Clarence Schock graduated from Mount Joy High School in 1881 when the high school was two rooms on the second floor of the Marietta Street school building. Mr. Schock was the fourth child born to John Schock and Mary Ann Patterson Schock. In 1951 he wrote, “I was born in the year 1865 and have continued to live in the town of my birth for 86 years, living since I was ten years old in the house which my father built.” (This house was the former Schock Presbyterian Home and is now owned by St. Mark’s United Methodist Church.) Mr. Schock married Evetta Tupper Jeffers, New Wilmington, Pa. in 1916.
…I was ambitious to be a mechanic…. Later on I realized that the most important thing was to get an education…. I had two years in what was called the elementary course in the Millersville State Normal School, and one year (1889) at Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster. …Owing to the illness of my mother and the declining business of my father, I was convinced that it was my duty to come home. …At the time I joined my father the business was chiefly the sale of anthracite coal with a small amount of grain. I immediately added the lumber business.
The next addition was kerosene (coal oil) which was first sold in wooden barrels. The oil business continued! Throughout his business career, he was always known for his independence of thought and conduct.
In 1898 he installed storage tanks for both kerosene and gasoline. Deliveries were made with one horse-drawn tank wagon. From Mount Joy, the company extended its territory, and by 1924, there were distributing stations located in Allentown, Carlisle, Columbia, Ephrata, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lemoyne, Llanerch, Mount Joy, Oxford, Philadelphia, Reading and York. Mr. Schock started several companies: Schock Independent Oil Company, Crane Hook Oil Storage Company and Rollman Manufacturing Company. He bought the capital stock of each and transferred it to the SICO Company which he organized in 1941.
More important than remembering Clarence Schock as a business man is to remember him as a philanthropist! The SICO Company was organized as a non-profit corporation with all profits going solely to public schools. Beginning in 1951, because of a great shortage of teachers in the elementary grades of public school, SICO began contributing funds to state teachers colleges. Scholarships for those planning to teach elementary grades of public schools followed, but were later changed to include any education major due to an over-supply of elementary teachers in 1976. Two years later the requirement changed to any major offered by the college.
In the first year of its existence, $48,000 was contributed through Clarence Schock’s generosity. By 1981, a total of $2,299,875. had been spent on 1,455 students, and the board of directors announced, “We are justly proud of this tribute to the life, the business acumen, the economic enterprise, and the philanthropic philosophy of Clarence Schock.” As of 1999, a total of $10,922,875 has funded scholarships that have benefited thousands of students over the years.