F. M. BROCK,
the present postmaster of Fairfield, Illinois, was born on a thriving farm in Wayne county of that state, on the 15th day of January, 1852. His early education was in the common schools of his native county. At the age of twenty young Brock went to Missouri to pay a visit to his sister, and he passed the next two years in traveling about that state. From Missouri, in 1874, he went to Texas, where he became traveling salesman for a hardware house in the southern part of the state, and he continued to be thus employed for four years. Railroad development in Southern Texas in that day had not reached its
present state of completion, and the duties of Mr. Brock made it necessary for him to make his trips between towns by means of the horse. For four years he lived this wholesome life in the open, sometimes riding or driving more than fifty miles in one day, so great was the distance between towns. Fortunately, however, Texas roads, unlike those of Southern Illinois, are quite passable at all seasons. His headquarters during his sojourn in the Lone Star state were at Austin, the capital city, and at the charming old town of San Antonio, where the Alamo still rears its walls and the ruins of missions of the past vie with a modeffn army post in points of interest. It was near this interesting city that Colonel Roosevelt chose, in later years, to equip his famous company of Rough Riders.
The attractions of Texas might have claimed Mr. Brock for an indefinite period but that old Wayne county held for him a still greater charm in the person of Miss Ella Collins, the daughter of Major Collins, an old settler of that district. Thus in 1878 he returned to the home of his birth, where he was united in marriage with Miss Collins. Two years after their marriage they located at Cisne, where Mr. Brock engaged in the seed and grain business, a line for which his experience had peculiarly fitted him. Later he extended his stock to include general merchandise, and he continued in business at Cisne until in 1886 when he was elected to the office of county clerk on the Republican ticket. In that year he moved to Fairfield, which has since represented his home and the center of his business activities. He served the county in the office of clerk for eight years, two terms of four years each, and at the expiration of the second term he engaged in the lumber business. Ten years later, in 1904, he became cashier of the First National Bank of Fairfield, and he was still acting in that capacity in December of 1910 when he was appointed by President Taft to the office of postmaster of Fairfield. He thereupon resigned the cashiership of the bank to assume the duties of postmaster at Fairfield, of which office he is still in charge. The office is of the second class variety and employs four clerks, supporting ten mail routes. Mr. Brock has not entirely severed his connection with the First National Bank, still being a member of the directorate of that organization, and he is also president of the Southern Illinois Lumber Company. In addition to his other business enterprises, Mr. Brock has been engaged in the mercantile business with J. A. Cox of Fairfield for the past twenty-three years, and he owns and personally supervises the management of a fine farm of one hundred and eighty acres in Wayne county. He is active in the political life of the community, being a Taft Republican, and for fourteen years he served as chairman of the county central committee. He is a Mason and an Odd Fellow, and is a member of the Christian church, as is also his wife.
Their three children, all of whom were born in Illinois, have now grown to maturity. The eldest daughter, Mabel Glen, now the wife of S. T. Pendelton, is the mother of two children,—Marion and Alice. Edna married R. A. Cox and they have two daughters,—Elinor and Roberta. The son, Frank Leslie Brook, is in the forestry service of the government, and is most enthusiastic in the work. He is at this writing located at Fraser, Colorado, in the Araphoc reservation. Five generations of the Brock family have thus far been reared in America, The first American progenitor of the family was Andrew Brock, who came from England while the colonies were yet under British rule, and settled in Pennsylvania. His son, Isaac, was born in the old Indian Fort of the block house at Cincinnati, Ohio, just following the Revolution, where he was reared and where he remained until about 1851, when he moved to Illinois where he lived until his death which
occurred in 1867. In 1827 Isaac's son, Jacob, was born, and in 1851, he with his family, of which Jacob was the second oldest son, migrated from Monroe county, Ohio, to Wayne county in Illinois, settling on a farm near Jeffersonville. Before leaving Ohio, however, Jacob Brock, who became the father of F. M. Brock of this review, was united in marriage with Rebecca Flick, a native of that state. They reared a goodly family of seven children, all of whom are living but two, Almira and Minerva being deceased. E. M. Brock is the eldest of the boys. Charles, the next oldest son, is manager of the Colonial Mercantile Company of St. Louis. Mrs Jennie Brock Nickell, the widowed daughter, assists her brother in the postoffice, holding the position of money order clerk, while Irvin E., the youngest son is engaged in railroad construction work in Jacksonville, Florida. Viola, the wife of W. H. Cisne, lives at Cisne, illinois. The father passed away in 1901 at his home in Fairfield, Illinois, his widow thereafter making her home with her son, F. M., of this review, for ten years. She died at his home, surrounded by her devoted family, on October 19, 1911, at the venerable age of eighty-four, and her memory is tenderly cherished by those to whom she was nearest, as well as by a large circle of friends, many of whom she had retained throughout her lifetime.