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 John Augustus Rock, Sr

John Augustus Rock, Sr

L'Avenir, Centre-du-Quebec Region, Quebec, Canada
Death 23 May 1925 (aged 65)
Kansas City, Wyandotte County, Kansas, USA
Burial Kansas City, Wyandotte County, Kansas, USA
Memorial ID 63693550 · View Source
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John Augustus Rock (sr) was baptized Jean Auguste Isaac Roch in 1859 in St-Pierre de Durham (later renamed L'Avenir), Québec, son of Joseph Rock, a wagon maker, and of Catharine Boucher. His name was anglicized when his parents emigrated to the United States when he was about four years old.

Following brief stops in Illinois and Missouri, John's parents settled near Humboldt, Kansas, and later moved to the town. John's father died suddenly in 1880, and he, his mother, and his younger siblings all moved to the Kansas City area, where John resided for the remainder of his life.

John worked a number of jobs as a young man, but taught himself about steam engines, and established a career as a stationary engineer (known today as a power engineer), operating and maintaining refrigeration machinery in breweries and ice houses, and as a millwright during the building of bridges in Mexico. He began work as stationary engineer in 1905 at the Terminal Elevator, in Armourdale. He worked there until his death in 1925. His love of steam engines extended as far as being the owner of a Stanley Steamer automobile.

John's mother died in 1882, and he married Ellen (Nellie) Welch in 1884, and had four children with her, only two of whom survived infancy. Nellie died of a reported stomach inflammation in 1894, and John married Susie Campbell two years later, fathering eight more children with her. At some point in his life, he subtracted two years from his age, and his gravestone gives a birth year of 1861; his baptismal certificate disagrees.

Given the general lack of procedure followed and poor record-keeping in the 1870s and '80s, John had always thought himself a citizen, having grown up in this country, and having voted in every election since at least 1882, but never formally became a naturalized citizen. It came as no small surprise when he was stripped of his citizenship rights in 1918, when that fact was determined. He immediately filed his application for citizenship, but six years later was still waiting upon final judgment when he died in 1925.

From the Kansas City Star obituaries, 25 May 1925:

ROCK -- John A. age 63, died Saturday morning at his home, 648 Shawnee ave. He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Susie Rock; three daughters, Mrs. Katherine Caldwell of the home; Mrs. Ellen Eger, Mrs. Daisy Meador, both of 1124 Hasbrook; six sons, Francis, Charles, Harry and Joseph, all of home; John A. Rock, jr. 1201 Shawnee ave.; James Rock, Maxwell, Ia; two brothers, Charles Rock, Kansas City, Mo.; Frederick Rock, Salt Lake City, Utah; two sisters, Mrs. K. Graham, Gallatin, N.M.; Mrs. F. Lincoln, Flagstaff, Ariz. Funeral services Tuesday afternoon at 2 o'clock from home. Burial Highland Park cemetery. Daniels Bros. funeral directors.

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  • Created by: FamilyMan
  • Added: 3 Jan 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 63693550
  • FamilyMan
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for John Augustus Rock, Sr (7 Sep 1859–23 May 1925), Find A Grave Memorial no. 63693550, citing Highland Park Cemetery, Kansas City, Wyandotte County, Kansas, USA ; Maintained by FamilyMan (contributor 47408836) .