Lloyd Hockenberry, “Larceny”, 15 March 1956

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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 was looking for work of some sort, but 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. She called the police, and 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 Cora Lee Kelly in November, just after he turned twenty-seven.

By 1958, Lloyd had left Cora Lee and New Castle and was living with his sister in Mount Union, four hours to the east, near the farm where he had grown up. One afternoon, while passing time in a diner in the nearby town of Huntingdon, he met a sixteen-year-old girl called Anna Grace Carper who had stopped off on her way home from school. They left together and walked up Fifth street and on over Flagpole hill, a local necking spot.

It wasn’t the first time Anna Grace had spent some time alone with a much older man. When she was twelve, she had run away from home with a twenty-one-year-old ex-convict called David Beard. The affair lasted only two days, until police picked them up and charged Beard—Anna Grace’s aunt’s brother—with rape and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Lloyd and Anna Grace had sex in the woods overlooking the town, then Lloyd walked her back to her house and 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, nine months after he had met Anna Grace, she 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 denied that he had ever had a date with Anna Grace and insisted that he had been in West Virginia looking for work when Anna Grace 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 a woman named Shirley Watkins 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 Shirley, his children and Pennsylvania and was living in Maryland, where he found work as a truck driver and continued to refuse to pay any child support. There is no further record of his life.

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.

11 Comments

  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…

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