Muscatine County Iowa
Source: History of Muscatine County Iowa, Volume II, Biographical, 1911, page 302
L. O. MOSHER....The earliest record of any great authenticity we have of the Mosher family is found in the Manchewster Court Leet records, Manchester, England. There it is recorded that on the 2d of September, 1616, William Mosyer was appointed "bylawman." In the records of the probate court, Chester,---Manchester being a part of the bishopric at Chester and all wills of Manchester and Lancashire having to be proved at Chester---it is found that the will of William Mosier was recorded there in 1621. It is also found in the records of Manchester that there was living there from 1614 to 1620 one William Mosier, designated from 1614-5 to 1620 as a "silk weaver," and in 1619 as " gentleman." In his will made in 1620 he calls himself " a chapman," a term meaning merchant or general dealer. In his will it is shown that he was a man of a family as he names Tomasin, his wife, and two minor children, Mary, aged four years, and John, aged eighteen months. It is also found in another record that a son Samuel had been buried at Manchester. He had a mother living when he made his will as in it he bequeaths to her " a piece of gold of two and twenty shillings." He also names four brothers, John, Thomas, Stephen and George. There the record of the family closes so far as is now certainly known, and to connect the family of William Mosier, of Manchester, England, with Hugh Mosier, of Dartmouth, Massachusetts, can only be done by the evidence of inference. Hugh Mosier was born in 1635 but where is not known. He certainly was not the son of William Mosier, but he may have been the son of one of the four brothers of William. The similarity of family names in England and in the colonies is evidence to justify the conclusion that they were of one and the same family. Of the authenticity on Hugh Mosier, of Dartmouth, there is no doubt. The dissimilarity of the spelling of the sir name of the different families is somewhat confusing as we find it spelled Mosyer, Mosier, Moshier, Mosher, but a careful study of records convinces that all had a common origin as attested by the similarity of the family names.
In America the Mosher family has an unbroken line of ancestry for two hundred and seventy-five years, beginning with Hugh Mosier, who was then living in Bristol, Rhode Island. The place of his birth is not known. Tradition says he was a descendant of Sir Hugh Mosier of England. In the colonial records and in the records of the Dartmouth ( Mass.) monthly meeting of the Friends is recorded the marriage of Hugh Mosier to Lydia Maxon or Dixon. This discrepancy in the records no doubt arose from the illegibility in the writing of one or the other of the records, as they agree as to the place of residence and the names of their children. He bought land in North Dartmouth, Massachusetts, in 1689, made his will in 1709 and died in 1713. John, the son of Hugh, was living in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, in 1673, where he married Experience---last name not known. Tradition says she was one of a shipload of spinsters brought from Europe and traded to the colonists for a cargo of tobacco, and that they became wives to the colonists. John died August 1, 1739, and Experience, March 5, 1745. They had five children. By the time the fourth generation from Hugh Mosier came on the stage of action the family had scattered from Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New York and possibly Maine. In 1794 Asa, descending from Hugh Mosier through the line of his son John, was married to Bethiah, descending from Hugh Mosier through the line of his son Nicholas. They were married at Dartmouth, Massachusette, February 27, 1794, and went to Granville, New York, where they made a home in the wilderness. There were there born to them eleven children, seven sons, namely: Obadiah, Robert, Asa, Peleg, Stephen, Joseph and John, and four daughters, Ruth, Esther, Peace and Hannah. All grew to adult age and all had families except Joseph, who died childless. The daughters all married widowers. John, the youngest son, lived to the age of ninety-seven years. The average age of these eleven children and their parents was more than seventy years.
In 1818 Asa, who followed agriculture, traded his farm for a stock of merchandise and with his entire family migrated by team to Marion, now Morrow county, Ohio, making the journey by team and sleds in the winter. In Ohio he cleared a farm in the beech woods, where he again engaged in farming, also in blacksmithing and milling. He lived to see all of his children in homes of their own in his immediate vicinity. The house he built on his farm more than eighty years ago is still standing and is occupied by a descendant. The nails with which it was fastened together he hammered out on his anvil. The doors were fashioned, railroad style, that is, they were double thick and the boards in their construction were placed at an angle across each other, thus making them of great strength. This precaution was taken as a safeguard against intrusions of the Indians, which were liable to occur at any time. Indians were their most plentiful neighbors, some of them wild and some semi-civilized. One old Indian was a frequent visitor at the Mosher home and in discussing the problem of the civilizing of the Indians would say, "The way to do it is for the white man to marry the squaws and the white women the Indians." There were, until recent years, orchards of apple trees all through that region, the seeds of which were planted by a character called Johnny Appleseed who traveled through the country from New York westward as a missionary. In his journeyings he carried with him a sack of apple seeds and would plant them wherever he found a spot suitable. Asa Mosher died in 1843 and his wife in 1856. While none of the family were strictly pioneers, their tendencies were ever to follow closely in the wake of the true pioneers. Being driven out of the old country by religious persecutions, they followed in the path of the pilgrims, and came to America. As the colonists spread over the adjacent country, they followed. Thus Asa left the older settled portion of Massachusetts and settled in the newer region of New York. Then when Ohio became the mecca of the settlers, he moved on to that state, from which point his descendants pushed on, Obadiah and his family of eight children, migrating to Wisconsin in 1845. In 1853 Asa, with a family of eight children, and Stephen, also with eight children, loaded their household goods into wagons and pushed on westward to the land of promise which was Iowa. Asa located in Warren county, where he died in 1886. Stephen stopped in Muscatine county, where he died in 1891. The other children of Asa and Bethiah Mosher remained in Ohio, where many of their descendants are yet to be found. From these centers of Habitation the descendants radiated to many sections still farther west and were only stopped when the Pacific barred their way.
It is now with Stephen Mosher's family we have to do, as they alone represent the family in this country. His wife, Ruth Smith, was of a long line of ancestry in America, which is lost from record save that she was born in Duchess county, New York, the daughter of Israel and Elsy ( Southwick ) Smith. Her parental grandparents were David and Mary ( Yeomans ) Smith. They came to Ohio at an early day where the eldest son Isaac entered a piece of land, on which they made their home. The family was much afflicted. The father for many years was blind and the three sons all died together in a well from damps. A daughter, also died the same season and the mother the year following. Ruth Mosher's opportunities for school training were very limited, consisting of only three months all told. Her only book was a speller. But on that meager foundation she builded a liberal education, such as was attained by but few in those days. She lived to the age of ninety-one years, retaining her faculties and her interest in the world's doings to the day of her death. Mr. and Mrs. Mosher settled on a farm, long known as Edgewood, on the northern line of Muscatine county near it's western limit, which for fifty-eight years has been in the possession of the family and is now occupied by a granddaughter and her family.
Of the Mosher family there is an unbroken line of eight generations of Quakers. They were a plain people as their religious affiliations would denote and disposed to practice the simpler vocations of life, hence most of them followed agriculture and can boast with almost equal truth, like Henry Wallace, of the Wallace Farmer, that in the hundreds of years of American history there had been no officeholders among them. But in the later generations there have been many holders of minor offices of profit and trust, and some have even reached the legislative honors and one aspired as high---unsuccessfully---as to contest a seat in the national senate. On the subject of slavery they were openly known to be unequivocally opposed to it and deemed the law of human justice to be above the law of man and in that belief were persistent in their efforts to aid the oppressed African to liberty and to overthrow the iniqiutous system of slavery. In Ohio they were on a line of the underground railway; some of the members kept stations on the line, while others acted as conductors, passing the fleeing slaves along from station to station on their way to safety and liberty. In the Stephen Mosher residence there was one room in which the children were at times not permitted to enter and much to their wonderment they saw plates of food passed into the room and empty plates handed out, but no explanation of this strange proceeding was vouchsafed them. Works of fiction were taboo in the household until 1853, when Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin was published, when it was purchased, which proved an entering wedge for the class of literature to the household. Politically Stephen Mosher was originally of the free soil party but with the organization of the republican party in 1856 he cast his ballot for John C. Fremont and from that time to the day of his death he was an ardent republican. While as a non-combatant he could not engage in warfare, his sense of the " higher law " impelled him to aid in the amelioration of want and woe and anguish from whatever cause, and when the Civil war was waging, his purse-string was loosened for the benefit of its sufferers, whether it was soldiers in the service or members of their families at home. Stephen Mosher and his wife were the original members of the Hicksite meeting of Friends in the county and for many years the mid-week meeting of the society was at their home. This arrangment continued until the erection of their house of worship on the northwest quarter of section 1, township 78 north, range 4 west, in 1862. It stood there for several years, when it was moved to West Liberty, where it now stands on Calhoun and Eighth streets and is still used as a meeting place for the remnant of the society still remaining. With the seventh generation of Hugh Mosher the religious trend of the family began to be affected by their environment and they became members of other religious orders with which they came in contact, The Methodist Protestants, the Baptists, the Bible Christians, the Presbyterians, the Disciples of Christ, the Congregationalists, Progressive Friends, the Methodist Episcopals, and perhaps others.
The children of Stephen and Ruth Mosher were as follows : Elizabeth, born October 18, 1829, passed away on the 3d of May, 1832. Lemuel, born May 25, 1831, died May 8, 1832. Elizabeth Jane, born May 20, 1833, in Morrow county, Ohio, married Isaac E. Schooley, a carpenter and farmer, the ceremony occurring on the 28th of September, 1856. They settled on a farm in Cedar county. Their family were as follows: Mary, born October 25, 1857, died May 27, 1889. Stephen M., born April 2, 1859, married Louie Fenstermaker; they went to Sac county and opened a farm there: he died in West Liberty, February 3, 1889; they had one child, Claud O., who was a graduate of the West Liberty high school, of the Iowa State College, in the electrical engineering department, and took a post-graduate course at Harvard; he is now in business in Pittsburg Pennsylvania. Phineas M., born in January, 1862, married Nellie Crane, and they now live on a farm in Cedar county; their children are: Howard; Carl, who married Georgiana Conklin of Centerdale, Iowa, on the 22d of February, 1910; Clifford; Harry; Ralph; Earl; Fern and Ethel, both now deceased. Ruth, born April 1, 1867; married I. D. Pownall of Centerdale, Iowa, where they live on a farm. Their children are: Paul, Everett and Elizabeth. Addison E., born in January, 1871, married Cora Stanton of New Sharon, Iowa: their child is Erma Rebecca; they now live in Pasadena, California, where he is in the real-estate and other business. Rachel, born April 26, 1872, died August 9, 1872. Elizabeth Jane Schooley died August 9, 1892, and Isaac E. Schooley died on the 30th of March, 1903.
Hannah, the fourth child of Stephen and Ruth Mosher, was born in Morrow county, Ohio, July 5, 1853, and on the 16th of December, 1855, married James S. Barclay, a farmer and carpenter. Their children werre : Kate, born March 4, 1857, married George S. Nichols, a farmer, the ceremony being celebrated on the 3d of March, 1880. Their children were Archie, who died in infancy; Edith, who married Jesse James, a farmer, on the 25th of September, 1907, and Edna and Harry. Marcuc M., born January 28, 1861, married Lizzie Hull of Missouri, where they now live on a farm; their children are James Neil and Ella. Winfred J., born October 30, 1871, married Myrtle Propst on the 31st of January, 1906. They live on a farm and jave one daughter, Blanch, born June 9, 1907. James S. Barclay died March 16, 1896, while his wife, Hannah ( Mosher ) Barclay, passed away December 8, 1904.
Ruth, the next in order of birth, was born in Morrow county, Ohio, December 1, 1837. She was married December 9, 1858, to Matthias Wilson, a carpenter, farmer and soldier. Their children were : Harvey L., born December, 1860, who was a carpenter and farmer by occupation. He married Mary J.Taylor of Andes, New York, January 11, 1906, and they are now residing on a farm near Elliott, Iowa, but are preparing to go to Idaho to make their home. Elsy, born September 3, 1862, died March 19, 1885. Lizzie, born in 1866, married Ernest Eggleston, an electrician of Salida, Colorado. They now live near Post Falls, Idaho, and their children are Anna Virginia and Clarence. John Henry, born February, 1868, married Jennie Griswold, of Columbus Junction, Iowa. He has been a farmer, carpenter, electrician, and is now engaged in the real-estate business in Colorado. Edward Grant, born in 1872, is a farmer and carpenter. He was married on the 9th of February, 1893, to Annie Van Tuyle of Nichols, Iowa, and their children are Mary Elsy, Orpha Ruth, Edith Clea, Francis Marion, and Adrian Matthias. Esther, born in 1879, married George Anderson, a farmer and merchant, and their children are Everett Lee and Raymond. Carl, born in 1880, died on the 13th of December, 1894. Wilbur M., who was born in 1881, was married on the 28th of June, 1905, to Teresa Stewart and their daughter, Grace was born October 15, 1907. He is a graduate of West Liberty high school, of the mechanical engineering department of the Iowa State College and also took a post-graduate course at Cornell University, New York. He is now in business in Chicago.
Mary S., the seventh in the family of Stephen and Ruth Mosher, was born in Morrow county, Ohio, on the 7th of October, 1842. She was married on the 12th of March, 1868, to Blackburn Vore, a widower, who engaged in farming and blacksmithing in Fredericktown, Ohio. Their children were : Amanda E., born April 23, 1869, died June 5, 1877; Joseph B., born September 5, 1871, died June 3, 1872 ; Henry M., born November 23, 1873, married Anna Miles of West Branch, Iowa, and their children are: Edwin, deceased ; Esther and Bertha. He followed a farming, carpentering, mail-carrying and preaching, and they are now on a farm near Amistad, New Mexico. Edward L., born February 14, 1878, died on the 25th of September of that year. The father, Blackburn Vore, passed away in 1893.
Esther Ann, the eighth in order of birth, was born in Morrow county, Ohio, March 15, 1845, and on the 4th of January, 1872, was married to Wellington K. Eggleston, a widower of Boulder, Colorado. They began housekeeping in Fremony county, Colorado, living in a covered wagon, while erecting a house of poles scarce six feet in height and roofed with poles and earth. It was in the midst of a vast mountain wilderness, with but one habitation in many miles and that one a bachelor's. There they lived the first year, clearing and fitting the land for cropping. He was away some of the time working at his profession of dentistry in the distant towns and villages, while she remained on the ranch alone save for the companionship of a three year old boy, the son of Wellington K. Eggleston by a former marriage. They had seven children: Elsy, born February 6, 1873, married Louis Freeman, a rancher of Howard, Colorado, by whom she had six children: Elmer L., Arthur W., Howard M., Pearl, Orvil and Floyd J. Wallace L., born May 11, 1874, married on the 1st of August, 1906, Eleanor Briggs of Pasadena, California, and their children are Solon W. and Alwin H. They now make their home in Monrovia, California, and he is in business in Los Angeles as an architectural draftsman. Myra, born June 1, 1876, married John M. Nelson of Longmont, Colorado, and they now reside in Ouray, where he is in the mercantile business. They have one child, John N. Effie, born January 31, 1878, married W. E. Gardner of Bozeman, Colorado, and their children are : a son, now deceased; Alice; and Theodore. They make their home on a ranch near Center, Colorado, and Mr. Gardner is a member of the lower house of the state legislature. Alwin, born July 5, 1888, is now a resident of Pasadena, California.
Bethiah Elsy, another daughter of Stephen Mosher, was born in Morrow county, Ohio, August 11, 1850. She was married to A. D. Sinclair, of Muscatine, Iowa, on the 6th of February, 1873, and their only child, Olive, born in December, 1873, died on the 1st of May, 1874. The mother Bethiah ( Mosher ) Sinclair, passed away in Fremont county, Colorado, June 2, 1874. The six daughters of Stephen and Ruth Mosher were all school teachers, following that occupation to the time of their marriage.
Henry, the second son of the family of Stephen Mosher, was born in Morrow county, Ohio, March 27, 1840. He came to Iowa with his parents in 1853 and remained at home till his marriage to Henrietta D. Gibson, March 28, 1861. They began housekeeping on a part of the father's farm in Cedar county, where they remained for one year, then moved to another farm farther away in Cedar county, remaining there for a time, after which they returned to the parental estate and occupied either the Cedar or Muscatine county part of the parental acres till their removal to West Liberty in 1903. He received only the common school education of those days, which meant only about three months' attendance after his twelfth year. The schools were never less than two miles away and one term it was three miles that he had to walk night and morning. During the war of the rebellion he drilled with the Home Guards. Politically he has always been a republican with minor variations in late years. For some years after their marriage he and his wife held to the tenets of the church of their parents, but later they joined the Baptist church at Downey, Iowa, and still later transferred their membership to the Disciples of Christ church in West Liberty. He held several offices of trust, was for many years an active member of the school board, was town assessor for several years and held still other offices on importance. Their children are: Walter G., born January 11, 1862, in Cedar county, Iowa, married Bertha Birkett on the 19th of January, 1887, and followed farming for several years, when they came to West Liberty, where he found employment in the undertaking and furniture business and is now in the mercantile business but in another line. They have six children: Clark. Clayton, Elsy, Donald, Irwin, and Kenneth. Charles E., was born January 26, 1866, in Cedar county, and on the 20th of December, 1888, was married to Edith Birkett. He followed farming for a time and then came to West Liberty, where he is now in the real-estate and insurance business. His children are Bessie, Benjamin, Leslie, Gladys, Ruth and Burton. Henry Remington, born May 5, 1869, died February 9, 1886. Mary L., born in Muscatine county on the 23d of January, 1874, was married on the 28th of June, 1894, to Frank Myers of Centerdale, Iowa, and they settled on a farm in Cedar county. Their children are Harold, Glen, Kenneth, Waldo and Vernon. Of this number Kenneth is now deceased. Frank. J. Myers died December 10, 1909. Mrs. Myers bought the Stephen Mosher farm, known as Edgewood, in October of 1910, and will occupy it in the year 1911. Frederick E. was born in Muscatine county April 14, 1876, and on the 16th of January, 1901, married Mary Holloway of West Liberty. They now live on a farm near Anthony, Kansas, and have two children, Earnestine and Mary Henrietta. Bessie, born May 19 1881, died in March, 1883.
The wife of Henry Mosher, Henrietta D. ( Gibson ) Mosher, traces her lineage on her father's side to early days in American annals. They were a numerous family as early as the first census of the American colonies which was taken in 1790. Her father, Joseph M. Gibson, went from Maryland to Ohio and later to Iowa, where he settled on a farm on the southern edge of Cedar county, later moved over into Muscatine county. He was living in Cedar county at the time John Brown was passing back and forth across Iowa, when he was making his incursions into Kansas and Missouri and he---John Brown --- stopped for a time at the home of the Gibsons. He also had the honor of taking by the hand General La Fayette at Fredericktown, Maryland, when the general was on his memorable visit to this country in 1824. On her maternal side Mrs. Mosher is of the sixth generation from Mary Dyer, of historic fame, who for "preaching a heresy"---she was a minister of the Quaker church---was ordered " to depart from the jurisdiction of the colony of Massachusetts on pain of death." She was a disciple of and co-worker with Anne Hutchinson and shared her exile. She obeyed the mandate of the court, but in October of the same year returned to offer up her life, a martyr to her convictions. She with some others were arrrested and cast into prison. They were arraigned and tried under a law that banished Quakers under pain of death. With three others she was found guilty. The others were executed but she was reprieved at the earnest solicitation of her son on condition that she leave the colony within forty-eight hours. Against her will she was conveyed out of the colony but at the first opportunity returned, was again arrested, tried and convicted of the crime of " rebellion sedition and obtruding herself after banishment, under pain of death." She was executed by hanging on Boston Commons, June 1, 1660.
Lemuel O. Mosher, son of Stephen and Ruth Mosher, was born in Marrow county, Ohio, April 28, 1847. At the age of six years he came with his father's family to Iowa. His youthful days were passed in the country schools and on the farm, when not roaming over the prairies and through the woods lying contiguous to his parent's home. He finished his scholastic career by eleven months' attendance at private and graded schools at West Branch, Iowa, under the tutelage of those eminent educators, Joel and Hannah Bean. Leaving school, he returned for a few months to the home of his childhood in Ohio and then came back to Iowa, where he conducted his father's farm for a number of years. He was married to Lidorana D. White of Iron Hill, Iowa, September 29, 1870. They began housekeeping in a part of his father's house, where they resided for two years, then moved over the line into Cedar county, where they remained two years, then moved to Fremont, Colorado, where they tried true pioneering. In the valley where they located there were but two families within six miles. It was eight miles to a post-office, thirty-five miles to a trading point and forty-three miles to a railroad and telegraph. Bears, mountain lions, coyotes, and deer were their commonest neighbors. For about two years they struggled with the privations of pioneering. It was a wild, free life, besought with many privations and dangers but had much of compensation in the pure, invigorating atmosphere and the grandeur of the rugged mountain scenery. For nearly two years they strove to overcome the adverse conditions that environed them. In the summer of their first year there the grasshopper scourge literally rained down from the heavens upon them until the country was eaten bare of vegetation by the marauding hosts. Again the next year the scourge was repeated, when they gave up the struggle and returned to the home in Iowa they had left. There they remained for another two years, when they again took up their abode at the parental home, which they eventually purchased, and there remained until their removal to West Liberty in the autumn of 1910.
To Lemuel and Lidorana Mosher were born six children. Harold, born May 30, 1872, died the same day. Laurence H., born November 22, 1873, died June 10, 1877. Henry L., born in Fremont county, Colorado, March 21, 1875 married Ella M. Waters of Downey, Iowa, on the 24th of November, 1897. Their children are : Lysle C., born in Muscatine county, August 9, 1898; and Beulah, born in Cedar county, October 16, 1904. Henry L., Mosher received a common-school education and has followed farming all his life. Bethiah L., born March 24, 1877, died March 31, 1880. Arthur T., born April 17, 1880, followed farming and carpentering when not in school. He graduated from the West Liberty high school and entered Iowa State College in the electrical engineering department, but his health failing, he went to Paonia, Colorado, where he died February 12, 1906. Martin L., was born in Muscatine county April 12, 1882. He attended the country school until he graduated, then took the high school course at West Liberty, graduating with the class of 1902. He also took a full four years course at Iowa State College in the agronomy department, graduating in 1905 with the honors of his class. He married Elva K. Forman of Ames, Iowa, also a graduate of the Iowa State College, in the domestic science department. They were married December 29, 1908, and at once went to Mexico, where he was employed on the hacienda of Louis Gorozpe. On his graduation he at once found employment in the college work and with the exception of about two years passed in the state of Vera Cruz, Mexico, on the hacienda of Lic Luis Gorozpe, an extensive landowner, where he was called to teach the American methods of agriculture, he has been in the extension department of the college, now filling the place of director of the farm crops extension department. Martin L., and Elva K. Mosher have one child, Arthur Theodore, born October 4, 1910.
Lemuel O Mosher and his wife have been members of the Methodist Protestant church for forty years. He was for several years superintendent of the Linn Grove Sunday school, was for twenty years a member of the school board, serving as director, treasurer and secretary. He held the office of township trustee for eight years and was township assessor. Politically he has voted for every republican president since attaining his majority, but farther than that has wielded a free lance, deeming at times measures of more importance than men and at other times the men more important than party measures.
The wife of Lemuel O. Mosher, Lidorana D. White, is of a long line of American ancestry, as history records that William White, an Irishman, came to America with the pilgrims in 1620. But the real founder of the family in America was a William White, who came to this country from England in 1688. He is supposed to be the nephew of the William White first mentioned. He was one of the founders of the town of Salisbury, Connecticut. This family were also tillers of the soil, just plain common people, like the immortal Lincoln designated as the " loved of the Lord or he would not have made so many of them." On her maternal side her great-grandfather, Giles Wing, served in the American army in the Revolution as a general. Her grandfather, Peter White, Sr., lived to the age of ninety-four years. He was the father of eighteen children, all by one wife. Lidorana had five brothers, four of whom served in the army during the rebellion, entering as privates. One was discharged for disability, one came home a sergeant and one a lieutenant, while the other served to the end of the war as a private.
Of the more recent generations of this prolific family, there has been a widening of occupations, for there are now found among them mechanics, lawyers, doctors, politicians, ministers, professors, teachers, and merchants in many lines of commerce. Of the descendants of Stephen Mosher, there are now living three generations, aggregating eighty-three members who are dwelling in eight states, namely: Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, New Mexico, Colorado, California and Idaho. At the time of the settlement of the Mosher family in Muscatine county, the country was generally settled up along the streams and bodies of timber, but the prairies stretched away in illimitable distance to the north and west, with but a few breaks in its vastness. His farm joined that of the first permanent settler on the Wapsinonoc creek and was chosen for the reason of the vast prairie adjoining it on the north, and he was sure that it would not in his time be claimed by settlers, so he would always have a free range for his stock. But he lived to see many years of life, after all that vast plain became a developed agricultural region, thickly dotted over with the habitations of a prosperous people. At the time of his settlement there, game was abundant. There were deer in large numbers and turkeys were not uncommon, while quail and prairie chickens were present in countless numbers. In their migrations ducks, geese and other water fowl filled every slough and bayou. The ducks bred here to quite an extent. Wolves were also plentiful and one panther at least was slain in the adjacent timber. One constant menace of the farmers of those early days was the prairie fire. The luxurious grasses of hill and valley when ripened was a source of constant danger for, lighted sometimes by the lightning's flash, sometimes by a careless settler or hunter, and sometimes maliciously, the fire would sweep over vast tracts and woe betide the fences, stacks of hay and grain and sometimes buildings of the inhabitants. The nearest trading point of importance was Muscatine, twenty miles away, where could be found a market for the grain and meat of the farmer, and when reached, the pay was not only very low but most often part of all in merchandise. It was a long days haul there and back, and if loading both ways consumed the greater part of two days. But with the advent of the M.& M. Railroad in 1856, which passed in plain view and but a half mile from the Mosher home, all this was changed as it opened near markets and made it possible to reach centers of population farther away. Where the railroad passed the nearest to the Mosher farm was a wide wet slough through which the railroad ran on an eight foot grade. One winter the trains stopped there daily for the engines supply of water, dipping it up from the ditch at the side of the track in buckets and passing it up the steep bank to the engine by a line made up of the train's crew. When Stephen Mosher first came to Iowa in the autumn of 1852 he traveled down the Ohio river to Cairo and up the Mississippi to Muscatine and by stage from there to his destination at West Liberty, then a village in name only as a tavern and postoffice was about all there was of it. At that time there was no railroad across Illinois, so he shipped his goods by water by way of Cairo.
On reaching the Mississippi opposite Muscatine that day in May, 1853, their cavalcade, which consisted of eight teams and twenty-six people representing three families, were faced with the condition that to cross the broad river there was but one ferryboat, and that a little contrivance propelled by two blind horses which created the motive force by endlessly trying to reach the top of a tread power, thus turning the paddle wheels of the boat. The boat would accommodate but two or at most three teams, so it required three trips to ferry the company over, and much time was consumed, but the passage was made in safety by all except one of the young men of the company. Two of the young men were ambitious to be the first to set foot on Iowa soil, so they took passage on the boat on its first trip across and as it neared the Iowa shore stood ready to leap to land as the boat came near enough to the shore. One of them succeeded: but the other, miscalculating the distance, landed waist deep in the water. That night the company reached the home of Nehimiah Chase, a Friend who had come to the state several years before. They remained there a few days, when Stephen Mosher made a deal with Clark Lewis for his farm and its growing crops. The house on this farm was a one-story building, about twenty-two by thirty feet in size, including a porch. In this house the Moshers, eleven in number including Isaac Schooley, who had driven a team for them from Ohio, took up their abode, while the Lewis family, four in number, still occupied a part of it, but the Lewises soon moved out. They then proceeded to erect a more commodious dwelling. The frame of this house was of native timber, some hewn and some sawed, and the finishing of pine hauled by team from Muscatine. They also erected a barn the same season. It was a busy, laborious season and to add to its discomforts, several of the family were sick with the ague, a common ailment with newcomers while becoming acclimated. One day the baby of the family, a little girl of three years, was having her daily " shake" when she called to her mother, saying: "Mother, don't my tongue rattle?" The family, as was the custom with many others, manufactured much of the cloth for bedding and clothing in their home and, in the new house erected in 1853, was a spinning and weaving room where the hum of the wheel and the bang of the loom were heard on many days of the year. It was not altogether necessity that impelled them to these laborious tasks, but a part was their strong convictions against the use of " slave labor," hence they discarded the use of cotton as much as possible and used flax, home grown and home dressed, in its stead. There are yet in the family treasured heirlooms of fine cloth spun and woven by the mother eighty years ago. The same reasons led them to the use of maple instead of cane sugar and for several years they had maple sugar shipped to them from their old neighborhood in Ohio. But with the introduction of sorghum---and by the way it was Horace Greeley who introduced sorghum to this section, by sending small packages of its seeds to subscribers to the Tribune, and extolling its value---that it took the place of sugar as far as was practical, until with the liberation of the slaves the objection to the use of cotton and cane sugar ceased. The first attempts to obtain syrup from the sorghum cane were, to say the least, pathetic. By stripping the ripened cane of the hard outer covering the juice was found to be very sweet and pleasant, but ways to express the cane were wanting. They tried cutting the canes into short pieces, then joining the pieces and thus getting a very small percent of the juices. Then the older son of the household tried his mechanical genius on a small hand mill, but it was too weak to crush the joints of the stalks, so they crushed them with hammers and thus secured very small quantities of the imprisoned sweets which, boiled to a syrup, became as nectar to their childish taste. But these ways were not practical, and eventually horse mills with large wooden rollers turned by long sweeps were constructed. When operated they gave forth a shuddering wail that could be heard for many miles. These were followed by cast iron mills that solved the problem for the profitable manufacture of sorghum. But eventually all these tribulations of pioneer life passed and the modern era came, and the Mosher family are now enjoying advantages handed down to them by the pioneer labors of a long line of American ancestry.
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