Thomas  M. Smock

          Longfellow’s "Village Blacksmith" never had a finer exemplar than he who for thirty-five years made the air resound in his shop at Pleasant View.  In the pioneer days this was an important stopping place for those traveling east or west on the Michigan road, and no one is so important to travelers with vehicles as the blacksmith.  Thomas M. Smock, who opened his shop at this place in 1854, did a thriving business from the start and kept it up until changed conditions made country blacksmithing less profitable.  His smiling face, robust form and kindly greetings were familiar during more than a generation of active life, and everyone who lived in Moral township or the region around, from the early fifties until the close of the century, knew Mr. Smock as a friend.  Peter Smock, of Pennsylvania, after coming West in the thirties, married  Sarah, a native of Virginia, and one of the pioneer children of the West.  They located in the eastern part of Marion county, but later moved to the west side, where the father lived until his death.  Thomas M. Smock, son of this couple, was born in Marion county, east of Indianapolis, on the Michigan road, March 22, 1833.  When twelve years of age he lost his father and three years later became an apprentice in a blacksmith shop in Boone county. In time he mastered the trade and, of course, was ambitious to have a shop of his own.  This ambition was gratified when he was able to start his bellows at Pleasant View, and from that time on, for many years, there were but few days when the sparks were not flying in Smock’s smithy.  Practically, he monopolized all the horse-shoeing, smelting and wagon tiring in his end of the township and prosperity followed the noisy hammering in this busy mart of the western travelers and local farmers.  About 1890 Mr. Smock sold out his place and purchased another shop at Brookfield, where he followed his trade until 1904, when he retired to take life more easily.  He owns a fine farm of sixty-two acres, just north of Brookfield, and here, surrounded by his family and every comfort, he is enjoying existence in full, as a reward for his long and laborious life.  About 1870 Mr. Smock was made a Mason in Pleasant Lodge, No. 133, at Acton, and for two years held the office of worshipful master.
          After coming to Pleasant View, Mr. Smock married  Maria Louisa Hart, a native of Maryland, who came to Shelby county in 1853.  To Mr. and Mrs. Smock the following children have been born:  Mary Ellen, wife of  George W. Batty, is a resident of Indianapolis;  Alva Nelson is deceased;  Homer lives at Indianapolis;  Charles F. is at home;  Wilbur resides in Chicago;  Fannie Fern, now dead, was the wife of  Clarence MeansWalter L. is at home;  Claude Victor, of Portland, Oregon;  Bertha, wife of  Louis Belton, resides at Acton;  Della, wife of  John, lives at Indianapolis, and Loretta.  Mr. and Mrs. Smock are members of the Christian church, and in politics he has always been a staunch Republican, though he never would accept office.
          Mr. and Mrs. Smock have been married fifty-two years, and to celebrate the event they, in July, 1909, took a trip to the state of Oregon.
Excerpt from Chadwick’s History of Shelby Co., Ind.
Contributed by Cindy Jones.

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