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Dated July 1914
PIONEER SKETCH OF WM. HOSKIN.
Was Born and Raised in Derry Township.
Isaac Hoskin, grandfather of our subject, came from the Empire state in 1820 and settled on the American bottom east of St. Louis, Mo., when that city consisted of only a few log cabins. In a short time Mr. Hoskins came to Pike county, where he spent the remainder of his life, dying when upwards of 80 years of age: Charles Hoskins, the father of our subject, was born in Onondaga county, N.Y., 1810, and was about 10 years old when he accompanied his parents to Pike county. The son afterwards made his home here and grew to manhood amid the surroundings of a frontier life. During these early times the settlers had to grind their corn at a horse mill, or pound it in a mortar; and they lived mostly on corn bread and wild game, and wore home-spun clothing. His father would often go out before breakfast with his old flint-lock rifle and kill a deer. The early settlers were obliged to keep their sheep in pens close by the house in order to protect them from the wolves, which were numerous and bold. In those early days Charles Hoskins traded with the Indians and busied himself as a farmer, becoming the owner of about 400 acres of land. In 1829 Charles Hoskins was married to Miss Eliza Shinn, daughter of Daniel Shinn, of Ohio, where she was born Dec. 20, 1810. At the time the wedding took place there were but four families residing in Derry township and only 80 voters in Pike county. The next year, 1830, the happy couple located in Derry on the s e half section 22, where the husband and father died at age of 67, leaving a family of six sons and five daughters. Only three of these children are now living: William, the subject of this sketch, Clement L. and Mrs. Rachel Pryor, all yet residing in Derry township. The maternal grandfather of our subject was Daniel Shinn, who came from Ohio in 1820, bringing the first wagon into Pike county, and who in 1821 built the first courthouse. In 1824 Daniel Shinn also helped to build the first jail ever erected within the present limits of Pike county.
William Hoskin, sixth son of Chas. Hoskin and Eliza Shinn, was born at the old homestead in Derry township, Feb. 15, 1839. He was raised like other pioneer farmers' sons, and obtained his schooling at the common country schools, where teachers carried only second grade certificates, and during short sessions in the winter season when there were no crops to be tended. The rule usually was, work first, and school afterwards. So it happened, after these necessary regulations had been complied with, the time remaining for school, like many other good things in those days, it was limited; yet he learned to read and write. Oct. 7, 1860, he was married to Miss Sarah Jane Moorhead, who was born in Clermont county, Ohio, March 27, 1842, and came to Pike county with her parents, Dr. and Mrs. T.W. Moorhead, when about 10 years old. To this union were born three daughters Mary E., the eldest, died after she became a married woman; Lizzie, the youngest died in infancy; leaving but one daughter, Mrs. Margaret Edna Hardy, and two grandsons and three granddaughters living. But Mr. Hoskins's family relatives can be numbered by hundreds. Soon after their marriage about 1862, they moved onto a 40-acre tract in the s e part of the township and began clearing, to which they soon added 70 acres more, on which they lived for about 35 years. About this time Mr. Hoskin quit farming on account of failing health, and quite recently he sold that farm for $90 per acre, thus realizing a profit of over $7,000 on the purchase price. If that farm met living expenses and taxes, the aged couple ought to have a neat sum laid by for a "rainy day." They are now living in peace and plenty in their cozy home in the village of El Dara. Their golden wedding anniversary (Oct. 7, 1910,) was allowed to pass without celebration, thereby losing the pleasure of its remembrance in their old days.
Mr. Hoskin has tended to his voting pretty closely, but cares nothing for office. He cast his first vote in 1860 for Stephen A. Douglass for president, and his last vote in 1912 for Woodrow Wilson, and the same kind of ticket, all the way between, thus wasting his time and nearly all his ballots for over half a century; rather a sad showing. Yet he thinks he has had just as good a president as the rest of us. He was raised a democrat and a Methodist, and he and Mrs. Hoskin joined the M. E. church which was organized at Pleasant View about 20 years ago. But that church has ceased to exist; and about 12 years ago both united with the Christian church at El Dara; but they don't know now if they are Christians or not. They have assisted in building up and maintaining good society about them , and excepting a few months at Clarksville, Mo., he has spent his entire life (three quarters of a century ) near the place of birth in Derry township, and it herein appears that his ancestors rank among the F. F. Ds.