Richard Mockford 2nd great grandpa on RootsMagic tree
Richard Mockford was born September 21, 1856 in Monroe County, New York about 10 minutes south of Lake Ontario, 30 minutes or so east of Niagara Falls. He lived in the area until his 20s . At age 24 he was in Dubuque, Iowa, a mail carrier. At age 26 on March 2, 1883, he married Matilda Flood in Butler County, Iowa. He and Matilda had 2 daughters Lucy and Philippa and a son Harley who died at age 1. Richard farmed through his 50s.
February 28,1907 maybe as a birthday party for Matilda born on February 26, “Mr. and Mrs. Mockford were completely surprised Friday evening, when a party of their neighbors and friends dropped in on them in a body to spend the evening. Though surprised, they were equal to the occasion, and very gladly joined in to make the evening a most enjoyable one. After participating in games and various amusements for a time, a dainty lunch was served and when tho guests departed for their several homes, we can say on good authority that it was not a very early hour.”
In June, 1908 Richard and his brother in law George Flood with their families attended the Decoration Day services at Lowell Cemetery in Clarksville. William Flood, the dad of George and Matilda and father in law of Richard, was buried at Lowell and was a soldier in the Civil War.
In 1909, at age 52 Richard was hired as janitor and groundskeeper at the courthouse in Allison, county seat of Butler County. In addition to keeping up the building and grounds he was also the jailer, bailiff and more. In 1909 a man Win Bucknell of Greene was arrested for murder. Bucknell was in love with his housekeeper, she threatened to leave, he killed her then shot himself but the bullet was stopped by his watch chain. The gun fell to the floor, his wife picked up the gun, threw it out the window and screamed for help. Bucknell was sent to the Butler County Jail, Richard’s jail. While waiting for his trial Bucknell worked with Richard on the courthouse grounds.
The Clarksville (Iowa) Star newspaper on July 1 1909, ” R.J. Mockford has trimmed the trees leading to the court house and they present a beautiful and uniform appearance.” The postcard shows his skills.
Richard returned to NY a couple times, once in 1901 to visit his family, “nineteen years have made a great change in his home state”. Will Angell, cousin of Matilda Flood Mockford, helped with chores while Richard was away. In April of 1905, Richard was called to NY, his dad Henry was very ill. Henry died in 1905, Richard was there in NY for the funeral.
Richard died in 1910 and is buried at Lowell Cemetery. His obituary was in the Clarksville Star newspaper October 10.
“Allison Citizen Dies. Well Known Citizen of Lowtown at One Time. Richard J. Mockford, a prominent resident of Allison and for a long time a resident of Lowtown, died on October 8, 1910, after having been ill for about six weeks. He was born near Camden, N. Y., Sept. 21, 1856, being a few days over 54 years of age at the time of his death.
On March 20th, 1883 he was united in marriage with Miss Tillie Flood and shortly afterwards they engaged in farming just south of Clarksville where they continued to reside until about five years ago when they moved to Allison. Two daughters were born to this family [Lucy] Mrs. Robt. Smith of near Allison, and Miss Philippa who with the wife are left to mourn the death of husband and father. Mr. Mockford was custodian of the court house and grounds and had in this way established a very wide acquaintance throughout the county. His circle of friends included all his acquaintances.
The funeral was held at the Congregational church at Allison on Monday Oct. 10th, at ten o’clock, conducted by Rev E. Chapman of Owatonna, Minn who in years gone by had been a neighbor of the deceased. The Woodsmen order were in charge of the services and observed the ritualistic rights. The body was brought to the Lowell Cemetery south of town for interment.”
Clarksville (Iowa) Star Newspaper via Clarksville, Iowa public Library Digital Archives. June 4, 1908 page 4 of 8 column 1 mid top Decoration Day services at Lowell January 17, 1901 returned from NY visit . January 3, 1901 Will Angell fills in. October 13, 1910 obituary . July 1, 1909 Nicely trimmed trees at the courthouse
At Ancestry. 1875 New York Census, 1880 US Census
At FamilySearch. Iowa, County Marriages, 1838-1934
Courthousehistory . com a historical look at our nation’s county courthouses through postcards. Courthouse History is a website maintained by Keith Vincent who collects postcards of courthouse across the county and takes photos of courthouses across the country. There are 5 photos of the courthouse in Allison, Iowa, Richard Mockford’s workplace including those trees out front.
Vincent, Keith. Courthousehistory.com, n.d. Web. 17 Apr. 2016. Copyright 2010. All Rights Reserved, used with permission.