Mrs. John Trigg Moss, prominently known for her broad humanitarian work and her connection with many agencies for the uplift and benefit of the individual and of the community, was born in St. Louis, December 24, 1876, bearing the maiden name of Arline B. Nichols. Her father, E. P. Nichols, is now living in St. Louis and was formerly connected with the Missouri Pacific Railroad but is now living retired. He comes of Scotch-Irish ancestry. He wedded Belle Arline Matlack, whose father, Earl Matlack, was one of the early lumbermen of St. Louis. Also in the maternal line Mrs. Moss is descended from Timothy Matlack, who was clerk of that important gathering which framed the Declaration of Independence, and due to his excellent penmanship he was given the task of writing that important document. It is also through the maternal line that Mrs. Moss is descended from Daniel Heath, who was with the New York troops in the Revolutionary war, being a boy of but seventeen years of age when he enlisted and he won the rank of sergeant. He also served in the War of 1812 with the forces from Indiana and again was made sergeant.
Mrs. Moss was educated in the schools of St. Louis and specialized in work for the deaf. For six years she taught in the St. Louis Day School for the Deaf and her keen sympathy for this class of the unfortunate, combined with her ability as an educator, made her most successful in the work. F. Louis Soldan, at that time superintendent of schools, complimenting her upon the results of her efforts, stated she was a born teacher of the deaf and predicted she would again take up the work in the interests of the afflicted. She has since then carried on the work for the deaf as a teacher in her own private studio, also specializing in corrective speech, in which she has been extremely successful. While Mrs. Moss has figured very prominently in connection with the Daughters of the American Revolution, being state regent thereof, she feels that the most important activity of her life has been in teaching the deaf, thus endeavoring to make up to them for one of their lost senses and bringing to them the riches of intellectual understanding.
In June, 1901, Arline B. Nichols became the wife of John Trigg Moss, who is connected with an eastern woolen mills as representative in southern territory. He is a member of the Trigg Moss family of Kentucky. The marriage was celebrated in St. Louis and Mrs. Moss has become the mother of two sons, John Trigg, Jr., who was born March 7, 1903; and Harry Nichols, born September 17, 1912. While Mrs. Moss has been much in public life her interest centers in her home, where she is an ideal wife and mother. Nevertheless she has found time for important work for her fellowmen. She was the organizer of a parliamentary club called the St. Louis Daughters of the American Revolution Parliamentary Club. She also acts as parliamentarian for several large organizations of St. Louis. She has been most prominent in the Daughters of the American Revolution and was elected state regent, on which occasion her marked characteristics were brought out in the nomination speech by Mrs. Samuel McKnight Green, who said: “Once upon a time, not so very long ago, a chubby little girl took the part of Columbia in a patriotic celebration. The fires of patriotism were then and there kindled in her heart and have burned steadily ever since, never to be quenched, but grow brighter and brighter, serving as a beam to keep agleam the light of liberty. Way back in New York and Pennsylvania in the early days of our country, before we were a nation, her pioneer ancestors were making the way smooth for those who followed and helping to lay the foundations of our glorious republic. Indeed Colonel Timothy Matlack, one of her ancestors, was a member of the continental congress and he it was who penned the Declaration of Independence and this child, now grown to noble womanhood, Mrs. John Trigg Moss, is a splendid exponent of the inheritance bequeathed to her by these illustrious forebears. She is a woman of dauntless courage, of clear perceptions, and high principles. In her gracious womanhood she has made those who know her best love her best, as evidenced in the devoted love and loyalty of her chapter, the Cornelia Green, who set aside their by-laws to retain her as regent for another year after her term of two years had expired; one of her members said, ‘she is unsurpassed as a regent.’ She has also served on state and national committees with honor, attended our state and national conference regularly for the past six years, so she is thoroughly in touch with all the various interests of our organization. More than this, she brought honor to our loved state in her work as state director, Missouri, C. A. R. (Children of the American Revolution), for she has done what no one else has done-put the name of Missouri on the honor roll for the first time in the history of the C. A. R. work in Missouri. She is a good parliamentarian, organized the St. Louis D. A. R. Parliamentary Club and served as parliamentarian at the last two state conferences. The motto of our society comes to me-‘Home and Country’home first, for without the ideal home we can never have the ideal country; and my candidate is an ideal home maker. Love and order reign supreme in her home and she is in truth the heart of the household; but more than this she is a benefactor to the world in her chosen work of teaching the deaf. Her success and interest is the work has been so marked as to win for her the name of ‘The Angel of the Deal so the world is better for her having lived. You will find her a woman of indomitabl energy; add to this energy, heart and a good voice and we have every requisite for a splendid presiding officer. I therefore present for your consideration a gracious womanly woman, one whose love of justice is only equaled by her devotion to the objects of our society; by the ambition to increase its usefulness. Her sympathetic nature, her perfect poise, her generous consideration for the opinions of others, these splendid qualities fit her in an eminent degree to be our leader in our beloved society. I have the great honor to place in nomination, for state regent, Mrs. John Trig, Moss.”
Mrs. Moss easily won the election and did most important work in connection with the organization, as its head. She was very active in Red Cross work during the World war and was one of the prominent Four-Minute speakers. As regent of the Daughters of the American Revolution she was instrumental in establishing a fund for the aid of incapacitated soldiers that they might thus be cared for until able to earn their own way. She pledged the cooperation of the organization in a fund of five thousand dollars to be loaned to disabled soldiers in connection with the federal board of vocational education that soldiers might thus bridge over the time until they should receive war risk insurance. This money was loaned without interest to the discharged soldiers and the fund of five thousand dollars was revolved until they loaned over fourteen thousand dollars without interest, permitting the borrower to return the sum in small payments as his financial condition permitted. Nor was this the only phase of active aid which the Daughters of the American Revolution, under the leadership of Mrs. Moss, extended to the World war heroes, and under her guidance great good has been accomplished through this agency, while in many other ways her life has been the expression of a broad and helpful humanitarianism that is constantly seeking to ameliorate hard conditions of life for the unfortunate.
At the Thirtieth Annual Congress of the Daughters of the American Revolution, which has just taken place in Washington, D. C., there were seven vice presidents general elected for a term of three years and one elected for a term of one year. A registrar general was also elected. Missouri can record with pride the fact that their candidate for vice president general, Mrs. John Trigg Moss, retiring state regent, had the honor of receiving the greatest number of votes cast for any candidate. The number of votes cast was one thousand and fifty-six and Mrs. Moss received nine hundred and seventy-four, while the registrar general, Miss Strider of the District of Columbia, who had no opponent, received only nine hundred and twenty-nine votes. Mrs. Moss has certainly proven her popularity, which was attested to very strongly the night she was nominated by Mrs. Jasper Blackburn of Webster Groves, Missouri, for when the states arose to offer their “seconds,” they came so thick and so fast that the president general, Mrs. George Maynard Minor, said: “Seconded by the whole United States.”