Hocken, Richard

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                                     PEOPLE OF THE PAST
                                      Richard Hocken

Born in Liskeard, Cornwall County, England, Richard Hocken came to Chatham on September 22, 1841 when he was appointed accountant at the customs house of the port. At that time the customs house was located at Bushville near the present golf club.

Mr. Hocken travelled extensively in his work and was transferred several times. On October 11, 1846 he was appointed sub-collector of customs at Bathurst which, at that time, came under the Bushville office. He was appointed Controller of Customs and Navigation Laws at Richibucto on July 24, 1848. Wishing to settle down permanently, Mr. Hocken resigned on October 21, 1850 and opened his own business in Chatham.

Hocken was a very stern man who was strongly set in his ways. He was very generous to those who “deserved” sympathy and charity while at the same time he was almost cruel towards those who had “made their own bed” of misfortune. He died a very wealthy man and his obituary described him as “...a man of strong and distinct individually. His integrity was unquestioned, his firmness of purpose uncompromising. His conclusions were always his own for he thought and acted for himself...’’’

For his wife, he took Susannah Samuel, a daughter of Michael Samuel who was a leading businessman in Chatham. Mr. Samuel’s business was located on the spot where the Benson Block was later erected. The Chatham Fire Hall stands on that location today. Richard and Susannah (Samuel) Hocken had eight children:

John Joseph, born June 22, 1847, became an accountant and worked in Saint John, Montreal and Winnipeg where he died in 1890.

Mary C. was born on November 4, 1848 and married Rev. Richmond Schreve of New York State.

Richard S., who was born July 17, 1850, became accountant at Dominion Cotton Mills of Moncton. While there he met and married Minnie Cowling.

Susan E., who married Hon. Allan Ritchie of Newcastle, was born February 11, 1852.

Sophia E., who was born February 19, 1854, married R. B. Joyce, a wealthy businessman from Toronto.

Florence N. was born April 26, 1856 and married John Rogers of Montreal.

Elizabeth was born July 14, 1860.

Michael Samuel Hocken was born March 14, 1858. He worked with his father and later took over the business when his father died.


by Andrew Fraser

Source: Northumberland News – June 29, 1983

This text is available for use under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. For more information, select the following link: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

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