Biography of Thomas C. Moxley

Thomas C. Moxley, who is now one of the leading men of Nez Perces County, has had a very active and stirring career, and he is deserving of a place in the history of his County. He was born in Wheelersburg, Scioto County, Ohio, on December 10, 1840, being the son of Thomas S. and Susanna (McConnell) Moxley. The father was a physician, born in Orange County, Vermont, in 1808, and died in November, 1880. He was a graduate of Woodstock Medical College, in Vermont, and his father was also a physician. The mother of our subject was born in Portsmouth, Ohio, in 1810, and died in 1889. Her father, John McConnell, settled in Portsmouth in 1802, being one of the pioneers of that country.

Thomas C. worked at home an attended the schools of his town until fifteen and then managed a farm that his parents purchased. On April 6, 1861, he left home and came, via Panama, to California, landing in San Francisco on May 5, 1861, and there learned of the outbreak of hostilities. He had seven dollars and fifty cents and at once went to work for Mr. Coffin, a prominent man in Oregon, whence our subject went.

He was employed in taking supplies to the soldiers who were guarding the immigrants from the Indians. He assisted to build a wagon road from Umatilla County to the Grande Ronde valley, then went to Portland and was appointed assistant farmer at the Lapwai agency, under Agent Charles Hutchins, in 1862. He was retained until 1863, then went to Walla Walla to file on the townsite of Boise, but was a little too late.

He then went to Lapwai and thence to the Flat Head agency as farmer for Mr. Hutchins, remaining until 1866. He then visited Helena and Fort Benton, embarking there for Ohio. Next we see him in Illinois, where he bought a farm near Xenia and on March 1, 1867 he married Miss Mary Goult. To them were born three children. King, deceased. Myrtle (now Mrs. F. S. Curtiss) and Charles, married, September 19, 1902, to Miss Sadie Cochrane, of Livingston, Montana. He sold his farm and came to the Flat Head agency and acted as a farmer for McCormick. His wife became dissatisfied with this and they came with ox teams to Omaha, where he bought a farm.

In 1872 he and his brother John came to Sidney, Cheyenne, Ogden, Helena, and thence across the mountains afoot to Lewiston. They arrived in July, 1873, and at once went to work with the corps of surveyors who were running the boundary line between Idaho and Washington. Later he worked as carpenter and cook for the Catholic mission, for Captain Williams. Here he learned of the death of his wife in Ohio, and returning to that country, he settled his affairs and on April 7, 1875, married Miss Mary C, daughter of Hiram and Zerilda (Thomas) Wilson, natives of New Jersey and Kentucky. The father was born in 1817 and died in 1899. Mrs. Moxley was born in Scioto County, Ohio, in 1849, and has the following brothers and sisters: Katherine Long, Angeline West, deceased, Martha West, John, Virginia, Charles, M. D., Sarah Dewey. Thornton, Sele, Elizabeth, Florence Rapp, deceased, and George. Mr. Moxley has the following named brothers and sisters: Marcellus K., a surgeon through the entire war, now deceased; Frances M., John O., Jr., M. D.; Anna, deceased. To Mr. and Mrs. Moxley there have been born eight children, Thomas, deceased, Virginia, at home, Robert, deceased, John Q., Florence, Jessie, Minnie, Thornton.

After his second marriage Mr. Moxley came to Utah, bringing his wife, aged parents, two sisters and two children. Then he came to Lewiston and for two years wrought in the mines and came out, to use his trite expression, “busted.” In 1877 he sold his possessions and went to market gardening, in which he did well. He bought a small tract of land, later he took a preemption, which he sold, and then he took up the homestead and tree culture claim where he now lives, three miles northeast from Lewiston, having a fine farm of one half section. He raises much fruit and also handles stock. Mr. Moxley also owns town property in Lewiston.

He is an active Republican. Mr. Moxley always strives for good government and schools and is a devotee of progress. He is a member of the Pioneer Association.

Back to: Nez Perce Biographies

Source: An Illustrated History of Northern Idaho, Embracing Nez Perce, Idaho, Latah, Kootenai and Shoshone Counties, Western Historical Publishing Company, 1903

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