Union County Biographies MOSS

Copyright 1999, 2000
Janine M. Bork

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James MOSS

Willard A. MOSS

William D. MOSS

JAMES MOSS. - While the subject of this sketch was not born in this county, still the major part of his life has been spent here and we may practically say that he is a product of the county, and when that is said we are bound to add that he is a product of which the county may well be proud, because he is active in the advancement of the interests of the same and has ever displayed excellent ability and been dominated with wisdom while his personality of integrity and sound principles is manifest to all, and he is one of the substantial and leading citizens of the county to-day.

James Moss was born in Wapellow county, Iowa, on November 29, 1854, being the son of William and Sarah (Walker) Moss. In the year 1864 the parents were led by the glowing reports from the west land to gather their substance together, and take the arduous and weary journey across the plains and mountains, where they were beset with all kinds of hardships and dangers, yet completing their pilgrimage in safety, when they landed the same fall in the Grande Ronde valley. A homestead was taken at once, one and one-half miles north from Island City, and there all hands went to work to subdue the sod for the crops to sustain and to erect buildings for their own shelter. Prosperity attended their well directed efforts, and the parents are still living on the home place, enjoying the fruits of their labor. Our subject attended the public school in the old log school house in the district, and in those primitive surroundings, secured the education that assisted his father on the farm and later went with stock drives to Nevada, being occupied thus until 1879. At this date, he turned his attention to freighting from Umatilla Landing to the mines in the Boise Basin, continuing the same also for two years while the railroad was building. In 1884 he bought eighty acres of land, adding to it from time to time until now he owns two hundred and eight acres of fine land, two and one-fourth miles from Alicel. This is well improved nad skillfully tilled. Mr. Moss being one of the most progressive agriculturists of the entire county. He has a fine residence, good outbuildings, and all conveniences for handling his large farm in first class shape, and the entire premises present to the eye of inspection good care, thrift and good taste. He has an orchard of one hundred and twenty-five trees, and on the balance of the land he raises the cereals.

On March 1, 1885, occurred the marriage of Mr. Moss and Miss Jennie, daughter of John and Eliza (Woodell) Wallsinger, pioneers to the Grande ronde valley in 1862. To this happy union have been born three children, Isis, Lema, Irwin, all at home. Mrs. Moss was born in the county, near Cove. Mr. Moss is and has been clerk and school director since his residence in the district. He is a member of the I.O.O.F., Lodge No. 16, of Lagrande. Mr. Moss is one of those men who takes a proper interest in the affairs of government, but nevertheless, does not press forward for personal preferment, while he forms part of that substantial class which is the boast and pride of every well regulated community, He is esteemed and respected by his neighbors and fellows and is a worthy, progressive and inteliggent citizen of our county.

llustrated History of Union and Wallowa Counties
Copyright 1902
Page 422,423


WILLARD A. MOSS. - To the gentleman whose name initiates this paragraph we are constrained by force of right to accord a representation in this volume, since he is a product of Union county, and all of his life has been spent here in honest endeavor for the welfare of the same, while also prosecuting his business enterprises with a skill and ability that stamp him as one of the potent factors of our county, and surely one of its successful men, while he has always held himself under the influences of a sagacity and wisdom that have led him in the path of uprightness and given him the meed of the industrious and the competence of the faithful.

In the year 1867 he was born in Island City, being the son of William D. Moss, and here also he obtained from the common schools the education that was his fortification for the battle of life, which he entered upon at the early age of eighteen, his first venture being to enter into partnership with is father. Together they operated the farm of the latter and continued thus for some time.

In the year 1891 Mr. Moss married Miss Mollie A., daughter of D.A. and Nancy McAlister, and two children have been born to them; Muriel, born in July, 1894; and Guy, born in May, 1898. Politically Mr. Moss is with the Democratic party, and he has always taken an active interest in these matters and has labored faithfully for the welfare of the county. He is also affiliated with the M.W. of A., and in this relation, as all the others of his life, he is highly esteemed and is the recipient of the confidence and respect of his fellows.

Illustrated History of Union and Wallowa Counties
Copyright 1902
Page 360

WILLIAM D. MOSS. - One of the leading stockmen and farmers of Grande Ronde valley is the subject of this sketch, a venerable and highly respected pioneer of this country, who has labord here with sagacity and assiduity for over one-third of a century and has been a potent factor in changing the wilds of nature into the prosperous county of to-day, while he has ever maintained an upright demeanor, an untarnished reputation and placed an example worthy to be followed by all who would emulate noble virtues and moral worth.

William D. Moss was born in Morgan county, Illinois, on December 15, 1828. In 1835 his father, Henry Mos, removed to Wapellow county, Iowa, where he became one of the prosperous farmers of the section. The school facilities of the region were very meager and so our subject had the msifortune to be able to attend but three months in all his boyhood days: however, this was amended by careful personal research in subjequent years. He remained with his father until he had reached the age of twenty-four years and then rented land and worked out in the neighborhood until 1864, then fitted himself for the overland trip to the west. Ox teams were the popular motive power for traveling then and with these he journeyed each day toward the setting sun, being with the U. Neels train. When this body reached the mining fields of Utah nearly all of the emigrants scattered into the mineral regions and five families were left to join another train and make their way to the Grande Ronde valley. It was on August 12, of the same year, that they arrived and our subject immediately, took up a homestead where he now resides, one and one-half miles north from Island city. His exchequer was lined with a ten-cent scrip when he settled on the homestead and from that time forward, whatever he gained was from the soil and resources of Union county. Oursubject went to work for neighbors five days in the week, and spent one day each week in opening up his farm, having six oxen and six cows. His wisdom was manifested in this as he was able to support his family and open his farm, and in three years, he had the satisfaction of looking over two eighties of cultivated land that belonged to him. This was a commendable record and demonstrates the ability of our subject. In 1873 he took up a timber claim.

In 1852 Mr. Moss married Miss Sarah, daughter of William and Rebecca (Meadows) Walker, of Van Buren county,Iowa, and from that day to this she has been steadfast and faithful, being a priceless helpmate during all his labors and hardships, and assisting in the accomplishment of his praise worthy labors. To this worthy couple eight children have been born, six of whom are living, as follows: amelia J., wife of Andrew J. Holman, living in Lincoln county, Washington; James P., married to Martha J. Walsinger, of Grande Ronde valley; John W., Henry: Willis A. and Willard A., twins, the former married to Mary Sims, and the latter to Mollie McAlister, and both living in the Grande Ronde valley. John and Henry are living with their parents. In politics our subject is allied with the Democrats and for three years he has constantly held the office of school director. Our subject and his wife are members of the Methodist church south, and they are faithful supporters of their doctrine and loyal to the tenets of their faith, while their lives are the best argument for the realities of Christianity, ever exemplifying the graces of the teachings of the One whom they claim as Savior.

lustrated History of Union and Wallowa Counties
Page 4444,445
Copyright 1902

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