Biography of Stiles Moe
Among the most highly esteemed and honored residents of Union Grove is Stiles Moe, who owns a general store and who still manages his business affairs although he has now reached the advanced age of eighty-two years. His birth occurred in Lorain County, Ohio, on the 29th of January, 1834, and he is a son of Edwin and Mehetabel (Case) Moe. The family immigrated to America from the north of France prior to the Revolutionary war, having been driven from their native land by religious persecution. Isaac Moe, the great-grandfather, who was born in Plattsburg, New York, served as a soldier in the Revolutionary war and his son Isaac, who was born in Vermont, participated in the war of 1812. Edwin Moe was born in Plattsburg, New York. in 1804, but when fourteen years of age became a resident of Lorain County, Ohio, where he farmed for years. In 1844, however, he came to Racine County, Wisconsin, by wagon and purchased one hundred and twenty acres of land at five dollars per acre. Only two or three acres had been brought under cultivation and the dwelling house was unfinished when the place came into his possession. This section was scarcely more than a wilderness and there was little to indicate the wonderful transformation which the next seventy years were destined to bring about. He broke his land and as the years passed brought it to a higher and higher state of development and when his death occurred in 1892 his farm was well improved and modern in its equipment. He was a democrat until Fremont became the first nominee of the Republican Party for president and from that time until his death supported the men and measures of the Republican Party. A man of keen intelligence he kept well informed on all topics of general interest. He was married in Ridgeville, Ohio, to Miss Mehetabel Case, whose birth occurred in Livingston County. Connecticut, in 1808, and who died in May, 1865, in the faith of the Congregational church. Her father, Jerome Case, was born in Connecticut but passed his last days in Lorain County, Ohio. The family traced its ancestry back to the Pilgrim Fathers. To Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Moe were born six children, of whom only two survive, Stiles and Orin. The latter served as a member of the Heavy Artillery during one year of the Civil war and is now living retired in Burlington, Wisconsin.
Stiles Moe was only ten years of age when he accompanied the family to Racine County, Wisconsin, and he received the greater part of his education here. His first teachers were college-bred men and he received valuable training under them although the schoolhouse was a primitive log structure. After putting aside his textbooks he farmed for a time and later learned the carpenter’s trade, which he followed until he was twenty-five years old. For a number of years he engaged in carpentering during the summer and devoted the winter months to attending school, thus securing a better education than was usual in those pioneer days. In January, 1860, he established a general store in Union Grove and as the years passed his business kept pace in its growth with the development of the town and the surrounding country. He has always been energetic and progressive and has spared no pains to meet the needs of his customers and to make his store a factor in the general business advancement of Union Grove. He is accorded a large and representative patronage and is now a man of independent means.
Mr. Moe was married on the 19th of November, 1859, to Miss Grace Victoria Mather, who was born in Canada and was brought by her parents to the States when a year old. To Mr. and Mrs. Moe have been born three children: Ernest Stiles, the eldest, was graduated from the State University of Wisconsin and for a quarter of a century successfully practiced law in Milwaukee and was also for some time president of the Northwestern Collecting Association. He married Miss Belle Williams, a daughter of L. C. Williams, a prominent farmer of Kenosha County, and to them was born a daughter, Margaret Mather, who is now teaching in Kenosha. Ernest Stiles Moe passed away on the 29th of January, 1912. The second son, Newton Ardine, had charge of his father’s store for a few years and also established a dry goods store in Sutton, Nebraska, which he managed for several years. He was prominent in church work and was the first president of the Christian Endeavor Society in Union Grove. He was married to Miss Eliza Callender, of Racine County, and they became the parents of two children: Harold, who is employed in his grandfather’s store; and Newton, Jr., who is working in a greenhouse. The death of Newton A. Moe occurred in 1893. Stella Grace was graduated from the high school in Burlington, is also a graduate in music and is now organist of the Congregational church. She is active in various phases of religious work and is the president of the Christian Endeavor at Union Grove.
Mr. Moe is a republican in politics and for twenty-one years served as a member of the board of education, during which time he was instrumental in having the school reorganized so as to give a full high school course. For two terms he was treasurer of the town of Union Grove and he has given a great deal of time and attention to public affairs. He has also been prominent in the work of the Congregational church, of which he was treasurer for a quarter of a century. He not only deserves the credit which is given to the man who by his own efforts gains financial success, but he is also entitled to the honor that is accorded those who have made their lives count for the advancement of their community.