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MOFFETT, Francis G. 1844-1921


Posted By: Tammy (email)
Date: 9/28/2016 at 07:48:27

Former Business Man Buried Here Sunday

Remains of Mr. F. G. Moffett, One of the First Attorneys, Publisher and Druggist in Grundy Center, Arrived Here for Burial Saturday Night.

Died at Late Home in Oakland, Calif., August 1st. Held Position in U.S. Pension Office for Number of Years. Prominent in Early Business Life.

Accompanied by the bereaved wife and son, Mrs. Clara Heffelfinger Moffett and Robert Moffett, the remains of Mr. Frank G. Moffett arrived at Reinbeck over the Great Western last Saturday evening, and were met there by a number of relatives and intimate friends from this place. The death of Mr. Moffett had occurred at the family home at Oakland, Calif., on Monday previous, and the remains were brought here to be interred by the side of those of the two daughters, who passed away in early childhood.

The funeral services were held from the First Baptist church Sunday afternoon, and were largely attended, the Masonic Lodge attending as an escort, and the local G.A.R. and W.R.C. attending in a body. The pastor of the church, Rev. David Alexander, assisted by Rev. Fred P. Fisher, pastor of the Methodist church, conducted the service. Music was furnished by a mixed quartet composed of Mr. and Mrs. G. C. Pettit, Mrs. Harry Burke and H. A. Willoughby. The pallbearers were E. H. Allison, E. A. Crouse, E. S. King, J. C. Black, E. A. Crary and W. C. Ladage. The surviving members of the Wilson Post G.A.R., of which the deceased was one of the original members, gave a very touching service as their tribute to the departed comrade.

Mr. Moffett was one of the most highly esteemed business men Grundy Center has ever had, and during his life here left a lasting impression on all who knew him. He held many positions of trust and was always one in every forward movement for the up-building of Grundy Center and community. When the town was incorporated on April 17, 1877, Mr. Moffett's name was on the petition. The town at that time numbered but 437 souls, but was aggressive and wide awake. He was interested in a number of business enterprises in those early days, all of which he made a success. His only son, Robert, was appointed to a position in the U.S. Mint at San Francisco under the direction of Geo. E. Roberts, and still holds a place of trust in that branch of the government service. An estimate of the value of such a life as Mr. Moffett lived can be better given in the words of this son than by a stranger, and here follows:

Francis Garver Moffett was born in Cherry Grove township, Carroll county, Illinois, December 25, 1844, and died in Berkeley, Calif., August 1, 1921, aged 76 years, 7 months and 6 days. His father was one of the first white settlers in that section of Illinois and was widely known as a man of intelligence, integrity and honesty.

Mr. Moffett grew to manhood in the vicinity of his birth and received a good common school education, and later graduated from the law department of Oskaloosa College, which institute was transferred to Des Moines, forming a part of Drake University.

Early in the Civil War he enlisted in Co. I, 34th Iowa Volunteers, at Traer, Iowa, and served three full years, taking part in many of the great battles of the war, and upon its close was honorably discharged. He enlisted as a private and was mustered out as a lieutenant.

He returned to Carroll county, Illinois, and served as deputy county clerk for a number of years.

In 1870 Mr. Moffett moved to Grundy Center, where he entered the practice of law with J. M. Rea, who is well and favorably remembered by the older residents of this community. In 1870 he and Mr. Rea took over the publication of the Grundy County Atlas, the only newspaper in the county at that time.

In 1873 Mr. Moffett was united in marriage to Miss Mary Rea, a sister of his law partner. She passed away about a year or more later. In 1875 he was married to Miss Clara Heffelfinger, who survives him. To this union there were born three children, two daughters and one son. The daughters died in early childhood. The son, Robert H., resides in Oakland, California.

In 1873, the deceased was elected clerk of the courts of this county, which office he occupied with satisfaction to the public for a period of eight years. In 1880 a flouring mill was organized by Mr. Moffett and others in Grundy Center and for a year or so he was manager and conducted the business. Still later Mr. Moffett and his brother, Marshall, engaged in the drug business for a number of years in the building now occupied by M. G. Heiberger, and only recently disposed of the building to its present occupant.

In 1890 he entered the U.S. Pension office in Des Moines, holding responsible positions such as Chief Clerk. Upon the removal of this office to Washington he was transferred to that place and continued his work in the Pension Service until July, 1920, when he was retired, honorably, on account of reaching the age limit under the Civil Service Retirement Act.

He returned to Iowa, visiting here and in Des Moines, and early in November last moved to Oakland, Calif., to enjoy being near his son and family and to spend his well earned rest among the wonders and beauties of that state.

Mr. Moffett became a member of the Christian church at an early age and was an active and consistent Christian gentleman till the time of his death. He was honest and upright in all his business relations, having a higher regard for his good name than for personal advancement. He was a man of high ideals and always tried to live up to them, his highest ambition being to live a life of service to his fellow men. His life was truly an inspiration.

Mr. Moffett was a member of the G.A.R., being a charter member of the Grundy organization. His membership is now held in Crocker Post at Des Moines. He was a Mason once serving a Master of the local lodge. He held a membership in "Pioneer" Lodge of Des Moines. He is survived by his wife, one son Robert H., and two grandchildren.

Those present were Mrs. A. Casson, Mrs. C. M. Kennedy, Mrs. John Farrell, Miss Ada Mershon, all of Des Moines; Mr. and Mrs. Frank Mershon, of Boone, Ia., and Trivis Heffelfinger, of Estherville, Iowa.

--The Grundy County Dispatch (Grundy Center, Iowa), 10 August 1921, pg 1


Grundy Obituaries maintained by Tammy D. Mount.
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