From the 1885 History of Steuben County, Indiana

pages 416-417


Leland H. Stocker, retired attorney, and one of the early and prominent settlers of Steuben County, was born in Windham County, Vt., May 21, 1817, a son of John and Betsey (Howard) Stocker.  His mother was a sister of Rev. Leland Howard, an eminent Baptist clergyman, for whom our subject was named.  Of a family of nine children eight lived till maturity.  In 1833 Chester Stocker, the eldest son of the family, came to Steuben County, and entered land in Mill Grove Township, and in the spring of 1834 the father followed him and built a cabin, and the first of October the rest of the family came.  His was the third cabin built in the county, and the first in Mill Grove Township.  John Stocker was politically in early life a Democrat, but subsequently gave his support to the Abolition party.  He and his wife were active members of the Baptist church.  They both died in 1849.  Leland H. Stocker was educated in his native State, and attended the Baptist Literary and Scientific College at Brandon, founded by Rev. Hadley Proctor.  He was in his junior year when he left Vermont for the West.  After reaching Indiana his time was spent in clearing the land and splitting rails.  The first five years he was in the county he cut and split 100,000 rails.  He then for a time ran a breaking team with his brother, and in 1840 abandoned the farm and began preaching for the Baptist denomination, traveling in Southern Michigan.  He formed the acquaintance and became a close friend of Hon. Schuyler Colfax, who once said of him, when asked where he got his force as a speaker, "I learned it of a little Baptist preacher in Steuben County."  Mr. Stocker continued preaching seven years, when, on account of hemorrhage of the lungs, he was obliged to abandon the pulpit.  He took up the study of law, and was admitted to the bar in Auburn, DeKalb County, in 1848.  In 1856 he formed a partnership with W. I. Howard, and subsequently was a member of the firm of Stocker & Morrow three years.  In 1866 he became associated with J. M. Gale, and afterward the firm was changed to Gale, Stocker & Best.  He continued his law practice till 1883, when he retired to a more quiet life.  Soon after his admission to the bar he was appointed Deputy Recorder and Clerk, and afterward served six years as County Auditor.  Mr. Stocker was married in April, 1837, to Lucy Mallory, a native of Castleton, Vt., born in 1818.  She came with her parents to Steuben County in 1836.  Mr. Stocker has passed all the chairs of the Odd Fellows' order, and is a member of the Good Templars.


Submitted by Kim Davoli