PORTRAIT & BIOGRAPHICAL ALBUM OF MORGAN AND SCOTT COUNTIES, ILLINOIS
Chicago: Chapman Bros., Publishers

1889


BENJAMIN F. MOSS. For the long period of sixty-two years the face of Mr. Moss has been familiar to the older residents of this county, to which he came in the fall of 1827. Twenty years of this time he has been Postmaster at Concord, and about that length of time has been engaged in general merchandising. He is a man of more than ordinary intelligence and business capacities, and while with every other enterprising and progressive citizen, he has watched with interest the growth and development of the Great West, he has at the same time contributed manfully in bringing his adopted county to its present position among the communities of Central Illinois. In the meantime he spent a few years both in Fulton and Peoria counties, but finally chose Morgan as the scene of his future operations, and within whose limits he has been content to invest his labor and his capital.

In glancing at the early history of our subject, we find that he was born in Bedford County, Middle, Tenn., Jan. 13, 1822, and he is consequently now past the sixty seventy year of his age. His father, William Moss, a native of one of the Carolinas, was the son of John and Nancy (Galloway) Moss, who traced their ancestry to England and Wales. John Moss was a farmer by occupation, and coming to Illinois in 1829, accompanied by his wife, joined his son, William, who had emigrated to this locality several years before, being the first member of the family to remove from their native State. Grandfather Moss and his wife spent the remainder of their days in this county, and lived to the advanced ages of ninety-one and ninety-four years respectively. They were upright in their lives, and members of the Regular Baptist Church.

Grandfather Moss and his estimable wife were the parents of seven children, four sons and three daughters, of whom William, the father of our subject, was the eldest born. Most of them lived to mature years, and were married. William was reared in South Carolina and Middle Tennessee, and when reaching man's estate, was united in marriage with Miss Rachel Bratton. This lady was the daughter of Benjamin F. and Mary (Hill) Bratton, who were natives of one of the Carolinas, and were early settlers of Middle Tennessee. Later, like the Moss family, they came, about 1817, to Illinois Territory, the year prior to its admission into the Union as a State. They located in Bond County, where the death of Mr. Bratton occurred a few years later. Subsequently his wife came to this county, and here spent her last days; both lived to be quite well advanced in years.

William Moss, after his marriage, settled on a farm in Tennessee, where he lived until after becoming the father of eight children. He then, in 1827, came with his family to this county, locating in township16, range 11, where he opened a farm from the wilderness, and built up a comfortable home, upon which both he and his wife spent the remainder of their days. The latter died when only fifty-three years old, but William Moss lived to the advanced age of eighty-two. Their family consisted of seventeen children, ten sons and seven daughters, of whom Benjamin F., our subject, was the fifth child. For a good many years the parents and all the children were living, and nearly all of the latter lived to become men and women. Benjamin F. was but a child when the family came to this county, and he, like his brothers and sisters, although attaining only a limited education, was trained to those habits of industry and principles of honor which made of him an honest man, and a good citizen.

The marriage of our subject with Miss Martha A. Martin, took place in this county in 1848. Mrs. Moss was born in Woodford County, Ky., March 13, 1829, and was the daughter of Robert and Italy (Hammond) Martin, who were likewise natives of that State, and the father a farmer by occupation. They left the Blue Grass State about 1829, and coming to this county, located in township 16, range, 11, where the father improved a farm from the forest. He only lived about twenty years after the removal, passing away in 1849, at the age of fifty years. His first wife had died several years previously, and he contracted a second marriage with Miss Mary Brown, who survived him some years.

Mrs. Moss was quite young at the time of her mother's death, and lived with her father and step-mother until her marriage. Her first born, a son, F. Edgar, died when five weeks old; Oscar was taken from the home circle when a promising lad of eight years; Eddie the third and last child, died when two years old. After their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Moss lived for a time at Peoria, where our subject engaged as a carpenter. In 1850, they removed to Farmington, Fulton County, where they sojourned eight years, and Mr. Moss dealt in chain pumps. Finally he returned to this county, where he has since made his home.

On the 22d of August, 1862, the Civil War being in progress, our subject enlisted as a Union soldier in Company B, 101st Illinois Infantry, under command of Capt. N. B. Brown and Col. Charles H. Fox. Mr. Moss proceeded with his regiment to the front, and met the enemy in several hard-fought battles. At Holly Springs, the 101st was detailed for special duty, after which nearly five companies were captured by the rebels, but were soon afterward paroled and exchanged. Our subject subsequently joined his regiment at Union City, near Columbus, West Tenn., and shortly afterward they were assigned to the Army of the Cumberland, under Hooker's general command, and were held in reserve at the battle of Mission Ridge. Afterward they were sent to relieve Gen. Burnside, at Knoxville. We next find them at Chattanooga, and later at Kelley's Ferry and Bridgeport, Ala.

On the 2d of May, 1864, the 101st started for Atlanta with the 20th Army Corps under Gen. Hooker, and on the way fought at the battle of Resaca and New Hope Church, during which Company B, was in the front line, and exposed to the full fire of the enemy. Our subject, however, lived to meet the rebels again at Kenesaw Mountain and Peachtree Creek, and on the 25th of July, 1864, encountered the enemy at Atlanta. At this place Mr. Moss received a gunshot wound in the leg above the ankle, and was sent to Nashville, Tenn., where he suffered amputation twice. Being of robust constitution, he survived the shock of the two operations, and lived to receive his honorable discharge, and to return home. He was appointed Postmaster at Concord in 1866, which office he has since held with the exception of about eighteen months. He established himself as a general merchant in 1870, and is now in comfortable circumstances. He is a Democrat in politics, and with his excellent wife, in religious matters inclines to Universalist doctrines.


1889 Index
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