THOMAS G. NOCK
Thomas G. Nock was born at Brierly Hill, near Dudley, Staffordshire, England, February 14, 1829, his birthplace being his maternal grandfather’s home. A few weeks later he was baptized in the parish church by his mother’s rector, and received the name of his mother’s father, Thomas Gill, who was a robust, fine appearing man, active, generous hearted, untiring in his work, and a firm believer in God. When fifty years of age Mr. Nock was the counterpart of Mr. Gill having the same perfectly shaped head, the high forehead, the intelligent face, the business foresight, the untiring energy, the unselfish generosity. When three years old the child left Brierly Hill with his parents and came to America. In his eighth year he returned to England, with his father on a visit to his birthplace, and this event proved a memorable one in his life, making a lasting impression upon his then youthful mind. When he returned to his home at Ramapo, N. Y., he was sent to a private school for two years, after which a tutor was brought to the house for him. This teacher was James Stewart, a graduate of Edinburgh University, and he was continued in this capacity for several years. When fifteen, young Nock went to New York City for special instruction for one term in a private school. Returning to Ramapo he entered the office of a cotton mill, where he remained some months. His life in Ramapo was rally one of studying the manufacture of steel, but he was often in the woods, on the “Tuxedo,” and along the mountain streams with rod and gun. He loved nature, and more than once climbed the noted, "Torn," but he was learning the secret of the earth’s metals. His father, George Nock, a man of great ability, of strong will and character, and skilled in metallurgy, helped him to a practical knowledge of iron and steel. The father was true and sincere in his religious life, and taught his children and all men his faith and practice by example. The son learned much from this teaching, and slowly but finally strengthened that character and personality which in the man were so his maternal and paternal ancestry. Joseph Nock, his paternal grandfather, was a country squire, an active, positive, and determined man in whatever he attempted. The family coat of arms suggests the character of the descendants. ON the shield is a bend between three annulets, or, on a field of azure. The crest is a dexter hand brandishing a scimitar. The motto is "In tenchris servare fidem."
Mr. Nock removed in early life from Ramapo to Windsor Locks, Conn., where he married Miss Caroline M., only daughter of Royal Prouty, who survives him. There he was the assistant superintendent, bookkeeper, and paymaster of the E. G. Ripley & Co., iron and steel works, which position he held until he removed to Syracuse, N. Y., as superintendent of a large iron rolling mill, since converted into the present Syracuse Tube Works. In 1864 he came to Rome, Oneida County, to supervise the erection of the New York Locomotive works in this city in 1882, when he was elected president of that corporation, a position he held until his death on April 20, 1890. The ground for the locomotive works was broken September 17, 1881, and the company was formed in May, 1882. Mr. Nock was largely instrumental in starting that concern, which carried on under his supervision and management a successful business in the manufacture of railroad locomotives and engines. He was a man of great executive ability, of sound judgment and foresight, and of wonderful force of character.
He was for many years prior to his death the president of the First National Bank, a director in the Central Bank, and in fact a stockholder in all the banks in Rome. As a financier his ability and integrity were widely recognized. He contributed materially to the prosperity and general welfare of the city, and sustained and encouraged every beneficent enterprise. He was public spirited and generous to a fault, and bore the confidence of the entire community. A Republican in politics he took a lively interest in the welfare of his party and never failed to work its advancement. He was the first fire commissioner appointed in Rome and served continually as the president of the board from its organization until his death. He generously supported the cause of religion and education, and in all matters of a public nature was ever foremost and active. He was very kind hearted, benevolent to the poor and needy, and never missed an opportunity of aiding the unfortunate.
Mr. Nock was survived by three brothers: Revs. Edwin Gaines and Joseph A. Nock, Episcopal clergymen in Philadelphia and Jersey City respectively, and George F. Nock, a commission merchant of New York. He is also survived by four sisters. Of his five children three are living, namely: Dr. Thomas G., jr., a practicing physician, one of the coroners of Oneida County for several years, and one of the fire commissioners of Rome: George P. of New York City; and Mrs. Claude C. Coan, of Clinton, Iowa. His widow resides in Rome.