The name of John W. Schrock for years has been prominently connected with the history of Spanish Fort, Montague county, Texas, where he figures as a successful merchant. A sketch of his life is therefore in a work of his character.
John W. Schrock was born in Missouri, April 10, 1850. He traces his ancestry in this country back to Virginia, to one of three brothers who came to this country from Germany. His great-grandparents lived and died in the “Old Dominion,” great-grandfather Schrock’s age at death being one hundred and ten, and his good wife attaining the still more remarkable age of one hundred and twelve years. P. D. Schrock, the grandfather of John W., was born in Virginia and there worked at his trade, that of a tanner, for a number of years. Finally, moving with his family to Missouri, he bought land and turned his attention to farming and stock-raising, in which he was engaged the rest of his life. He died on his homestead. During the war of 1812 he was drafted for service in the army. Feeling, however, that his family need him at home, he hired a substitute. In later life he gave his vote to the Republic party, but he never aspired to political or public honors of any kind. In his family were eleven children, namely: Isaac, Samuel, Joseph, Perez D., James W., Andrew J., Robert L., Harriet, Rebecca, Elizabeth and Margaret.
Perez D. Schrock was grown at the time the family removed to Missouri. There he married, and at Scottsville, engaged in merchandising for many years, subsequently removing to Laclede, Missouri, where he ran a store, and finally he bought a farm in Sullivan county, Missouri, where he has since lived. During the war of the Rebellion he was a member of the state militia and was for some time on duty at Macon City. Unlike his father, he was a strong Democrat and southern sympathizer. While he never sought official preferment, he was a justice of the peace and served as such for a number of years. His first wife, Martha A., was a daughter of John Minnis, who became a prominent farmer. The Minnis family was of Irish descent. Mrs. Schrock had three brothers, D. G., a resident of Missouri, and Benton, deceased, and Leonidas, deceased, and two sisters, Melvina Scott and Adeline Smith. The only child born and living of Perez D. and Martha A. Schrock was John W., the subject of this sketch. Some time after the death of his first wife Mr. Schrock married Sarah Tally, who bore him the following children: Byron, Charles, Virgil, Flora, wife of Judge Tunnell, Estella, wife of W. Patterson, Effa, wife of a Mr. Nichols, and Edna.
John W. Schrock as a boy assisted his father in the store and made himself useful in various ways, remaining under the parental roof until 1870, when, at the age of twenty, he came to Texas. He remained in Grayson county two years, and first came to Spanish Fort in 1872, where he spent the next two years working in a sawmill and freighting some. In 1874 he joined J. B. Jones’ Battalion of Rangers, which was composed of seven companies, and was organized for the purpose of protecting the frontier from depredations by the Indians. For ten months young Schrock was in this service, and was honorably discharged at Camp Lee, in December, 1874, by Capt. E. F. Ikards. The next five years he spent in the cattle business in the Chickasaw Indian Nation, then he was in Young county, Texas, ten months, giving his attention to the sheep industry, after which he returned to Spanish Fort, where he has since remained. For twenty-one years he was in the saloon business, and during that time saw the rough side of the town, always, however, obeying the law and conducting his place in such a manner that he won the respect of his fellows. Since July, 1902, he has dealt in general merchandise. He owns the building which his store occupies and he also owns a fine farm of two hundred and eighteen acres in Red River valley.
Mr. Schrock married, in 1882, Miss Lizzie Burford, who was born in Missouri, in 1867, daughter of James Burford, a prominent farmer. Mr. and Mrs. Burford died in Missouri. Mr. and Mrs. Schrock have two children: Roy B., born September 27, 1886, and Samuel D., May 2, 1890. Mrs. Schrock is a worthy member of the Christian church, and Mr. Schrock, while not identified with any church, belongs to the Masonic fraternity.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 21-22.