John W. DeMoss, Sheriff of Decatur County

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John W. DeMoss

Birthdate: (72)
Birthplace: Sand Creek Township, Decatur County, Indiana, United States
Death: August 23, 1928 (72)
Decatur County, Indiana, United States
Place of Burial: Greensburg, Decatur County, Indiana, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Benjamin Lewis DeMoss and Harriet Goodwin
Husband of Martha A. DeMoss (Jackson)
Father of Wallace DeMoss; Birdie B. Borden (DeMoss); Della Styers; Grover Cleveland DeMoss; Charlotte Belle Vanderbur and 1 other
Brother of Belle Martin and Edward Wallace DeMoss
Half brother of Cortez M. Goodwin

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About John W. DeMoss, Sheriff of Decatur County

From History of Decatur County, Indiana : its people, industries and institutions:

In every community may be found men who are especially deserving the respect and admiration of their neighbors on account of the severity of the struggle they have had for success and on account of the large measure of attainment which has attended their efforts. John W. DeMoss, the present sheriff of Decatur County, is a man who belongs to this class of citizens.

Left an orphan at a tender age by the untimely death of his father while serving as a soldier in the Union army, he has had to make his own way in the world practically since he was ten years old. By the hardest kind of labor, by diligent and intelligent application to this labor, by economical living, consistent saving and careful management he has attained a position of high influence in this county, and no better evidence of the respect and admiration he enjoys can be cited than his election in 1912, and his re-election in 1914, to an office which was practically unsought.

John W. DeMoss was born on August 27, 1856, in Sand Creek township, Decatur county, Indiana, the son of Benjamin Lewis (1832-1863) and Harriet (Masters) DeMoss (c1840-1901). Benjamin L. DeMoss, the son of William and Elizabeth DeMoss, early settlers in Decatur county, came with his parents to this county in the late 1830s. His wife, who was the daughter of John and Hannah (Byrum) Masters, was a native of Kentucky, and her parents also settled in Decatur County, with a colony of citizens, in the early thirties.

Enlisting in the Thirty-seventh Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry, at the breaking out of the Civil War, despite his physical weakness, because he believed it was his duty to go, Benjamin L. DeMoss became ill and died of pneumonia at Murfreesboro, Tennessee. He left a widow and three children, John W., Edward Wallace, now deceased, and Belle, who married Andrew Martin, of Marion township. The widow and children had a hard time to get along after the death of the father and husband. Wfth the kind assistance of the children's grandparents and the neighbors, however. they were able to live. Eventually, the mother married again, her second husband being E. E. Goodwin, and to this second union one child was born, Cortez, who is a carpenter.

John W. DeMoss has always worked hard. He began earning his own way in the world at a tender age, taking employment in a stone cjuarry when 10 years old, carrying water for the men, and gradually worked himself into a good position.

He saved his money and, from doing ordinary day's work has bought and paid for 200 acres of excellent land in Sand Creek township. A highly qualified and skillful superintendent during his employment at the Harris City quarries, he used not only his muscles, but his brain as well, and this combination of muscular and mental energy is largely responsible for his success.

In 1904 he began devoting himself to farming, choosing this rather than the foremanship of the quarries.

On April 12, 1877, John W. DeMoss was married to Martha A. Jackson, of Sand Creek township, daughter of William B. and Amanda Jackson, who was born on October 4, 1856, in Kentucky, her parents having come to Indiana during the Civil War times. To this union three sons and three daughters have been born.

Of these children, Benjamin (actually, Wallace), a farmer, is operating the home farm. He married Euphemia McFarland and they have six children.

Mrs. Bird Borden lives in Sand Creek township and has three children. Her husband is foreman for the contracting firm of Craig & Son, of Greensburg.

Mrs. Delia Styers has four children. Her husband owns a farm in Sand Creek township.

Grover, who married Lena Hamer, and has one child, is the deputy sheriff under his father ;

Mrs. Belle Vandiver lives on a farm in Jackson township, and has three children.

Irdo is a farmer in Sand Creek township.

In the fall of 1912 Mr. DeMoss was elected sheriff of Decatur County, and was re-elected to the same office in the fall of 1914. The office was practically unsought and came to him largely as a reward for his service in the past in behalf of Democratic principles and Democratic candidates.

Sheriff and Mrs. DeMoss and family are members of the Methodist Episcopal church. Fraternally, he is a member of the Masonic lodge, which he joined in 1896, and the Knights of Pythias, which he joined in 1887.

Many men who have the advantage of a good start in life achieve a large measure of success, but the man who starts with nothing and who acquires a comfortable home, a competence in life, and rears a family of children, is undoubtedly entitled to the very greatest praise. Sheriff John W. DeMoss is a man of this character. Naturally he is very popular in Decatur County where he is so well known.

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John W. DeMoss, Sheriff of Decatur County's Timeline

August 27, 1855
Sand Creek Township, Decatur County, Indiana, United States
September 17, 1878
Age 23
Decatur County, Indiana, United States
November 1, 1880
Age 25
Decatur County, Indiana, United States
Age 26
Decatur County, Indiana, United States
February 22, 1884
Age 28
April 16, 1887
Age 31
Indiana, United States
March 3, 1896
Age 40
August 23, 1928
Age 72
Decatur County, Indiana, United States
Greensburg, Decatur County, Indiana, United States