Lloyd Hockenberry, “Larceny”, 15 March 1956

comments 15

Lloyd Hockenberry drifted into New Castle in the spring of 1956 and took a room in Flora Williams’ apartment on East Washington street, above Westell’s gun store. He had left the army and was looking for work of some sort. He had trouble finding any. Three weeks later, Flora Williams noticed she was missing two wedding rings valued at $175 each, as well as a $100 bill. Lloyd was arrested when he returned to the apartment at half past two in the morning. He confessed and was given six to twelve months in the Lawrence County jail, but was out in time to marry a local girl in November, just after he turned twenty-three.

By 1958, Lloyd had left his wife and New Castle and was living with his sister near Huntingdon, four hours to the east, where he had grown up. One afternoon, while passing time in a diner in town, he met a sixteen-year-old girl called Anna Grace Carper who had stopped off on her way home from school. She was known in Huntingdon for having run away from home when she was twelve, in the company of her aunt’s brother, who was a twenty-one-year-old ex-convict. (After he and Anna Grace had been tracked down and brought home, he’d been charged with rape and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. It had been a scandal.) Lloyd and Anna Grace left the diner together and walked up Fifth street and on into the woods on the far side of Flagpole hill, which was where the young people went when they wanted privacy. Later in the afternoon, Lloyd walked her back to her house. He didn’t think of her again until the following year, when a constable appeared at his door to serve a warrant on him for fornication and bastardy.

Lloyd drove to Anna Grace’s home, but was sent away by her father, who would accept no visitors on a Sunday. The next day, Lloyd was told by a court official that Anna Grace had given birth to a baby girl and had named him as the father, and that her family were seeking a financial contribution from him. Lloyd said he didn’t know Anna Grace and that, anyway, he had been in West Virginia looking for work when she claimed to have met him. The jury took twenty-five minutes to find Lloyd guilty, and the judge ordered him to pay $30 a month support money, plus hospital and doctor’s bills.

Lloyd was jailed for non-payment a year later, and again the following year. By the time he married his second wife, in 1962, he had added a term in the Alleghenny county workhouse to his total. He was given a further two months in the county jail in 1965, also for non-payment. Amid all this, Lloyd fathered three legitimate children and another illegitimate child.

By 1969, Lloyd had left his second wife, his children and Pennsylvania and was working as a truck driver in Maryland. The woman who would become his third wife lived in Virginia. He moved there and worked for the Department of Transport until he retired. His children, all grown, had no idea what had become of him. He died in 2018, at the age of eighty-five.

Sources: New Castle News (17 March 1956, “Huntington Man Admits Theft Of $450 In 3 Weeks”; 2 April 1956, “Three Weeks Civil Court Opens Today”; 10 May 1956; “Two Sent To Workhouse For Hardware Thefts”; 12 Dec 1961, “18 Divorces Granted Here”; 29 May 1962, “Defendant Is Sent To Workhouse”); Huntingdon Daily News (3 Aug 1955, “Missing Girl Is Found By State Police”; 6 Aug 1955, “Young Man Is Held On Serious Charge”; 15 Sep 1960, “Criminal Court Term Is Concluded”; 22 Aug 1961, “Domestic Relations Cases Heard”; 15 Oct 1962, “Marriage Licenses”; 28 Sep 1965, “6 Adjudged In Contempt Of Court”; 9 Aug 2001, “Births”); Altoona Mirror (8 Sep 1966, “Six Sentenced In Blair Court”; 7 June 1966, “Grand Jury Okays Bills”; 5 Oct 1966, “5 Guilty”; 19 Aug 1969, “Grand Jury Back; 12 Guilty Pleas Heard By Jurist”); Flagpole hill necking spot anecdote on Edwards-Brandt family website; Lloyd Andrew Hockenberry death notice on dignitymemorial.com.


  1. johnny says

    Lloyd just looks the part of the stranger who drifts into town and makes fathers of teenage girls nervous…

    ‘What’s your name Mister?’ the young lady behind the soda fountain asks the new man in town.
    ‘My friends call me Hock’ say’s Lloyd.
    ‘ooooh, that sounds like trouble!’ she replies blushing a bit
    ‘Trouble is my middle name…’ he says in a low rumbling voice. ‘and hold the onions on that cheeseburger’

    • Oh, yes, absolutely.

      Incidentally, I got a bit obsessed and traced most of his children (through birth announcements and obituaries) and even their children, too. He has dozens and dozens of descendants in that part of Pennsylvania, some with his name and some without. It’s odd to think that almost none of them will have ever heard of him.

      • Hockenberry says

        If you have any information on him please feel free and contact me my husband been looking for him for a long time he has some questions he wants to ask him

  2. Johnny says

    ‘The Hock’ is like ‘The Dude’ in the Big Lebowski.

    The Hock abides…

    You can see Lloyd, marlboros rolled up in his t’shirt sleeve, just hanging at the bowling alley picking up the spares and the cute gal running the deep fryer.

    Wonder if any of his offspring will come on this website.

    • Hi Heather. I doubt I’ll have any more information than you have — most of the research I did on his descendants was done by following Facebook connections and so on, so you probably know everyone I came across. I’ll email you with a couple of other things that might be useful.

  3. After a little research, I found the female child that was conceived . She was born November 23, 1959 – Leona Ann Carper.
    Sad to say she passed away March 13, 2015 at UPMC Altoona.
    I went a bit further into this story, and I believe the Mom – Anna Grace Carper is still alive.

    • If you can find Lloyd himself, there are a few people in the comments who’d be pretty interested to know where he is…

    • That’s him — well done, Jason.

      In case the page disappears, I’ll paste the text in here:

      Lloyd Andrew Hockenberry, 85, of Madison Heights, passed away Saturday, September 22, 2018 at Lynchburg General Hospital. He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Ann Branham Hockenberry.

      Born in Huntington, PA, June 21, 1933 he was the son of the late Mary O’Donald Gates.

      Lloyd was an avid hunter and fisherman; he retired from the Virginia Department of Transportation and proudly served his country in the US Army.

      In addition to his wife, he is survived by three children, Lloyd A. Hockenberry, Jr., April Hockenberry and John Hockenberry; one grandson, Lloyd A. Hockenberry, III and one great grandchild.

      A service celebrating his life will be conducted at 6:00 p.m. Saturday September 29, 2018 at Whitten Monelison Chapel with the Rev. Cynthia Branham officiating. The family will receive friends for one hour prior to the service and following the service until 7:30 p.m. The family would like to gratefully acknowledge his sister-in-law, Rosa K. Verdinella for the care and attention she has provided. The family requests memorial contributions be made to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

  4. David says

    First of all , thanks for the chance to read this intriguing web page that gives grit, shadow and feeling to its subject, that is the ordinary men and women who failed and were punished for petty crimes. Working back from a mug shot and a name you came to bring these lurid and sad stories back to life.

    About Lloyd Hockenberry. Just how many ex military came back from horrors in Europe and elsewhere, were given a couple of dollars for a bus ticket, went home and found themselves without support and without any one understanding what they had been through? Small wonder that some of them got involved in petty crime, sexual shenanigans and poor parenting. There must be many Hockenberry descendants who would be curious to see how their grandfather carried on in the day. But all of his failings will be redeemed on seeing his handsomeness and lonely gaze in that classic mug shot in 1956.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s