eighty when she passed away. Of the eight children born to their union seven survive, the youngest having died in infancy. The others are: Charley, who resides in New Albin; Julius, of Dubuque, Iowa; Alfred, who makes his home in Wausau, Wisconsin; Andrew, of Waukon; W. O., of this review; Mary, who married W. A. Cutting; and Edward, a resident of New Albin.

W. O. Bock was nine years of age when his parents settled in Lansing and there he grew to manhood, acquiring his early education in the district schools and later attending high school, where he completed the full course. At the age of sixteen he began his business career, securing a position as clerk in a store and continuing this connection for sixteen years, the last four of which he spent as manager. In 1888 he formed a partnership with J. M. Tartt, and they opened a grocery and drug store in New Albin, continuing to conduct it until the fall of 1912 and securing in the meantime of important and representative patronage, accorded to them in recognition of their upright and honorable business methods and their earnest desire to pleases their patrons. Mr. Bock was first appointed postmaster of New Albin in 1888 by President Harrison and at that time he served for four years in a capable and thoroughly satisfactory manner. He was appointed to the position for the second time in 1903 and he has since served, having in the meantime accomplished a great deal of constructive and beneficial work, managing the department under his charge with ability, foresight and public spirit. For the past two years he has been connected with business interests in the city as the proprietor of a profitable real-estate business and he has handled a great deal of valuable property, his judgment being considered sound and reliable on all matters relating to present or future land values. His business career has been successful because his methods are both practical and modern and because he has won the confidence of his patrons and the public at large by his straightforward and upright dealings throughout the years of his residence here. He has valuable individual holdings, owning a quarter of a section of land in North Dakota, four hundred acres, well improved, in Minnesota and a fourteen hundred tract in on of the best agricultural districts of Montana. He owns also a fine home in New Albin and is connected with important business interests here. Having come to the city in the days of its pioneer settlement, he took advantage of the opportunities for investment, and purchased a great deal of property on the town site, being today part owner of all of the vacant lots within the original town limits. His business interest are at all times capably conducted and his success has followed as a natural result of his earnest, straightforward and persistent labor.

In 1881 Mr. Bock was united in marriage to Miss Cora E. Tartt, a native of Allamakee county and a daughter of James and Phoebe Tartt, the former born in Tennessee and the latter in Illinois. They spent the last thirty years of their lives in New Albin, the father dying in this city at the age of seventy five and the mother passing away at the age of seventy-four. In their family were seven children, of whom three survive, as follows: Walter B., of Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin; Oscar C., also of this city; and Cora E., the wife of the subject of this review. Among those deceased was Mrs. H. F. Hutter, the former wife of Dr. Hutter, of New Albin. Mr. and Mrs. Bock became the parents of two children, the eldest of whom died in infancy. The other is a son, Forest W. M., who was born in 1892. He is a graduate of the New Albin high school and is now attending college at Mount Vernon, Iowa. The family are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, and Mr. Bock is an active and successful religious worker, having for the past twenty-five years served as Sunday school superintendent and a member of the official board. Fraternally Mr. Bock is connected with the Masonic lodge and his wife is a member of the Eastern Star at Lansing. He gives his political allegiance to the Republican party and is at all times interested in the growth and development of Allamakee county, cooperating heartily in movements for the general advancement and expansion. The period of his residence in New Albin covers a quarter of a century and the many sterling traits of his character are, therefore, well known to his fellow-townsmen, the great majority of whom number him as a friend.

-source: Past & Present of Allamakee County; by Ellery M. Hancock; S. J. Clarke Pub. Co.; 1913
-transcribed by Diana Diedrich

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