Biography of John Moseley

JOHN MOSELEY, who since 1840 has been a resident of this county, is a man highly esteemed by all and one whose career has been upright and honorable in every particular. He was born in Shelby County, Illinois, March 14, 1825, and is a son of Len S. and Elizabeth (Whitten) Moseley. The elder Moseley was a native of the blue grass regions of Kentucky, where his parents, John and Priscilla Moseley, were among the pioneers. They came originally from South Carolina. At an early date Grandfather Moseley moved to Missouri and first settled on White River. Later he settled on Beaver Creek, where his death occurred many years ago. He reared a large family, but the father of our subject was the only one to come to Taney County and make a home. He crossed the boundary lines of this county in 1840 and took up his home on Beaver Creek, where he passed the remainder of his life. He was a soldier in the Black Hawk War. Although a native of Kentucky, he spent many years on a farm in Shelby County, Illinois, and tilled the soil all his life. In politics he was a Democrat, and was well and favorably known all over the county. He was married in his native State, and a family of five children were born to this union who reached maturity, as follows: John, our subject; Easton, who resides in Taney County; Henry, who died before the war; Len., a soldier who died in the Confederate Army; and Ann, who resides in the Lone Star State. Several children died young. The father delighted in hunting and in the pioneer days of Missouri could gratify this taste without much trouble, for the woods abounded in game, and he killed many deer, bears, wolves, etc. Mrs. Mosely died in Taney County a number of years ago.

The original of this notice was a sturdy lad of sixteen when he came with his parents to Taney County, in the common schools of which he secured a fair education. In 1849 he began farming on Beaver Creek, and this has continued to be his chosen occupation in life. In connection with farming he was also in the saw mill, grist mill and cotton gin business, and has succeeded unusually well in all his undertakings, being now the owner of 300 acres of excellent land. Like his ancestors he is a Democrat in politics and has held a number of important positions in the county. In 1856 he was elected to the office of county judge, held that position four years, and in 1880 was elected to the office of sheriff and collector, being reelected to that position two years later. His official career was marked by great fidelity, uprightness and efficiency, and although he started in life with limited means, he is now one of the wealthy citizens of that county, and, what is better, is universally respected. He chose his wife in the person of Miss Parnecie E. Wommack, daughter of Joseph and Margaret (Morris) Wommack, who were among the old pioneers of Greene County, near old Delaware Town. Mr. and Mrs. Wommack came from Kentucky to this State, and here the mother died during the war. The father died just across the line in Arkansas after the war. Five children were born to them, as follows: William G., Parnecie E. (Mrs. Moseley), Joseph, Benjamin and John N. Mrs. Moseley and John N. are the only ones now living. To our subject and wife have been born twelve children: Joseph L.; Margaret, deceased; Benjamin H., in Texas; Parnecie E., wife of George Roach, of Texas; John, who is in the Nation; James T., residing in Taney County; Lucy, wife of James Griggs, of this county; Jefferson C., also of this county; William E.; Mossman; and two who died unnamed. The children now living are all married and nearly all have families.

Mr. and Mrs. Moseley have great-grandchildren in this county. Mrs. Moseley is a member of the Baptist Church. Since 1840 Mr. Moseley has resided in the neighborhood where he now lives, and he delighted as much in hunting as his father. His wife made the clothing for a large family of children, and in spinning and weaving used the old-fashioned hand cards. They experienced many hard-ships in those pioneer days, but as a result they can now pass their declining years in peace and plenty, and with the consciousness that they have contributed their full share toward the county’s development and progress. Mr. Moseley was a heavy loser during the war. His house was burned and he and family were obliged to go to Christian County. Nothing was left him but his land, and his father, who owned a large farm and a number of slaves, lost everything. Mr. Moseley can well remember the trip they made by wagon from Illinois to Taney County, and the delight he took in hunting on the way. Taney County presented such a fine appearance from the river that they decided to locate there. At that time Springfield was but a small place.



A Reminiscent History of the Ozark Region: comprising a condensed general history, a brief descriptive history of each county, and numerous biographical sketches of prominent citizens of such counties. Chicago: Goodspeed Brothers Publishers. 1894.

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