WOODCOCK, JOHN R., farmer, section thirty-two, Mechanicsburg Township, Dawson rural free delivery twenty-one, Sangamon County, Ill., is a native of England. In all our history Englishmen have become American citizens greatly to America's benefit. Such a thrifty and patriotic citizen is the subject of this sketch. Mr. Woodcock was born in Norfolk, March 17, 1841, a son of Robert and Martha (Meddar) Woodcock, both natives of Norfolk. His parents never came to the United States. His father and his father's father were basket manufacturers, and the former continued his business in Norfolk till his death, which occurred in 1879. In the family were fourteen children, of whom only four survive - John R. Woodcock, William Woodcock of Mechanicsburg, and two of their sisters, the latter in England.
Mr. Woodcock was educated in his native Albion and when a mere boy was bound out by his father to learn the wagon maker's trade, at which he was employed in England till he came over the water. It was in 1866 that he sailed from Liverpool, landing fourteen days later in New York. After about three months spent in New York state, most of the time at Pines Plains, Dutchess County, where he was employed at farm work, he came to Sangamon County, arriving at Mechanicsburg before the end of the spring of the year mentioned. He found employment on the farms of John Bullard and George Pickrell and on other farms, and busied himself thus for several years, then for seven years, he had a wagon making enterprise at Mechanicsburg. Closing that out, he moved to the farm on which he now lives, which consists of forty acres which he had then recently purchased. He has since added twenty acres to it, making of it a fine farm of sixty acres. He has become a man of influence in the township, acting politically with the Republican party. In his religious affiliations, he is a Methodist.
Mr. Woodcock married Miss Alice Ragan, in Mechanicsburg, November 21, 1880, the Rev. P. H. Kiser, officiating. She was born in Hagerstown, Md., November 9, 1859, a daughter of Jonathan Ragan. Her father was born in Maryland, there learned the printer trade, and worked at it all his life residing in Mechanicsburg from 1866, when he moved there from Hagerstown, to 1906, when he died. He was postmaster at Mechanicsburg for two terms. His widow still resides there, aged eighty-one years. They had eight children, of whom five survive. Mr. and Mrs. Woodcock have had seven children, six of them daughters, namely: Robert resides with his parents; Fannie married Elmer Bough, a farmer of Mechanicsburg Township, issue, - Willit, Alice and Lewis; Lena married George Clement of Mechanicsburg, issue, - Robert; Pearl married Elmer Stevens of Sims, issue, - Earl; Letia married Anthony Thoele of Teutopolis; Fern and Helen, also at home. Mr. and Mrs. Woodcock have five grandchildren