Biography of Frederick Mosiman

FREDERICK MOSIMAN. Into two classes may roughly be divided men who achieve success. The first of these are the dashing geniuses who engineer brilliant coups and march to victory with good fortune waiting on their talents; the second class consists of the patient, solid men, who forge more slowly but more surely forward, and whose accomplishments are as a rule more stable and permanent. In the second class of business men of Elwood may be mentioned Frederick Mosiman, a resident of this city for more than twenty-two years, during which time he has steadily advanced as a factor in the business life of the place, until now “Mosiman’s,” at No. 114 S. Anderson street, is one of the best known establishments in Elwood handling shoes, men’s furnishings and millinery. Mr. Mosiman is a native of Indiana, having been born September 11, 1858, in Wells County, and is a son of Jacob and Elizabeth (Eichelberger) Mosiman.

Andrew Mosiman, the paternal grandfather of Frederick Mosiman, was a farmer by vocation and an early settler of Wells County, where he continued to be engaged in agricultural pursuits until his death, which occurred in advanced age, He married Caroline Mosiman, and they became the parents of six children, as follows: John, Jacob, Frederick, Andrew, Mary and Anna. The record of the maternal grandparents of Mr. Mosiman has been lost, Jacob Mosiman was born in Switzerland, and in the city of Summitville was reared and learned the trade of cooper. He was still a young man when he accompanied the family to the United States, and on settling in Wells County, Indiana, among the early settlers, started to work at his trade, In later years he engaged in the hardware business, at Newville, now called Vera Cruz, and in his declining years retired from business a successful man, and moved to Bluffton, Indiana, where he died in 1908, at the age of eighty-four years, His wife, who was also a native of Switzerland, passed away in young womanhood, many years ago, They were members of the Evangelical Church, but in his later years Mr. Mosiman became a member of the Methodist faith, For one year he served as a soldier in the Union army during the Civil war, Six children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Mosiman, namely: John, Ferdinand, Frederick, Samuel, Mary and Caroline.

Frederick Mosiman was reared in Wells County, where he attended the public schools of Vera Cruz until he was nine years of age, at which time he accompanied his parents to Bluffton, and there grew to manhood. On completing his attendance in the public schools, he became a clerk in a dry goods store, receiving his first introduction to business when fifteen years of age. He continued to follow the same employment for the next twenty years, eighteen of which were spent in Bluffton and the other two at Pleasant Lake, and during this time he thoroughly mastered every detail of the business, Mr. Mosiman came to Elwood in 1892 and here became manager of the Wiley Department Store, a position he held for five years, at the end of which time he embarked in the shoe business, in partnership with W. S. James, an association which continued for seven years, On Mr. James’ retirement from the firm, Mr. Mosiman continued the business alone until 1906, and in that year admitted his son, Ralph K. Mosiman, to partnership, and the establishment has since been known under the simple style of “Mosiman’s.” Since the store was founded, Mr. Mosiman has added millinery and gentlemen’s furnishings to his stock, in addition to carrying a full and up-to-date line of the finest shoes, Mr. Mosiman has possessed something besides application and integrity. In practically every walk of life there is a certain well-defined path to success that has been followed by scores of others, but there are so many following it that progress is difficult, To get ahead of the procession, one must strike out for himself, and it has been this initiative, this courage to seize opportunity or to make it for himself, that has led Mr. Mosiman to his present enviable business prominence, His success has been his own, and none who know him will hesitate in saying that it has been well deserved.

On February 8, 1882, Mr. Mosiman was married to Miss Mary Ellen Keller, who was born in Faribault, Minnesota, daughter of Capt, Samuel J. and Melvina (Wolleat) Keller, Three children have been born to this union Ralph K., who married Mabel Manford, and has two children,-Frederick 0, and Lois Mabel; Hugh F., who married Corinne Poole, and has two children,-Robert H. and Wilbur C.; and Howard Arthur.

The paternal great-grandfather of Mrs. Mosiman was one of those who assisted in building the old fort at Fort Wayne, and there in the early days engaged in a number of battles against the Indians, One of his sisters, captured by the Indians as a child, was not found until she had become an old woman, having spent her whole life with her savage captors, John Keller, the paternal grandfather of Mrs. Mosiman, married Rachel Keller, while the maternal grandfather, Wolleat, married Adeline Beckler, Capt. Samuel J. Keller, father of Mrs. Mosiman, was born in Ohio, and after traveling around to a number of states, settled in Bluffton, Indiana, From that point he enlisted for service in the Union army, during the Civil war, and fought bravely for four years, advancing to the rank of captain, He died in his eighty sixth year, in July, 1911, while his wife, a native of Pennsylvania, passed away when forty years of age. They were the parents of nine children, namely: William H., Samuel F., Mary Ellen, Catherine Ann, Emma A., Jennie R., Lydia M., John, and one who died in infancy.

Mr. and Mrs. Mosiman are consistent members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, He belongs to Quincy Lodge No, 200, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, to the Encampment of that body, and to Elwood Canton No, 33, in all of which he has numerous friends, In 1912 he exhibited his progressive principles by giving his support to the newborn party of the name, He has not sought public preferment, but at all times has manifested a willingness to perform the duties of good citizenship, and among his fellow-townsmen is known as a man of civic pride and public spirit.



Madison County IN,

Forkner, John. History of Madison County, Indiana: a narrative account of its historical progress, its people and its principal interests. Chicago: The Lewis publishing company, 1914.

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