Biography - Norman J. Mozley

NORMAN J. MOZLEY. The standard of stock being bred today in Southern Illinois is so much superior to that of twenty years ago that hardly any comparison can be made between them, but it is sufficient to note that throughout the West dealers are clamoring for the Illinois cattle, believing it to be the best obtainable. That the standard has been raised so high is due to the efforts of a body of men who have made stock breeding their life study, and prominent among these stands Norman J. Mozley, of Vienna, who owns a large tract of valuable land in Johnson county, and who, more than any other one man, has advanced the interests of the stockmen of this part of the state. Mr. Mozley was born January 1, 1861, on a farm five miles east of Vienna, and is a son of John T. and Margaret (Worley) Mozley.

The Mozleys are of Revolutionary and Colonial descent, a great-great-uncle of the subject, James Mozley, being a Revolutionary soldier and noted Indian fighter. In 1843 the grandparents of Norman J. Mozley, John N. and Agnes (Galloway) Mozley, came to Johnson county from Tennessee, the grandfather being one of the county's early sheriffs and a participant in the Seminole Indian war. He became a prosperous farmer, lumberman and miller, and died in 1901. John T. Mozley was six years of age when he accompanied his parents to Johnson county, and here he engaged in agricultural pursuits and became very successful. In 1862 he enlisted as first lieutenant of Company B, One Hundred and Twentieth Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry, for service during the Civil war, was promoted to the rank of captain, and served until the close of the war. With one of the hard-fighting regiments of the Prairie state, he saw much active service, and among others was at the battles of Corinth, Memphis, Island No. 10 and Vicksburg, and after the fall of the latter city his regiment was stationed along the Mississippi river to guard the points gained. A gallant officer and fearless and faithful soldier, he was idolized by his men and highly esteemed by his fellow-officers, and his record during the war is conspicuous for the cheerfulness with which he discharged every duty. Right up to the time of his death, which occurred October 1, 1908, he suffered from rheumatism and heart trouble incurred while in the service, but he never expressed a regret that he had given of his health and strength to serve his country in its hour of need. As he had been a good soldier during the war, in times of peace he became a successful farmer and fruit grower. A prominent Mason and consistent member of the Christian church, he was esteemed as a man of the strictest integrity, and one who had the courage of his convictions to express his opinions as to what constituted right and wrong in no uncertain manner. At his funeral, which was held from the church with which he had been connected for forty years, under the auspices of the Masonic fraternity, a great concourse of people came to do homage to his memory and to mourn the loss of a citizen whose place would be hard to fill. John T. Mozley married Margaret Worley, a native of Johnson county, and to them there were born four children, two of whom died in infancy, while the survivors are Norman J., of Vienna, and Charles A., born in September, 1873, who is engaged in the practice of medicine at Lower Penasco, New Mexico.

Norman J. Mozley received his education in the common schools, and at the age of eighteen years started his work as an educator, teaching through the following sixteen years, twelve of which were spent in districts near his home. In the meanwhile he carried on farming, first on rented land and later on an eighty-acre tract on which he lived until 1904, situated near his old birthplace. He added to this tract from time to time, and now has four hundred and fifty-five acres, although at one time he owned seven hundred and two acres in one locality, a part of which he sold December 1, 1910. He also is the owner of a tract of two hundred and fifty acres situated near Reynoldsburg. Since 1891 Mr. Mozley has been raising registered Hereford cattle, being the pioneer Hereford breeder of Johnson county, and at the present time has two hundred head, although at times his herd contains as many as three hundred cattle. At this time he is the owner of the grand champion prize-winning Hereford bull of the world, "Prime Lad IX." The firm of Mozley & Son does a business in cattle that aggregates ten thousand dollars annually, and, as has been before stated, Mr. Mozley has done more than any one man to raise the standard of Southern Illinois animals. He is a member of the American Hereford Breeders Association and a recognized authority on matters pertaining to stock breeding. Fraternally he is connected with the Lodge and Chapter of Masonry, and he also holds membership in the Sons of the Veterans.

In 1883 Mr. Mozley was married to Mary R. Whitnel, daughter of Dr. Josiah and Elizabeth (Miller) Whitnel, the former a native of Kentucky and a typical pioneer physician of Johnson county, where he practiced medicine from some time prior to the Civil war up to his death, in 1900. Three children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Mozley: Clarence Whitnel, who died in infancy; John Ladd, a student at the Southern Illinois Normal University at Carbondale for two years, who later pursued a course in agriculture and stock raising in the university at Champaign, and is now his father's partner in the firm of Mozley & Son, married Grace Lee Hooker, daughter of Dr. Hooker, and has one child, Margaret Lee, born in 1910; and Lizzie E., the wife of Edward Simpson, who has one child, Melba Miller. The family is connected with the Christian church and has been prominent in social circles of Vienna.

Extracted 14 Jan 2018 by Norma Hass from 1912 A History of Southern Illinois, volume 2, pages 668-670.

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