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The Rockholds

Three Maryland brothers came to McLean County: Francis (1796 - 1880), Elijah (d. 1853) and John (1805). Francis had six children and operated a farm in Twin Grove. His son John Rockhold’s store in Stanford was the very first in that town. Although he had owned a farm, even when he was an elderly man of 69 he was working as a day laborer. The last descendant of Francis Rockhold to die in McLean County was a granddaughter, Myrtle Woodard Myers (1880 – 1965). Her son, Vernice Edwin Myers, was a fighter pilot in the European Theater during WWII.


            In 1876 the Pantagraph acknowledged Elijah Rockhold as the “chief architect” of early Bloomington. He designed and built a house for Owen Lee Cheney in 1835 which was occupied by William Allin in 1876.  The house was  described as “palatial” in the eyes of early Bloomington. Elijah lived to be just 32 years old and fathered only two children, neither of whom had families in McLean County.


John Rockhold came from Maryland and was a cooper. In 1836 he was married to Mariah Barker in Bloomington. He and his second wife, Elizabeth Platt, had five children. One account has him operating the St. Nicholas Hotel and playing the fife on militia days. He was remembered as a strange but good natured fellow who told almost unaccountable yarns. His children settled in DeWitt County and California.

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