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
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