JEFFERSON COUNTY ILLINOIS
BIOGRAPHIES

Fanny Elizabeth Moss



     Many Biographies are written about the Men who helped shape America with 
hardly any mention of the contribution of the hearty pioneer ladies who shaped 
the lives of the children they gave birth to and raised.. This is only one of those stories.

	Fanny Elizabeth Moss was born in 1833 in the Shiloh Community of Jefferson Co. IL, 
the sixth child born to Ransom Moss and Anna Johnson. Her parents were from Virginia.

	Harmon D. Hinman as a young man came to Shawneetown, Illinois. he was a brick Mason by 
trade and after many years at Shawneetown came to Mt Vernon where he met and married Fanny 
Elizabeth Moss. Elizabeth as she was known and Harmon Hinman had issue of five children, John, 
Rosa,and Alice all having died when very young, Robert N. born December 18, 1854 and Alma E. 
born Abt. 1860. This family lived a prosperous and happy life until 1860 when Harmon suffered 
a violent death when he was kicked by a horse, this leaving Elizabeth a widow at age 27 with 
two small children.

	Reverend John Samuel Ellis a well respected man in Mt Vernon was first married to Martha 
Eliza Pavey she died November 24, 1862 leaving her husband and their four children. On June 14, 1863 
in Jefferson County, IL, Elizabeth Moss Hinman married the Reverend John Samuel Ellis, bringing 
together Rev. Ellis's children: Nancy,  13, Edward Everett,  10, John Albert, 9, Charles F., 8, 
and Elizabeth's children: Robert  9, and Alma, 3. Adding to their family Jake Taylor Ellis was 
born March 16 1864, Annie E., born February 10, 1867, she lived only four years, and Myra was 
born November 10, 1869.  

	Elizabeth Moss Hinman Ellis passed away in 1872 at 39 years of age. It was a devastating 
loss to husband John and their children, Nancy 22, Edward 19, John Albert 18, Charles 17, Robert 
about 18, Alma 12, Jake T. 8 , and Myra was only 3.

	Elizabeth's son Robert N. Hinman became a prominent figure in Mt Vernon, IL At the age of 
fifteen he began work at the post office and continued there from 1870 to 1887 as assistant 
postmaster for nine years and postmaster for eight years. He then went into the Hardware business 
in 1887. In 1890 he served as Mayor of Mt. Vernon and was well received and supported by its citizens. 
He served as Supervisor of Mt. Vernon township from 1905 to 1907. He was a Member of the Odd Fellows 
and Masons. He married Ella E. Burghart, Dec 29 1875. They had four children. Robert , Earl, Stella 
and John.

	It is unknown what became of Elizabeth's daughter Alma who was fourteen at the time of her 
mother's death. It has been told that she later became the wife of J. C. Mass of New Mexico however, 
more research is needed to establish this. 

	Jake Taylor Ellis went to live with his Uncle, Capt. John Riley Moss brother to his mother 
Elizabeth. Capt. John Riley Moss had promised to give the six year old boy a proper education and 
he did. Jake began his education at  the country school in Shiloh, When he was about 18 years old 
he began teaching. In 1881 he entered the Southern Illinois Normal at Carbondale and taught 
alternately until he graduated in 1884. He was principal of schools at Galatia, principal of the 
Mt. Vernon High School, of Centralia High School, superintendent of schools four years at Greenville, 
then Superintendent of public schools in Mt. Vernon two years, and six or seven years on the staff 
at Normal, Carbondale. He enrolled as a student in the University of Chicago, taking work in the 
Universities summer sessions until 1904 when he graduated from this institution with the degree of 
bachelor of arts. He married Beulah Noland of Sandoval, IL. They had no children. Jake died of 
Typhoid Fever at Carbondale, IL in 1906. The same year his father John Samuel Ellis died at 
Evansville IN.  Jake was Forty two years at the time of his death. He was buried in Oakwood Cemetery 
at Mt Vernon IL.

	Myra Ellis, the youngest daughter, married Asa O. Collins of  Mt Vernon. They had three children, 
Leta, Hellean and Charles. In 1895 Asa and Myra moved their family to Arthur, IL. And they remained 
there for the rest of their lives. Myra's son Charles enlisted in the Army and was wounded. He died 
of his wounds Jan 23,  1919  Myra died  March 21 1934, at the home of her daughter Leta Reeves in 
Arthur IL. Myra was one of the Gold Star Mothers of Arthur and a charter member of the American 
Legion Auxiliary of Arthur. She was buried along side her husband Asa and son Charles in the Arthur 
Cemetery, Arthur, IL.


Submitted by: Nancy E. Davis

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