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History of Racine County,Wisconsin
Burlington Twp. pg.643
John Hockings,the father of William;a blacksmith by trade;was one of the pioneers of the "teetotal"movement in Great Britain;his giftsas a wit, a singer and story teller,togeather with all the characteristics of a genuine,jolly fellow,led him to indulge in the "flowing bowl"to an extant that could have but one result;he was still young,however,when the lamented Joseph Sturges started a society in Birmingham,whose members pledged themselves to "teetotally abstain"from all intoxicants.John Hockings became one of the first members of this society(probably in the year 1834),and soondeveloped into a powerful speaker,becoming the most celebrated temperance lecturer in all England;immense crowds rushed to hear him,and he was no less popular than his only successor,John B. Gough;he spoke in the great town-hall,Manchester,England,36 consecutive nights,as late as the year 1843;how long the meetings would have continued,no one knows,but they were brought to a close by the giving-way of a crowded gallary,a panic,the killing of several, and the serious injury of many others.His command over the feelings of his audiences was perfectly wonderful,and the number of people who signed the pledge under his influence was equaled only by the success ofthe celebrated Father Mathew.As early as 1841,the writer of this sketch heard him express the wish that he could rest from his labors, and go to live on a farm in America;his imagination was fired with the accounts he had heard of the Great West;he believed in the republican form of government as the only form that mankind should permit;he came directly to Wisconsin in 1844,buying a farm near that of James Tinker,one of his old coadjutors;he lectured but little after coming to Wisconsin,and many of his neighbors were unaware,until after his death of his early celebrity as "The Birmingham Blacksmith," by which sobriquet he was more generally known throughout the British Isles than by his own Christian and family name.
William Hockings,farmer,Sec.27;P.O.Burlington;born in Birmingham,England in 1841;came to Racine Co;with his parents in 1844;his father,John Hockings,bought 112 acres of land in Secs.22 and 27,Burlington,and built residence and barns,and improved it;his father died,Dec.29,1865;after his death,the farm was divided;his daughter Sarah,now Mrs.T.H.Marsland,taking 50 acres,in Sec.22,and William taking the 62 acres in Sec. 27.His first wife died in England,and in 1840,he married again in Birmingham,Eliza Clark,and brought her to Burlington with him,where she died in 1855;he had 2 children by his first wife--John W. and Sarah,and 4 children by his second wife----William,Mary Ann,Eliza and Phoebe.William married in Burlington,in 1863,Helena L.Mulholland,and has 3 children---Nellie m.,Clarnee W.,and Alfred J.,all still living at home with parents;William built the residence he now occupies,in Sec. 27,in 1875,with the barns,ect;he enlisted,Jan.4,1863,in 3d Calvary and went with his regiment to Kansas and Missouri,and was in several skirmishes;he was among the last of the army discharged at the close of the war.