Fayette County Genealogy Project

JOSEPH ROCKWELL is one of the old and reliable citizens of German township. He was born January 9, 1811, and is a son of Joshua and Mary (Mathias) Rockwell. The former was born in England; the latter in Connecticut. Joshua Rockwell came to America when he was about nine years of age in company with his parents, Asa and Mary (Rutledge) Rockwell, who were also natives of England. Asa located in Maryland, where he was engaged in agricultural pursuits, as overseer on a large plantation. Some years later he removed to this county, locating in Menallen township. He afterwards removed to Greene county, Pennsylvania, but lived there but a short time when he returned to Fayette county, where he remained until his death. His son Joshua remained at home until he reached his majority. He was engaged as a day laborer all his life, and never accumulated any real estate. He was born in 1778 and died in 1862, aged eighty-four years, and his wife, Mary, was born in 1773 and died in 1875, aged one hundred and two years. Their children were as follows: Jesse, Joseph, Ruth, Asa M., Elijah, George, Joshua, William, James and Caleb. Joseph, the subject of this sketch, was born, reared and educated in German township, and also spent some time at Carmichaels' academy. He served his time in learning the blacksmith's trade, which he afterwards followed for thirty-five years. After the expiration of his apprenticeship, he purchased his present farm of ninety-two acres, upon which he erected a shop in which he labored for the above stated time. Mr. Rockwell was a first-class mechanic and commanded an extensive patronage. He began with nothing, but by hard pounding on the anvil he forged out for himself and family a beautiful and comfortable home, which he sold January 23, 1900 to Allen McCoombs and will remove to York county, Nebraska. Now, in his retired life, he enjoys the full confidence of his fellowmen. He is a Republican in politics. His party has elected him to various offices (tax collector, three terms; school director, three years, and supervisor for three terms, besides other minor offices). In religious belief Mr. Rockwell is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian church, of which he is an elder. On March 22, 1838, he was joined in wedlock to Miss Catherine, daughter of Jacob Johnson. The children born to this marriage were as follows: Jacob (deceased); Sarah (deceased); Susanna (deceased); Martha, Margaret, Malinda (deceased); Catherine deceased); Joseph, Wm. Thomas, Mary (deceased); and Elizabeth. Mrs. Catherine Rockwell was a native of Fayette county, and died in 1874. Mr. Rockwell lived for sixty-eight years on his German township farm, and has twenty-five grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren. His grandchildren are as follows: born to Martha, six; Jacob, two; Mary, three; Margaret, two; Sarah, four; Joseph, two, and Thomas, six. Of the great-grandchildren, in Jacob’s family is one; Mary’s four; Margaret’s two; Sarah’s two; and Joseph’s three.

1083 & 1084.
Contributed by Lois Morgan