John Lincoln Stockdill


JOHN LINCOLN STOCKDILL, a prominent farmer and large landowner of Mahonmg township, Armstrong county, was born there April 15, 1861, on the farm where he still resides, in what is known as the Cove. This family has been settled in the county for almost a century, and its members have been noted for their high-principled, earnest, useful lives, as desirable associates in all their social and business relations. The English name of Stockdale (Stockdill, Irish), is derived from "stock," fixed, and "dale," town or place, i. e., fixed town or seat. It is an ancient Norman name, brought to England when the Conqueror came. In 1379 we find William and Johannes de Stockdale, from whom it is supposed the Stockdales of England, the North of Ireland, the United States and elsewhere are descended. King James desiring that the escheated counties in the North of Ireland be peopled with English, a branch of this family took land there and gave up all claim to titles and interests in England, as did the Musgraves, St. Clairs and others, whose names underwent similar mutations, becoming Musgrove, Sinclair, etc., as Stockdale was changed to Stockdill.

George Stockdill, grandfather of John L. Stockdill, was a native of County Donegal, Ireland, born Oct. I, 1784, and was of Scotch Irish extraction. Coming to the United States in June, 1822, he arrived soon after in Kittanning and first made a settlement in Franklin township, Armstrong Co., Pa. In 1829 he purchased a tract of 103 acres in Mahoning township, which he cleared and improved, and there he made his home until his death, which occurred July 9, 1857, when he was seventy-three years old. He was a Whig in politics, and in religion a member of the Protestant Episcopal Church. On March 16, 1809, he married Margaret Clark, who was born in 1785 in County Donegal, Ireland, and died Jan. 9, 1871, aged eighty-six years. They had a family of nine children, five sons and four daughters, namely: James; Mary Ann, who married George Reedy; Thomas; William; Margaret, who married Joshua Foster; Elizabeth, who married Peter Zimmerman Rebecca, who married John Foster; Joseph, and George. Joseph and George succeeded to the ownership of the homestead, and George bought his brother's interest in 1861.

George Stockdill was born June 26, 1827, In Franklin township, Armstrong county, and passed practically all his life upon his father's homestead, dying there May 9, 1872, in his forty-fifth year. Though he passed away in his prime he had accomplished much, he and his brother Joseph having added to their original land holdings until they had 220 acres, upon which they made many improvements, and in 1861 George purchased his brother Joseph's interest in his farm. In 1859 he erected the fine brick residence now occupied by his son John L. Stockdill. Like his father he was a member of the Protestant Episcopal Church, and in political sentiment he was a Republican, and he held several local offices of trust. He was a charter member of the I. 0.0. F. lodge at Putneyville. He married Martha Elizabeth Foster, like himself a native of Armstrong county, who was born Aug. 7, 1826, daughter of Thomas and Catherine (McCauley) Foster, who were born in lreland and on coming to Pennsylvania settled in Armstrong county, being pioneers and highly esteemed residents of what is now Wayne township. In the early days they raised their own flax and wool, and wove it into cloth for their clothing. Mr. Foster was a member of the Protestant Episcopal Church in Wayne township. He and his wife had eight children, four sons and four daughters. Seven children were born to Mr. and Mrs. George Stockdill, namely: Margaret C., born Nov. 25, 1849, died Aug. 21, 1861; Mary Jane, born Sept.30, 1867, married Jacob Milton Spence, a farmer of Wayne township; Martha E. is deceased; Margery F., born Dec. 11, 1856, married Rev. Joseph P. Calhoun, a Presbyterian minister, now of Knoxville, Tenn.; Rebecca E. is deceased; John L. is mentioned below; George W. L. died in 1869.

John Lincoln Stockdill was reared to manhood on his father's farm and has always resided there. He had the advantages afforded in the local schools, the public school at Oakland and Glade Run Academy, and acquired a thorough common school education. After leaving school he taught for one term, but farming has been his life work and he has been highly successful in his chosen line. He was willed a share in the homestead and purchased the interest of the other heirs in the property, to which he has added another fifty acres, now owning 270 acres in one tract, which he keeps under excellent cultivation. His enterprising nature is apparent in everything he undertakes. He not only engages in general farming, but owns and raises fine stock, and buys and sells teams. Recently he erected a fine barn at a cost of three thousand dollars, and he is also making extensive improvements about his dwelling, all the surroundings of this fine property showing his interest and good judgment. The place is well equipped with modern machinery, and no detail essential to its management is neglected. Mr. Stockdill has been chosen to various township offices, the ability with which he has conducted his own affairs winning him universal confidence among his fellow citizens.

On Sept. 26, 1882, Mr. Stockdill was married to Annie 0. Alcorn, daughter of Thomas and Martha (Reed) Alcorn, farming people of Wayne township, and member of one of the old families of Armstrong county. Three children have been born to this union: Thomas Merrill, born Feb. 18, 1888, was educated at Little Washington, Butler county, and at Dayton, this county, taught school for seven terms, and is now clerking for the W. B. Thom Hardware Company at Tarentum, Pa.; the other two, Dessie E. and George Preston, the latter born Aug. 29, 1899, are at home with their parents. Mr. and Mrs. Stockdill are members of the Presbyterian Church at Goheenville. He is a Republican in politics, and socially belongs to the Knights of the Maccabees (New Bethlehem Lodge, No. 170) and is a Scottish Rite Mason, having attained the thirty-second degree in the latter fraternity; he holds membership in New Bethlehem Lodge, No. 522, F. & A. M., Coudersport Chapter, R. A. M., and the Temple, A. A. 0. N. M. S., at Coudersport.

Source: Pages 613-614, Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed October 2001 by Laurel Black Morris for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (

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