Clay County


Douglass Moss, cashier of the Bank of Iola, and junior member of the mercantile firm of Jackson, Moss & Company, has had a wide range of vision during an active career, and has acquired from it a spirit of progress which makes him one of the most enterprising and useful citizens of his adopted community. For some years he has been busily engaged in breeding high-grade stock at his various farms situated near Iola, but withal he has found time to interest himself actively in public matters, and is known as one of the leading Democrats of his part of the county. Mr. Moss was born January 31, 1874, in Bond county, Illinois, and is a son of A. W. and Elizabeth (Thompson) Moss, natives of Bond county.

John Moss, the paternal great-grandfather of Douglass, was a native of North Carolina, from whence he enlisted in the Colonial army during the Revolutionary war, and served as a color-bearer under General George Washington. His son, William Moss, also a native of the Tar Heel state, moved to Illinois during the early 'thirties, settling in Bond county, where he became a well-known and substantial agriculturist. Among his children was James Moss, a wealthy citizen of Bond county, Illinois, who died in 1907. A. W. Moss, father of Douglass, served as a soldier during the Civil war, was for a number of years engaged in the milling business, and subsequently turned his attention to farming. He is now living at Lovington, Moultrie county, Illinois, where he is known as a stanch Democrat and a faithful member of the Baptist church. His wife, who was connected with the Christian denomination, died in 1881. She was a daughter of James Thompson, who was born in Virginia, where his father was a wealthy planter and slave owner. James Thompson came to Illinois at an early day and settled in Bond county. He married a Miss Jett, and Thomas N., ex-congressman, present circuit judge of this district, and prominent Democratic politician is a nephew of Mr. Thompson's wife. One of the children of A. W. and Elizabeth Moss, W. C. Moss, now living at Owaneco, Christian county, Illinois, was for many years a railroad man, but is now successfully following farming.

Douglass Moss was educated in the Orchard City College, at Flora, after leaving which he adopted the profession of an educator and for the following six years taught school. After acting as principal at Iola for three years and acting in the same capacity at Bible Grove for two years he engaged in the mercantile business in Iola, in 1900, with C. A. Jackson. Mr. Moss has left and reentered the business four times since that date, and is now a member of the firm of Jackson, Moss & Company, which is doing a thriving business in and around Iola. In 1908 he was made cashier of the Bank of Iola, a private institution capitalized at $10,000. In addition he owns several farms in the vicinity of Iola, and there he is extensively engaged in the breeding of jennets. Mr. Moss has always manifested an active interest in Democratic politics, and in 1904 he was candidate for county surveyor. The Republican party in this county was too strong, and he met with defeat. At present he is county Democratic committeeman from his township, and is a hard and faithful worker. Mr. Moss is connected with Masonic Lodge, No. 691, Iola, and also belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America, in both of which he is deservedly popular. From his childhood he has made his way in the world, even educating himself, and the success that is his today has come entirely through the medium of his own efforts. Mr. Moss has numerous friends in the vicinity of his home, and he and his family are held in the highest respect and esteem by all who have made their acquaintance.

In 1900 Mr. Moss was married to Miss Mary E. Vincent, daughter of Alexander Vincent, an early settler, prosperous farmer and Civil war veteran of Clay county, where he died. Three children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Moss: Frank and Lee, who are attending school; and Virginia, the baby. Mrs. Moss is a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and is well known in social circles of Iola.

Extracted 09 Nov 2018 by Norma Hass from History of Southern Illinois, by George W. Smith, published in 1912, volume 3, pages 1507-1508.

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