JOSEPH B. MOSS. This wide-awake merchant of Jasper, Newton County, Arkansas, has been successful in the conduct of his affairs from a pecuniary stand-point, and is a liberal, generous and high-minded gentlemen, whose correct mode of living has gathered about him a large circle of friends and well wishers. He was born in Georgia, August 8, 1849, and in the section where he was born, was reared and educated, although he was for some time an attendant of the schools of Tennessee. He was brought up on his father’s farm, and when the great strife between the North and South came up, he was but a lad in his thirteenth year. In 1874 he came to Newton County, Arkansas, and his first business venture was after he reached this section, as a clerk in the store of Mr. Hudson, at Mount Parthenon, with whom he remained two years. In 1881 he became the Republican nominee for representative to the State Legislature, and after being elected and filling the office with ability until his term expired, he turned his attention to agricultural pursuits, which he followed with fair results until 1884.
At the end of that time he moved to Montana and during the seven years he remained there he was engaged in the mercantile pursuits and continued to follow this occupation after his return to Arkansas. He has been successful in every enterprise to which he has devoted his attention and is now doing an annual business of $25,000. He at all times endeavors to supply the wants of his patrons, is courteous and accommodating in his attendance upon them, and being reasonable in his prices, his patronage is deservedly large. In addition to this thriving business he is the proprietor of a flouring mill which has a capacity of thirty barrels per day, and is kept going day and night. He has always been a public-spirited citizen, is well known throughout the county and is very popular with the Republicans of this section. He is a member of Mount Parthenon Lodge No. 366, of the A. F. & A. M. He was one of the early teachers of the county and became widely known as a thorough and practical educator.
He was married in this county to Miss Arminda Slusher, a daughter of William and Sirene (Stallcup) Slusher, the former being a soldier during the Civil War. Mrs. Moss was born in Missouri, but was reared in Newton County, Arkansas, and here has reared the following children that have been born to herself and Mr. Moss: William Lewallen, Henry Beecher, Cora, Cara, (who died young), Mattie, Josephine, Tany, Bessie and Jessie. Mr. Moss was one of the following children: Martha, wife of Milton Goss, of Georgia; Elizabeth, wife of Solomon Young, of this county; Joseph B.; Isaac H., of this county; Charlotte, who died young; Rufina, who is the wife of John Guinn, of this county; William B., who is the efficient clerk of Newton County; Sarah, wife of Isaac Henderson of this county; Ida, who is at home with her parents; and four children died in infancy.
The parents of these children, L. C. and Eliza (Millsap) Moss were both born in the Old North State, were taken to Georgia when young and there grew to maturity, married and made their home until about 1879, when they came to Newton County, Arkansas, and here the father has since made his home, being the owner of a fine farm, although he has retired from the active duties of life. He is one of the oldest citizens of the county, being in his seventy-fifth year, and throughout a long and active life he has ever conducted himself in an upright manner and with the utmost self-respect. He was born in Culpeper County, Virginia, in 1818 (August 21), soon after the death of his father, James Moss, and was the only child born of his parents. He was afterward taken by his mother, Nancy (McEntere) Moss, to North Carolina, but in early manhood he accompanied his mother and stepfather to Georgia, and was there married in 1845. He and his wife moved to Tennessee in 1863, and were engaged in farming in McMinn County until 1871, at which time they took up their residence in Kentucky, from which State they came to Arkansas in 1879. His wife died in Boone County, this State, October 21, 1893, her birth having occurred December 9, 1825, and her union with Mr. Moss was a happy and prosperous one. After he became a resident of Jasper, Arkansas, he was made postmaster of the place, had the mail contract, and for some time was proprietor of the Jasper Hotel. He is a man of sound intelligence, is a Republican in politics, and while residing in Tennessee ably discharged the duties of chancery clerk. He has been a faithful member of the Methodist Episcopal Church for over half a century, and is a highly honored citizen of Newton County. He comes of Irish stock and the name was originally spelled Morse, the founder of the family tree in this country being James Morse, who was a soldier of the Revolution, his son, the great-grandfather of the subject of this sketch, Howell Moss, being a soldier of the War of 1812. The Millsaps came to this country from England, and Thomas Millsap, the great-grandfather of Joseph B. Moss, was a Revolutionary soldier. The latter’s grandfather was in the War of 1812 and the Mexican War; he also bore the name of Thomas. The maiden name of his wife was Polly Sullivan.