Randolph  County,  Indiana

Theodore  Shockney

            The biography of such a man as Theodore Shockney, attorney and politician of state-wide reputation, may well serve for an example and inspiration to the youth who seriously meditates life, yet hesitates to lay the foundation for the stern realities of life which await him. He began his career under somewhat discouraging conditions, but with a persistence as rare as it was admirable, adhered to his purpose and in due time achieved notable success. The crude, inhospitable environment of his youth, however, was not without its compensation. The usual and persistent effort required to obtain liberal qualifications for professional results, in spite of adverse surroundings, develops and strengthens the mind as labor hardens and renders flexible the muscles: Not satisfied with existing conditions he determined to rise above them, and to this end he lost sight of every other consideration or made it subordinate to the object in view. Every step in his progress has been due to matured plans and well-defined purposes. By his courage and energy, he has climbed steadily and persistently and stood firmly upon each round of the ladder of success. When beginning the study of law, he determined, regardless of obstacles, to master the principles and rise above mediocrity, instead of being satisfied with a mere superficial knowledge, such as so many professional men under similar circumstances are content to acquire.
So whatever success he has achieved in his section of Indiana. notable and useful career has been the result of careful preparation as much as to innate ability, a high sense of justice, candor as a counselor, religious regard for the truth and courteous demeanor and gentlemanly conduct in all relations with his fellow men. As a practitioner or public official no charge of suspicion of any wrong doing ever tarnished his name or marred his record, his personal honor having never been compromised and his private life wholesome and exemplary, indeed his sterling worth has made him a power for good among all with whom he has come into contact, and he deserves to rank among the notable men of his generation in this            Theodore Shockney, one of the best-known and most influential citizens of Union City, was born September 16, 1852, in Wayne township, Randolph county. He is a son of  William P. and Jane C. (Frazier) Shockney. The father was born in Maryland, October 4, 1823, and there he spent his boyhood days and attended the common schools. When thirteen years old he came west with his father, in 1836, the family locating on a farm within four miles of Union City, Indiana. He studied medicine and practiced here and Tipton county, ranking among the successful physicians of the old school in the pioneer days of this locality. He removed to Tipton in 1856, and there continued practice until his death, September 23, 1863. His wife was born in North Carolina, April 23, 1826, and there spent her childhood, moving with her parents, James and Nancy (Dillon) Frazier, to Randolph county, Indiana, about the same time that the Shockneys came here. Her death occurred October 1, 1862. She had received a good education for those early days, and Dr. William P. Shockney was exceptionally well educated, having taken courses in literature and mathematics, and graduated in medicine from a medical college in Baltimore, Maryland. In his younger days he taught school for some time. To these parents five children were born, namely: John A. a well-known attorney, who many years ago formed a partnership with our subject in Union City; Theodore of this sketch was the second in order of birth; James N. became state agent for the Mutual Life Insurance Company, and located at Marshalltown, Iowa; Charles H. studied law and began practicing his profession at Dunkirk, Indiana; Mary J., who married Levi Cox, a farmer of Wayne county, Indiana, is now deceased. The paternal grandfather of the above named children was John Shockney, a native of Maryland, who fought in the war of 1812. Patrick Shockney, the great-grandfather, was a native of Ireland, from which country he emigrated to the United States in colonial days, and he was subsequently a soldier in the Revolutionary War.
            Theodore Shockney spent his boyhood on the farm. At ten years of age he was left an orphan, and he remained on the farm until he was sixteen years of age, working for his board and clothes. He attended district school for a brief time each winter, but, being ambitious to acquire an education he studied assiduously at home, as a result he was enabled to begin teaching when but sixteen years old, and secured a district school, and he continued teaching for a period of nine years, giving eminent satisfaction despite his youth. During vacations he attended school at Winchester and Union City and spent three years in the old college at Ridgeville. He early decided upon a legal career, and with that end in view the last six years of his teaching were spent in reading law, during spare moments, under Governor Isaac P. Gray. In 1877 he entered the law office of Stanton J. Peelle at Indianapolis, remaining a year and completing his course, his preceptor being at that time a member of Congress. Mr. Shockney was admitted to the bar in 1878, upon recommendation of Judge L. J. Monks, and soon began active practice in Union City, remaining here ever since. He was successful from the first and has enjoyed a large and lucrative practice. He soon took his position in the front ranks of his professional brethren and long since has become one of the noted legal lights of Indiana. He has long been in partnership with his brother John A., under the firm name of Shockney Brothers. He has remained a close student of everything that pertains to his profession and has kept fully abreast of the times. He is an alert, painstaking, earnest and learned advocate and is a forceful and earnest pleader before a jury, his candor, logic, courtesy and eloquence equally impressing the bench.
            Mr. Shockney has always taken an abiding interest in public affairs and has long been an influential leader in Randolph county. He was elected mayor of Union City in 1880, and before his term expired he was the nominee of the Republican party for representative to the state legislature, and was duly elected. In 1888 he was nominated and elected joint senator of the counties of Delaware and Randolph, and made an enviable record in the state senate, in the face of an overwhelmingly Democratic majority. The Republicans of Indiana nominated him in 1892 for lieutenant-governor, and although he made a brilliant race, went down in his first defeat with the rest of the ticket. He has been a member of nearly every state convention since he was twenty-one years of age, and was a member of the state executive committee until nominated, and without his solicitation. He has also been usually a participant in each campaign in Randolph county, making stirring speeches in almost every neighborhood. During the Ohio campaign in 1893, Mr. Shockney was extended a pressing invitation from the state committee to assist in that state, but important business affairs kept him at home. His canvass of Indiana in 1892, while a candidate for lieutenant-governor, widened an already extensive acquaintance with the foremost men of the state, and acquaintance with him means friendship, and this has continued to the present time until today he is an intimate friend of most of the leading politicians and attorneys of Indiana. As a public servant, his record was highly commendable in every respect, and his interest in behalf of this locality, while in the legislature, both as representative and senator, met the hearty approval of his constituents.
            Mr. Shockney was married September 23, 1876, to a lady of culture and refinement, Emma Alice Keever, who was born in Illinois, July 19, 1858. She was a daughter of John and Abigail (Kramer) Keever, the progenitors of both having been Hollanders, from which country they emigrated to America and located in Warren county, Ohio, in an early day. Mrs. Shockney was six years old when her parents brought her to Randolph county, Indiana, where she grew to womanhood, and she received her education in the Union City high school.
            The union of Mr. and Mrs. Shockney was blessed by the birth of four children, two of whom are deceased, namely: Blanche, born May 16, 1878, was graduated from the local high school, later taking a two years course in the University of Ohio at Delaware, then was graduated from Miami Commercial College at Dayton, Ohio; she was also graduated from the State Normal at Terre Haute, Indiana; owing to failing health she made an extensive trip to Europe in hopes of recuperating the same, but she was called to her eternal rest on April 19, 1912; she was a young lady of brilliant mind and of much promise. Don P., our subject's second child, was born March 28, 1880, was graduated from the Union City high school, later was graduated from Miami Commercial College at Dayton, Ohio, then spent two years in the University of Indiana at Bloomington; he is now manager of West Dale plantation in Louisiana, and is regarded as a young man of much business ability. Ava Marie, the third of Mr. Shockney's children, was born July 16, 1885, was in the graduating class of the Union City high school, where she was making an excellent record, when summoned from her studies by death on September 19, 1905; Mary Lucille, born September 29, 1895, was graduated from the local high school with a fine record, and is at this writing at home with her father.
The Shockney residence is one of the modernly appointed and attractive homes in this part of the county, and has long been known as a place of hospitality to the many friends of the family. But death invaded the same, casting over it a dark pall which even time cannot dispel, the wife and mother being called to her reward in the silent land on March 26, 1913. She was a great home woman, an ideal mother and wife, and the wholesome atmosphere in which she reared her children, is clearly reflected in all their lives. She was a woman of beautiful attributes of head and heart, kind, neighborly, genial and of uniform pleasing presence, and, also possessing rare intelligence. She did much toward the large success of her husband, encouraging, counseling and sympathizing with him, which induced him to put forth his best efforts. She was 
greatly beloved by a wide circle of friends who will long lament her untimely departure. She was a devout member of the Christian church, in which Mr. Shockney also holds membership. Politically, he is now inclined to the progressive movement. Personally he is a gentleman whom it is a pleasure to know, companionable, high-minded, plain and unassuming, who eminently deserves the confidence and esteem that is universally accorded him.
Past and Present of Randolph County, Indiana
, 1914.
Contributed by Gina Richardson

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