THOMAS ROLAND MOFFETT Third son and child of Thomas G. and Harriet Moffett, was born near the village of Lucas, in Richland county, Ohio, January 19, 1834. When about 18 years of age he moved with his father and mother to Angola, Steuben county, Indiana, which place has always been his home until his death, which occurred Monday evening, September 22, 1913.
The father, Thomas G. Moffett, was a man of unusual ability and attainments for the day in which he lived. By trade he was a wagon maker, but devoted much of his time and energy after his arrival in this county to preaching, being regarded during his life as a leader in the ministry and one of the first men to advance the cause of the christian religion in this and surrounding counties. It is said that he was one of the few men during the early days who was available to minister to the spiritual needs of the community and that he carried a message of good cheer and hope into many saddened homes.
The son, Thomas Roland Moffett, chose for his business and calling in life, the wagon maker's trade, which he followed until a little more than a year ago when, feeling the approaching infirmities of old age, he retired from business. In his chosen occupation he was pre-eminently successful and for some time was interested as one of the owners in a factory in this city, in which the manufacture of buggies was carried on quite extensively. This enterprise was successfully conducted for a number of years until the advent of the cheap and shoddy buggy, when, rather than endeavor to compete with that character of work, he retired from the manufacturing business and devoted his attention to repair work almost exclusively.
On January 1st, 1860, he was united in marriage with Mary A. Milnes and to them was born a daughter, Linnie, who died when a little more than three years of age, and a son who died in infancy. They later took into their home and adopted Mamie R., wife of Alphonso C. Wood, who, together with the widow survives him.
In the struggle to preserve the Union, he was among the first to respond to the call for volunteers, and on August 25, 1861, enlisted in Company A, 44th Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry, and was mustered into service on November 22, 1861. He with that regiment took part in the battle of Fort Donaldson on February 15, 1862. Owing to the condition of his health, he was assigned to hospital duty shortly after this engagement, and during the battle of Shiloh was on the field acting in that capacity. His physical condition was such however, that he did hospital duty or was confined in the hospital most of the time until October, 1862, when he was discharged from the Evansville Marine hospital, transferred from there to Keokuk, Iowa, where he was honorably discharged from the service. For many yeas he was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic.
On December 10, 1864, he was initiated into the Independent Order of Odd Fellowship in Angola lodge No. 180. On April 4, 1879, he was initiated into the Encampment; in April 1888, he was mustered into the Cantons, the military branch of the order. He was a charter member of the local lodge Daughters of Rebekah, he, together with his wife and Mr. Lawrence Gates, of this city, being initiated into that branch of the order in November, 1860. His enthusiasm, love and attachment for the Order of Odd Fellowship, with its several branches, was seemingly never dampened or abated by his advancing years. Measured in years of membership and service in the order, he was the oldest living Odd Fellow in the local lodge at the time of his death.
In politics and religion he was always liberal in his views, entertaining respectful consideration for the opinions of others but never allowing himself to be controlled by the dictates of any. He has been a member of the local Congregational church for some years. Thomas Roland Moffett's life viewed from any angle or tested by any measure would not be found wanting. He was of a retiring disposition, never seeking notoriety, to him pomp and unnecessary display were very distasteful. He possessed a remarkably happy, genial disposition, tempered with sympathy, kindness and toleration. Being a constant reader, not only of present day events, but of other literature, books treating on religion, historical and political subjects being preferred, he was an interesting conversationalist. His heart was absolutely devoid of malice, bitterness or hatred. On all moral questions he stood squarely and uncompromisingly for the right, never temporizing with impure thoughts or questionable motives. Double standards of morality, hypocrisy and deceit were abhorred by him as the scourge of leprosy.
In all business transactions, which were numerous, he was scrupulously and punctually honest. No man can truthfully say that "Tom" Moffett ever knowingly or intentionally cheated or defrauded him out of one cent; and through such methods he was able to acquire a fair competency. Being blessed with the satisfaction of a life almost four score years in length thus spent, on Monday evening with the setting of the sun, surrounded by family and friends, with the final words, "I am going," he passed into the presence of his Creator, leaving a heritage to his posterity more precious than glittering gold.
Funeral services were held from the late home on Thursday afternoon, Sept. 25, 1913, under the auspices of the Angola lodge of the Odd Fellowship (------the last three lines were too dark to read.)
KAY LASH COLLECTION, CARNEGIE PUBLIC LIBRARY OF STEUBEN COUNTY, ANGOLA, INDIANA