History of Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, 1887

Mosser Family - HENRY SOLOMON MOSSER Biography

Henry S. Mosser, one of the representative business men and substantial citizens of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, was born in the city of Allentown, Pennsylvania, a son of James Kistler and Marie E. (Keck) Mosser, grandson of Jacob and Salome (Kistler) Mosser, greatgrandson of David and Catharine (Oswald) Mosser, and great-greatgrandson of Philip Mosser.

David and Catharine (Oswald) Mosser (great-grandparents) reared a family of eleven children : John, Jacob, Elizabeth, William, Magdalena, Lydia, Joseph, Catharine, Esther, Sally, and David O. On April 25, 1798, David Mosser purchased the farm of his father. Philip Mosser, who lived with them until his death, in 1817. Philip Mosser (father) had built a log grist-mill on the Attellana (or Maiden) Creek, which in 1817 was rebuilt by David Mosser. David Mosser died in 1832, aged sixty-five years, and his wife died in 1857, aged eighty-one years.

Jacob and Salome (Kistler) Mosser (grandparents) reared a family of five children, namely : William K., who married Lucy Fisher, and their children were : William F., who married Emily Guiley, and Mary, who became the wife of Colonel H. C. Trexler. Catherine, who became the wife of Samuel E. Allbright, and their family consisted of five children : John, Rose, George, Peter and Mary. Charles K., who married Annie Mink, and they were the parents of eight children: Albert, Charles, Frank, Ellen, Emma, Alice, Annie and Eva. Elizabeth, who became the wife of Peter K. Grim, and their children are : Kate, David, Albert, Jacob, Ellen, Anna and Amanda. James Kistler, mentioned at length hereinafter.

James Kistler Mosser (father) was born in Trexlertown, Pennsylvania, in 1830. The early years of his life were spent in obtaining an education in the schools of his native town, and later he entered the tannery at Trexlertown which was conducted by his father, under whose supervision he learned the trade of tanning sole leather. In 1849 he removed to Allentown, and five years later his father, Jacob Mosser, turned over the tannery business to his two sons, William K. and James K., and the firm name became W. K. & J. K. Mosser. This business relationship continued until 18J9, in which year James K. withdrew his interest. He then became associated with Thomas Keck and Alfred G. Saeger in the organization of a company at East Allentown, the same being known as Mosser, Keck & Company. In 1863 the same gentlemen established a commission house in New York city, under the style of Keck, Mosser & Company, and ten years later they established a branch house in Boston, Massachusetts. In 1875 Mr. Saeger withdrew from the firm, and the following year James K. Mosser and Thomas Keck built a tannery at Williamsport, Pennsylvania, the name of the firm being J. K. Mosser & Company, which is the present style. In 1884 Mr. Mosser's three sons were admitted to partnership.

There have been many changes in the methods of manufacturing shoes, and corresponding changes in the methods of preparing the leather for the market. There is no waste material in a hide, as every part is used for some purpose or other, and the business is so conducted that no patron is compelled to purchase a portion which he cannot utilize in his business. By thoroughly understanding all the details of the business and having had a practical experience in the same for many years, Mr. Mosser developed a very extensive business, and became one of the leading representatives of the industrial circles of Allentown. Each of his sons has charge of a department, and the house is one of the largest producers in this line in the country. For more than twenty years Mr. Mosser served as a director in the Allentown National Bank, and he also filled a similar position in the Lehigh Valley Trust Company, having been appointed as such at its inception. He was a member of the Lutheran church, and a Republican in politics.

James K. Mosser was united in marriage to Miss Marie E. Keck, and the following children were the issue of the union: Henry Solomon, mentioned hereinafter; Jacob, who married a Miss Seiberling and their children are : Annie, Paul, Carl, Harris, John, Catherine, Philip, and Charles Richard. George, who married Ida Hauseman and their family consists of three children : Fred, Robert and Mary. Lucy, who became the wife of Dr. Irving Huebner, and their children are: James K. and Richard. James K. Mosser, father of these children, died February 6, 1905, and was buried at Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Henry S. Mosser obtained a knowledge of the rudimentary branches of education in the public schools of Allentown, and later pursued advanced studies at Muhlenburg College. He gained his first business experience in the employ of the firm of Keck & Mosser, his father being one of the partners, with whom he remained until he was eighteen years of age. He then came to Williamsport to take charge of their tannery at that place, and shortly afterwards was admitted to membership in the firm, which then and now conducts business under the style of J. K. Mosser & Company, and he has since devoted his entire attention to this branch of the work. He is a man of practical experience and keen business sagacity, and therefore thoroughly competent for the supervision of this important department of the work. The plant gives employment to two hundred and seventy-five hands., and their annual output is one hundred thousand finished hides. Mr. Mosser is a member of the Williamsport Board of Trade, the Ross Club, and the Williamsport Athletic Club. In his political views he is an ardent supporter of the principles of Republicanism, but has never sought or desired public office.

Mr. Mosser married Mary R. Grim, of Allentown, Pennsylvania, a daughter of Ephraim and Sarah (Mary) Grim, and granddaughter of Jesse and Hannah (Knabe) Grim. Five children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Mosser, as follows : Helen G., James K., Miriam L., Henry E., and J. Louis. The mother of these children, who was a most estimable woman in every respect, died in January, 1904. Mr. Mosser attends the Presbyterian church, to the support of which he contributes most liberally, and of which his children are members. Mr. Mosser has chosen Williamsport for his permanent home, and has built and fitted up the finest residence in the town.

Source: Genealogical and Personal History of Lycoming County, John W. Jordan, Lewis Historical Publishing Co., 1906.

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