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James B. Rockwood. A citizen of Bristow, Creek County, James B. Rockwood has had a life of long and varied experience, and is now practically retired from active pursuits, having reached that age when men may surrender some of the earlier cares and responsibilities. He was born in a double log house in St. Lawrence County, New York, August 29, 1845, a son of Sidney S. and Etta J. (Waite) Rockwood. Both were natives of New York State, the father of English descent and the mother of French ancestry. Sidney S. Rockwood and family were numbered among the pioneer settlers in the State of Iowa, where he removed in 1854 and located in Bremer County. He lived there until his death at the age of sixty-seven, having been a farmer during all his active life. The widowed mother survived until her eighty-sixth year. The father though quite old at the time volunteered his service during the Civil war, but was rejected. There were four children, James B. being the oldest; William C. lives in Minneapolis; Emma is the wife of Andrew Waterman, who served through the War of the Rebellion with the Sixth Iowa Cavalry; and George W., who still lives in Bremer County, Iowa. It was in Bremer County, Iowa, that James B. Rockwood grew toward manhood. He attended the local schools, and when only sixteen years of age in October, 1861, he volunteered his services and enlisted in Company B of the Fourteenth Iowa Volunteer Infantry. He was at the front three years four months, and was finally mustered out at Davenport when the war was practically ended. During much of his army career he was assigned to special service. He was in the great Battle of Shiloh, where his regiment was captured with the exception of two companies which were engaged in supporting a battery and which did not share the fate of their comrades. Mr. Rockwood was a member of these two companies and consequently escaped confinement in Confederate prisons. he also participated in the Siege of Pittsburg with Sherman and saw much other active campaigning in the theater of war.
After the war Mr. Rockwood returned to Iowa and in that state in 1870 married Miss Catherine Bunny. She was born in Wilkesbarre, Pennsylvania, March 22, 1845. Mr. Rockwood and wife spent most of their years in Waucoma in Fayette County, Iowa, and all their children wore born, reared and married there. Mr. Rockwood is an auctioneer by profession, but has spent much of his time in farming and has also been a dealer in real estate, insurance, and live stock.
In 1904 he came to Oklahoma and located at Bristow, with which community he has since been identified. He has served as justice of the peace, as police judge, and for a great many years has filled some local office or other in the communities where he has made his home. He still keeps an office and handles considerable business in real estate, insurance and loans. He has some property of his own which brings him in rentals.
It was Mr. Rockwood’s distinction to cast his first presidential ballot for Abraham Lincoln while he was serving in the army in 1864, though only eighteen years of age at the time. He is an active member of the Grand Army of the Republic. Since Oklahoma statehood Mr. Rockwood has served as a justice of the peace.
He is the father of four children: Etta lives at home with her father and is a very active worker in the Methodist Episcopal Church, and a well educated young woman; Effie is the wife of Dr. H. H. Belding, living at Waucoma, Iowa; Emma is the wife of A. H. House of South Greenfield, Missouri; Charles B. Rockwood is an attorney at law at Sapulpa.