PRESTON T. MOODY. Among the thoroughgoing, wide-awake farmers and stockraisers of Christian County, Missouri, stands Preston T. Moody, whose intelligence, perseverance and industry have brought him good returns. Like so many of the representative citizens of the county, he came originally from Tennessee, having been born in the eastern part of that State in 1822.
His parents, Thomas and Elizabeth (Belyew) Moody, were natives of Kentucky, and there they were married. Until 1852 Mr. and Mrs. Moody resided in different counties of east Tennessee, and then came by wagon to Maries County, Missouri, where both died within four years afterward. Mr. Moody was a life long farmer, but in connection also carried on the shoemaker’s trade. He was never a very strong or healthy man. In politics he was a Whig. His three brothers and one sister were named as follows: John, a wealthy man of east Tennessee; James and Martin, who died in Georgia; and Rhoda, who married Peter Belyew, probably died in Kentucky.
James Moody, the grandfather of our subject, it is thought, was a native of North Carolina, and of French origin, while the maternal grandfather, Samuel Belyew, was of Irish extraction. Of the seven children born to his parents, our subject was fourth in order of birth. They were named as follows: Joseph, served as body-guard for Gen. Wool, when the Indians were being removed to the Territory, and afterward was in business there (for many years nothing has been heard of him ; William, a farmer, died in Maries County, Missouri; Andrew Jackson resides in Texas (he served about a year in the Confederate Army, was captured and imprisoned at Rock Island for some time, and then joined the Federal Army, with which he remained until cessation of hostilities; he was also a soldier in the Mexican War); Preston T., our subject; Jane, who was the wife of Henry Green, died in Maries County; Nancy A., died in Taney County (she was the wife of Joseph Birdsong); and Rhoda, wife of James Eddiington, of Maries County.
Although our subject received but very little schooling in his youth, he has ever been a man of observation, and is considered well informed on all the events of the day. In 1844 he went along to what is now Maries County, Missouri, first going down the river to New Orleans and then back to St. Louis. He followed rafting from Texas County down Big Piney and on the Missouri River to St. Louis, for a number of years. In 1847 he married Miss Sarah Ann Elrod, a native of Lawrence County, Indiana, born about 1826, the daughter of Thomas and Mary Jane Elrod, natives, respectively, of North Carolina and Virginia. Mr. and Mrs. Elrod were married in Lawrence County, Indiana, about 1822, and in 1844 they removed to Maries County, Missouri, where Mr. Elrod died about 1856, and his widow in 1861. They reared three sons and seven daughters.
To Mr. and Mrs. Moody twelve children were given: William and Jane (the latter the wife of John L. Cunningham), are twins; John resides in Ozark County; Col. P., in Christian County, Missouri; Sarah Ann, wife of Amos Bateman, of Taney County; Mary, wife of Daniel Bateman, also of Taney County; Serilda, wife of Volney Clark, of Taney County; Isabel, wife of John Clark, of the last mentioned county; Julia Ann, wife of Isom Case, of Taney County, and the remainder who died in infancy. During the Civil War Mr. Moody served 133 days in the Missouri State Militia, and although on duty all the time, was in no general engagement, nor was he taken prisoner nor wounded. In 1869 he came to Christian County, bought his present farm, and has here made his home down to the present. He has 240 acres, 100 acres under cultivation, and is engaged principally in trading in stock, etc. He is one of the leading farmers of his section, and is highly esteemed as a citizen. Socially he is an Odd Fellow of Forsyth Lodge No. 293, and has filled nearly all the chairs in the order. He and his wife belong to the Baptist Church.