Clarence Schock was first, last and always a Mount Joyian who loved his community and used his large fortune, before and after his death, to fund scholarships, preserve natural resources and assist in many other philanthropic causes that advanced education and historic preservation.
Mr. Schock, born Dec. 22, 1865 in Mount Joy, was the youngest of four sons of John Schock and Mary Ann Patterson Schock. At the age of thirty, he assumed responsibility for his father’s business, a coal and lumber company in the heart of Mount Joy. Because his work kept him so busy, he remained a bachelor until the age of 50, when he met and married Evetta Tupper Jeffers. Mr. and Mrs. Schock had no children of their own, but their interest in promoting the education of the community’s children was integral to their lives.
When Mr. Schock joined the family business, the company sold coal, had a small grain business, and a lumber operation, along with sales of kerosene. Gradually, the business grew with expansion of the kerosene and oil industry, and Mr. Schock’s company became known as the Independent Oil Company. It was important to Mr. Schock that the company remain independent, and he fiercely resisted pressure from the other oil company monopolies in the growing industry.
In 1924, the name of the company was changed to the Schock Independent Company; thus, the name “SICO” was born, which became the official name of the company in 1941. At that time, SICO began to provide profits to the public schools, and Mr. Schock established SICO as a non-profit corporation, with assets of $1.5 million dollars.
By 1950, due to federal corporate tax implications, Mr. Schock completely changed the mission of his business by establishing the SICO Foundation, which was fully instituted in September 1955, 4 months after Mr. Schock’s death in May 1955. A new SICO Company continued the sale of fuel oil for another 40 years. The directors of the SICO Foundation took over its operation, following the wishes of its founder. At that time, the name was changed to the Clarence Schock Foundation.
The Foundation’s contribution to the Mount Joy Historical Area Society is invaluable. The Society was one of the final beneficiaries of the Foundation, which awarded a $100,000 grant for our Cemetery Road Schoolhouse renovation. That project is well on its way to completion and will benefit the entire Mount Joy community, helping the Historical Society to preserve the history and heritage of the town that Clarence and Evetta Schock loved. Additionally, the Society has been entrusted with Clarence and Evetta’s historic memorabilia, which will be on display in our museum when the schoolhouse is completed.
The Society is very grateful to the Foundation for its generosity to our schoolhouse project, and, in doing so, giving proper recognition to Mr. Schock’s outstanding and long-lived philanthropy, which was always dedicated to education, and historic and economic resource preservation.