Biography of J. R. Mosby
Columbiana County, OH Biographies

J. R. Mosby, a prominent citizen and successful merchant of Wellsyule, was born at Jackson, Ky., Oct. 5, 1873, the son of Thomas J. and Marie (Wombell) Mosby.

Thomas J. Mosby, deceased, was born in Westmoreland County, Va. He spent his entire life in the show business and for many years was connected with the Barnum & Bailey circus. He served as a colonel in the Civil War. Mr. Mosby met an accidental death in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1899, and is buried there. He was a Democrat, a member of the Baptist Church and a 33rd degree Mason. His wife, who was a native of New York City, died in California, Aug. 7, 1893. She was the first native born American woman to train wild animals and until her death was interested in the circus business with her husband. Mr. and Mrs. Mosby were the parents of the following children: Thomas J., deceased; Frank F., lives in Buenos Aires, S. A.; George A., who was lost in the wilds of Africa in 1903; Jeff was killed during the Spanish-American War while serving as a first lieutenant of the 18th Cavalry; J. H., the subject of this sketch; Emma, twin sister of J. R., the widow of Harold Simmons, lives in Manchester, Eng.; Rev. William, a minister of the Baptist Church, lives in Washington; Marie, married L. C. Stevens, a ranch owner, Argentine, South America; Samuel, deceased; Charles, an importer, lives in China; A. G., lives in South America; and Robert, deceased.

J. R. Mosby spent his boyhood in Kentucky, attended military school there and enlisted in the army. He served throughout the Boer War as a captain of Battery B, First Transvaal Artillery. After his return from Africa he went to New Orleans where he organized a filibustering expedition against Colombia. After landing at Colon, Panama, he marched to Panama City with 85 men and raised the first flag of rebellion that gave the United States the Panama strip. He then took part in the rebellions of Nicaraugua and Honduras, returning to the United States, where in partnership with his brother he organized the Mosby Brothers Greater Shows. This partnership was dissolved the following year and Mr. Mosby was sent to China as a military adviser for the Chinese Republican military party. He returned to San Francisco in January, 1906, reorganized Mosby Brothers Circuses and established three amusement houses in San Francisco. During the San Francisco earthquake, Mr. Mosby's business interests were completely destroyed. He spent several years in the gold fields of Nevada and later returned to San Francisco, where he was appointed military adviser partide liberal of Mexico. Mr. Mosby later became identified with the Frank Sells circus as manager, which position he resigned in 1909 to take an active part in the Mexican rebellion of 1910. In 1919 he came to Wellsville and engaged in the general merchandise business, in which enterprise he has met with success. His new store building at 18th and Commerce streets was erected in 1926.

On April 8, 1920, Mr. Mosby was married to Miss Louise Mary Hiner, who was born in Cleveland in 1882, the daughter of Louis and Barbara (Joss) Hiner. Mr. Hiner settled in WellsvilIe in 1890 and was successfully engaged in business there until his death, April 8, 1917. His wife resides with Mr. and Mrs. Mosby. There were three children born to Mr. and Mrs. Hiner: Charles, lives in Cleveland; Mrs. Mosby; and Emma, married Thomas Kinsey, lives at Augusta, Ohio. To Mr. and Mrs. Mosby have been born two children: J. R., Jr., born April 22, 1921; and Ilda Marie, born June 19, 1925.

In politics Mr. Mosby is identified with the Republican party. He is a member of the Second Presbyterian Church.

History of Columbiana County, Ohio
By: Harold B. Barth
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka-Indianapolis 1926

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