James H. Moberly
This name, familiar in Shelby county since pioneer days, designated one of the oldest, best known and most esteemed of its families. They are of Kentucky origin, and the Shelby county branch springs from
Thomas Moberly, who was born in Madison county, Kentucky, January 20, 1821.
He was a son of William and Martha (Robertson) Moberly, both of whom spent their lives and ended their days in the old state, south of the Ohio, the father dying in 1832, and the mother in 1824.
Thomas was left an orphan at the age of three years, and four years later was brought to Shelby county by his maternal uncle,
James Robertson, by whom he was supported during the formative period of his life.
When twenty-one he began farm work on his own account on a place of one hundred five acres, his father-in-law's farm, afterwards given to his wife, which he subsequently purchased.
He was a careful man. of thrifty disposition, industrious habits and good judgment in making investments.
As a result he was quite successful, his original farm being increased in time to a holding of four hundred acres, situated in Union township, six miles east and north of Shelbyville. He lived on one farm forty-six years.
For thirty-four years continuously he served as Justice of the Peace of his township and did nearly all of the local business.
He taught school for ten terms, between 1830 and 1852, was trustee and deacon of the Baptist church.
of which he was a life-long and consistent member, and altogether led such a blameless and useful life as to enjoy universal respect and esteem.
A staunch Republican and uncompromising Union man, he befriended the soldiers with such steady enthusiasm as to earn the love of every veteran.
In 1886 he became a resident of Shelbyville, and lived there in retirement until his death, which occurred October 11,
1908, when he was past eighty-seven. years of age. February 17, 1842, he married
Julila, daughter of Noah and Polly Barnes, who came with her parents from Kentucky to Shelby county in 1833.
Her father died in Union township in 1867. and her mother a year later.
She herself passed away June 17, 1901 . in Shelbyville. To Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Moberly six children were born, five of whom survive and all of them have met with success in life.
John M. married Mary .E. Dewitt, has four children, all boys and lives on a farm in Addison township;
William N. married Missouri Worland of Decatur county, and died there, leaving a son named after
his father. He served as a member of Captain Allen's company on the One Hundred
Thirty-second Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry, during the last year of the
Civil war, for which he drew a pension. Mary E., the eldest
daughter, married Dr. Albert Pherson, and has three children;
Adella, Hetta A. and Ora, and resides in Osborn, Ohio. Martha
F., the second
daughter, married Simuel Farthing, a farmer of Union township, on part of
the old homestead, and has one child, Bertha May. Edward R., the youngest
child, married Carrie Yarling, and resides on a farm in Marion township.
Their only child, Wilbur, died at an early age. James H. Moberly, who was the third of his father's children, was born
on the old homestead in Union township, Shelby county, Indiana, April 5,
1847. He went through all the experiences of pioneer days, the log cabin
school-house, with its greased paper Window lights, the Itinerant teacher,
who "boarded- around,'' the ill-assorted class books, the cutting of
the other boys to keep up the fires, the short terms and the irregular
In the summer, of course, he had to help with the farm work, doing the
chores, getting up early to feed, carrying water to the hands, and. all the
of the drudgery down only to the by of that period. This kind of life
until he was sixteen years old and a year or two later he began attending normal school and teachers institutes at Shelbyville.
1876, he "took up school'' in one of the country districts, and taught
winters during the years ending with 1880. The terms were short then, only
five or six months, and the intervals were devoted to farm work. In 1886
Mr. Moberly took up his residence in Shelbyville though he still kept in
with the farm and acted as overseer for his father. In November, 1906, he
was elected Justice of the Peace, and since then has been transacting the
of that office. Like his father and indeed the whole Moberly family, he
has been industrious, economical and saving, with the result that he has
to show for his life's work. Two hundred and twenty-four acres of fine
farming land in Union township, besides personal property, are evidences of
his thrift, his saving qualities and his good judgment in business. Though
reared a Baptist he is not affiliated with any church, his politics, like
his lamented father, are strictly Republican. and he holds membership in the
Masonic and Odd Fellows orders, his lodges being No. 28 of the Free and
Accepted Masons, and No. 39 of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, at
Shelbyville. He is a stockholder and moving spirit in the Shelby county joint
Stock Agricultural Association. and never misses attendance at its successful
annual fairs. He has had extensive experience in the settlement of estates
and as guardian for minor heirs, being regarded as a safe and reliable
man. He has remained unmarried, and during their later years devoted
affectionate care and unwearied attention to the comfort of his aged parents.
Chadwick's History of Shelby County, Indiana by Edward H. Chadwick, B.S., assisted by well known local talent,
B.F. Bowen & Co, Publishers: Indianapolis, IN, 1909, pages 350-351.
Contributed by Phyllis Miller Fleming for Christal