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Fayette County, Iowa
Past and Present of Fayette County Iowa, 1910
Author: G. Blessin
B. F. Bowen & Company, Indianapolis, Indiana
Vol. I, Biographical Sketches
Rudolph W. Moser
It was once remarked by a celebrated moralist and biographer that "there is scarcely a life of which a judicious and faithful narrative could not be made useful." Believing in the truth of this opinion, expressed by one of the greatest and best of men, the writer of this review herewith presents the leading facts in the career of a gentleman who, by industry, perseverance, temperance and integrity, has worked himself from a beginning none too auspicious to a successful business man and won an honorable position among the well known and highly esteemed men of the village in which he resides.
R. W. Moser, of Elgin, Pleasant Valley township, Fayette county, Iowa, known all through this locality as a wagon manufacturer second to none, was born in Ohio, March 11, 1858, the son of John and Maria (King) Moser, both born in Switzerland (canton of Bern). There they grew to maturity, were educated and married. They came to America in 1852. To them the following children were born: John, whose birth occurred before leaving Switzerland; Mary, Lida, Rudolph, Rosa and two died in infancy. They located at New Philadelphia, Ohio. In time the mother re-married, her second husband being Nicholas Sutter, and in 1869 they moved to Iowa and settled in Highland township, Clayton county, where Mr. Sutter took up farming. Later they moved to Illyria township, Fayette county, and farmed there one year, then came to Elgin and in 1872, the year the railroad was built to this place, Mr. Sutter started a draying business, having previous to that time teamed for Elgin merchants, hauling goods from McGregor, Iowa. Later he sold his business to Willis Lyons. In the spring of 1876 Mr. Sutter moved to Lagrange county, Indiana, where he farmed for one year, then went to Kansas and made his home there until 1879, when the mother of the subject died, and then the family scattered, Mr. Sutter moving to Indian Territory, thence to California, where he still resides. Two children were born to this marriage, Emma and Ida.
R. W. Moser, of this review, was educated in the common schools of Indiana and Iowa. On December 14, 1874, he became an apprentice to the wagon maker's trade under Christ Lehmann in the shop which Mr. Moser now owns. After serving an apprenticeship of three years, he ran the shop on the "shares" for two years, then bought his stock and rented the shop, conducting the same in that manner until 1886, when he purchased the shop outright and has continued to manufacture wagons here, mostly for the home trade, which has always been very good; indeed, he has difficulty in supplying the demand owing to the excellence of his workmanship and the high grade material he uses. He took his son. Philip, in as partner in the fall of 1895, and .they have built up a very extensive and satisfactory business which is known throughout this part of the state.
Mr. Moser was married in 1880 to Mary Abby, who was born in Elgin, this county, and educated here. Five children have been born to this union: P. M., of Nunda, South Dakota. is a dealer in hardware and furniture; Philip, mentioned above, is living at home: three who died in infancy.
Politically, Mr. Moser is a Democrat and he has very ably and faithfully discharged the duties of constable for more than ten years. He also served the village of Elgin very creditably as councilman for a period of three years, his term being in the second council after the incorporation of the town. He has been one of the most active and influential men in the affairs of this place ever since he became established in business here, having ever been ready to do his full share in the general upbuilding of the town and vicinity. Fraternally, he is a member of the Yeoman lodge and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He was baptized in the Lutheran church, and his life has been such as to merit the highest respect of his fellow citizens, which he enjoys without exception.
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