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THE most elaborate history is necessarily an abridgment, the historian being compelled to select his facts and
materials from a multitude of details. So in every life of honor and usefulness, the biographer finds no dearth
of incident, and yet in summing up the career of any man the writer needs touch only the most salient points, giving only the keynote of his character, but eliminating much that is superfluous. Consequently in calling the reader's attention to the life record of the late Joseph Moyer no attempt shall be made to recount all the important acts in his useful life, nor recite every incident in his somewhat remarkable career, for it is deemed that only a few of them will suffice to show him to be eminently worthy of a place in this work along with his fellows of high standing and recognized worth.
Joseph Moyer, whose death occurred at his home in Cincinnati on March 21, 1901, was a native of this city, in which he had spent practically his entire life, his birth having occurred here on November 1, 1827. His parents were Joseph, Sr., and Susan (Goodwin) Moyer, the latter being of good old Massachusetts stock. Joseph Moyer, Sr., who was born near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was the son of Holland parents, from whom he inherited those sturdy qualities which characterized him, among which was a love for mechanics. He became a machinist, following that vocation for many years. Eventually, he moved from Philadelphia to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he spent the remainder of his life, he and his wife dying here.
Joseph Moyer, Jr., the immediate subject of this memoir, grew to manhood under the parental roof, securing his education in the public schools and Woodward High School. Following in his father's footsteps, he learned the trade of a machinist and was employed in that line when the river trade attracted his attention and thereafter for some years he served as a clerk on the boats running between Cincinnati and New Orleans, the major portion of his time being spent in southern waters. At the outbreak of the Civil War, he responded to his country's call for defenders and enlisted in the navy, where, as ensign, he served during the remainder of the war. His service was mainly on the gunboats and, because of the concussion of the guns, he became partially deaf. On the conclusion of peace, he received an honorable discharge and, returning to Cincinnati, was appointed to a position in the post-office as clerk. That his services were eminently satisfactory to the department is evidenced by the remarkably long period of consecutive tenure in that office, for, despite changes of administration, he was retained in his position until about six months prior to his death, when he was compelled to cease work, being at that time one of the oldest men in point of service connected with the Cincinnati post-office.
In 1872, Joseph Moyer was united in marriage with Missouri (Lyon) Blackburn, the daughter of Hamilton and Missouri (Royse) Lyon and the widow of Jonathan Blackburn. By her
marriage with Mr. Blackburn she had become the mother of a daughter, Frances, the wife of R. S. Stoner, of Cincinnati. To Mr. and Mrs. Moyer was born one son, Samuel Lyon Moyer, who is referred to specifically elsewhere in this work. Hamilton Lyon, Mrs. Moyer's father, was born at Smith's Landing, near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and became noted as a builder of engines, having constructed many engines for southern cotton mills. He was descended from a family of inventors and himself possessed great mechanical ability. He was one of the pioneer foundrymen of Cincinnati, having been associated with James Niles. He and his wife died in this city. To them were born the following children: Hamilton, deceased; Samuel, deceased, who was a veteran of the Civil War, having served from the beginning to the end of that conflict as a captain of the Second Regiment of Kentucky Cavalry; Southwell, deceased, was also in the war, having served on the Mississippi River gunboats; Margaret, deceased, was the wife of John Taylor; Missouri, Mrs. Moyer, is the oldest of these children, and the only one surviving. She was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on July 26, 1830, and was here reared and educated, pursuing her studies mainly in private schools and in Mount Auburn Academy. She is a woman of many gracious qualities of head and heart, who has won a host of warm and loyal personal friends in the community where practically her entire life has been passed. Charitable and kind, she has never lost an opportunity to say a helpful word to all with whom she comes in contact and she has, quietly and unostentatiously, given her support to all worthy objects. Joseph Moyer was a man of quiet and unassuming disposition, but whose life history exhibits a career of unswerving integrity, and wholesome home and social relations. In all the relations of life he proved true to every trust and by his genial and kindly attitude to those with whom he came in contact he won the confidence and respect of every one.
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