J. S. P. MOYER.
Among the farmers of Saunders county who are not only gaining a gratifying measure of success but who are also
contributing to the agricultural development of the county is J. S. P. Moyer, the owner of Elmside Farm, which
is located on section 16, Richland township. He was born in Lycoming county, Pennsylvania, February 13, 1858, a
son of Peter and Mary Magdalene (Manevald) Moyer. The father was also born in Pennsylvania but the mother's birth
occurred in Germany, although she was of French descent. When our subject was a year old the family removed to
Illinois and later to Marshall county, Iowa, where the father engaged in farming northwest of Toledo. Both he and
his wife are now deceased and are buried in Toledo.
J. S. P. Moyer received his education in the common schools of Iowa, attending at intervals until he was twenty
one years of age, but from the time he was nine years old until he was fifteen there was no school in his district.
Starting out in life for himself, he worked as a farm hand for a year and then followed carpentering for the same
length of time. During the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia he went east and for a year was employed in a
canning factory in Delaware but at the end of that time returned to Iowa. In 1878 he purchased a team and drove
from Tama county, that state, to Saunders county, Nebraska, where he leased eighty acres of school land, which
he farmed for about a year. Later he also rented an adjoining eighty acre tract and cultivated the quarter section,
which he at length purchased. He now owns an additional one hundred and twenty acres adjoining his original farm
and there is no better improved two hundred and eighty acre tract in the county. He has brought his land to a high
state of cultivation, has carefully conserved its fertility and has equipped his place with all modern conveniences
and appliances. His progressive spirit is indicated in the fact that he was the first man in the county to erect
a silo and also the first to buy a cream separator, and this readiness to profit by discoveries along the line
of scientific agriculture has been a determining factor in his success as a farmer. He has named his place Elmside
and takes justifiable pride in it. He has resided there since coming to Nebraska with the exception of two years,
which he spent in South Dakota, where he took up a quarter section as a homestead. He now holds title to a half
section there and has found that land an excellent investment.
On the 23d of March, 1879, Mr. Moyer was married to Miss Mary E. Nash, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Nash, both
of whom are now deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Moyer are the parents of seven children. Curtis, a resident of Saunders
county, married Miss Minnie Lowell, a daughter of S. M. Lowell, and five children have been born to this union
Viola is the wife of Thomas H. Green, formerly of Superior; Nebraska, but now superintendent of schools at White
River, South Dakota, and also county superintendent of schools. They have two children. Vyette W., living near
Ceresco, Nebraska, married Grace Hughes, a daughter of Clinton Hughes, and has two daughters. Lester wedded Ethel
Evans, of Bloomfield, Iowa, and they reside at Colome, South Dakota. Veryl, who is farming a part of his father's
land, married Miss Florence Noble, of Rock Creek township. Clair W. has taught school in South Dakota but is now
at home. Leila is attending school in Ceresco.
Mr. Moyer is independent in politics, voting for the man rather than the party. He has been active in public affairs,
has served as school director and for nine years was school treasurer. At one time he was a candidate on the prohibition
ticket for county commissioner and ran for state representative on the populist ticket. He realizes fully the value
of cooperation among farmers and has served as secretary of the conference committee of the Farmers Union and of
the Farmers Cooperative Association of Ceresco, of whose board of directors he is also secretary. He is an influential
member of the Pleasant Hill Methodist Episcopal church and guides his life by its teachings. He is a man of great
energy and determination and when confronted with obstacles, instead of giving way to discouragement seeks to find
some way to surmount them. When he first came to this county he not only had no capital but found many difficulties
to be overcome in this new country. His present farm was then wild prairie and it was not only arduous work to
bring it under cultivation but it was also necessary to plant trees to furnish needed shade and to act as a windbrake
and there were the usual inconveniences of life in an unsettled district. He had faith, however, in the country
and in himself, and as the years have passed he has become one of the substantial citizens of the community and
has seen this region transformed into a prosperous and highly civilized district.
Past and Present Saunders County, Nebraska
A Record of Settlement, Organization,
Progress and Achievement
Charles Perky Supervising Editor
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Saunders County, NE
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