Robert Alexander Moseley Jr. (1841 – 1900)

“MOSLEY, ROBERT ALEXANDER, jr., physician and editor, was born Jul 13, 1841, at Montevallo, in Shelby County, and died November 14, 1900, at Yohama, Japan; son of Robert Alexander and Mariah B. (Stevens) Moseley, the former of English, Scotch and Irish ancestry, the family coming from England to Virginia, and thence to Alabama, who was a physician practicing in Columbia and Talladega, and whose birth occurred in a house which occupied the very site where the State capital now stands; grandson of Robert Alexander Moseley, one of Montgomery’s first settlers, and of Judge Henry W. Stevens, who lived at Old Kingston, but was formerly from New England.

His primary education was received in his native county and by reading medicine with his father. He then attended Howard college, the Mobile medical college and the Jefferson medical college, where he graduated with the degree of M.D.  In June, 1861, he joined the C.S. Army, the first with Curry’s rifles, and afterwards with Blythe’s battalion, being only twenty years of age.  After the battle of Belmont he returned home, and with his brothers raised Company E, Forty-first Alabama regiment.  He was first surgeon of this company, late resigning this position to take the commission of lieutenant.  He was with his command at the battle of Murfreesboro, where he received a serious head wound which ended his service in the war.

He returned home and entered the drug business, which he followed until 1868, when he was elected mayor of Talladega.  In the same year he also established ‘Our Mountain Home,’ a weekly newspaper, which in company with his brother he published for ten successive years.  The paper is still published in Talladega.  In 1872, he established ‘The Rising Star,’ at Oxford, and about the same time, the Rome, Ga., ‘Daily.’  Sometime later he established ‘The Times,’ and started the ‘National Weekly’ and the ‘Tri-Weekly Republican,’ at Selma.  We was appointed postmaster, in 1873, and held that office until August, 1875.  He had always  been a member of the democratic party until 1872, when he became a supporter of Grant; he was a delegate to the National Republican conventions of 1876, 1880,and 1884; and was the Washington correspondent of the Chattanooga ‘Commercial,’ in 1886-1887.  He then engaged in the real estate and insurance business.  In 1889, he was collector of internal revenue of Alabama; in 1893, was U.S. commissioner; and in 1899 was sent as consul-general for Singapore, where his health failed and his death occurred at Yohama, Japan, where he went seeking recovery.  For eight years before his appointment to Singapore, he was chairman of the executive committee of the Republican party, 1888-1896.  Dr. Moseley was greatly interested in Prohibition, and was a personal friend of Frances E. Willard.  He brought about prohibition in Talladega County, many years before the late prohibition movement in Alabama.  He used his influence with Thomas B. Reed, who at the time was speaker of the house, to secure appropriations of public lands for the Girl’s Industrial school at Montevallo, for the University of Alabama, and for the negro institute at Tuskegee.

He was a Mason; Knight of Pythias; and Past Grand Master of Odd Fellows.

Married (1) in 1862, at Columbiana, to Josie Ware, daughter of Horace Ware and a Miss Leeper; (2) in 1892, at Montgomery, to Ella Lowery (q.v.).  He had only one child, a girl, by his first marriage, who died in her childhood.  Last residence: Yokohoma, Japan.”

Source:  History of Alabama and Dictionary of Alabama Biography, Vol. 4, by Thomas McAdory Owen and Marie Bankhead Owen, The S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1921

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