MELVIN A. MOSHER, whose record of activities in Kearny County includes farming, ranching, horse, mule and cattle raising, also service in a public capacity, has been a Kansan since 1870, when at the age of thirteen his parents moved into the state and located near Admire in Lyon County.
Mr. Mosher was born March 26, 1857, in Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin. The name Mosher is of French origin, but many generations ago the Moshers became allied by marriage with people of English blood. His grandfather, Elias Mosher, was a native of Eastern New York, was a lumberman, married Miss Deal, and their only son was George W. Mosher.
George W. Mosher was born at Fort Ticonderoga, New York, and after his marriage moved out to Wisconsin, living first in Milwaukee and then in Fond do Lac County. He married Agnes Knight, a daughter of David Knight of Whitehall, New York. She died in Arkansas and is buried near Hot Springs. George W. Mosher's calling was that of a farmer. He was a democrat in politics, took considerable interest in local affairs and died near Fall River, Kansas, in 1888, at sixty-five years of age. He was a member of the Protestant Methodist Episcopal Church. He and his wife had the following children: Kate, wife of C. W. Cox, of Hot Springs, Arkansas; Eugene, of Arizona; Melvin A.; Carrie, wife of George Howell, of Hot Springs, Arkansas; Clarence H., of Idaho; and George E., living in Montana.
Melvin A. Mosher completed his education in the schools of Lyon County, Kansas, and spent his boyhood and youth as a farmer. On reaching his majority he went to Texas and found employment as a cowboy with the Best Brothers. For this firm he helped move their stock from Collin County to the staked plains of Texas, and remained with that one ranch outfit about two years. After another summer in Kansas he went to Arizona and was employed near Flagstaff and in Williams Valley. Part of that time he was running cattle and again was working for a railroad construction company building the Atlantic and Pacific, now part of the Santa Fe system.
After this interesting experience in the far West Mr. Mosher returned to Kansas and engaged in farming and stock raising in Lyon County but soon moved to Greenwood County, where he spent fourteen years near Fall River. While there he built up a small ranch, developed a good grade of Hereford cattle, and became a dealer and shipper for several years. His stock interests made him a man of considerable prominence throughout that section of the state.
From Greenwood County Mr. Mosher came to Kearny County in the fall of 1903 and located at Lakin. Here for three years he was in the hardware, lumber, furniture and undertaking business under the name Mosher & Armstrong. After selling his interests in that line he devoted himself to ranching and land dealing. Mr. Mosher began buying land soon after coming to Kearny County. He paid 75 cents an acre for pasture land in the Sand Hills region, and also bought a tract in the Arkansas Valley. This he improved and developed to some extent as an irrigation project. From time to time he added to, his land holdings until an opportunity came to sell them at an advantage. He then began ranching in the county, stocking up with cattle and horses, and operating as a buyer and seller and shipper. He sold his ranch and then settled on three sections of land in Grant and Kearny counties and began raising horses and mules. He has handled both draft horses and mules, and of late has developed an important feature in handling running horses.
In his business affairs he has been liberally prospered, and how he stands in a public way is well illustrated by his election in 1908 to the office of sheriff, in which as a democrat he succeeded in overcoming the heavy normal republican majority of the county. He succeeded F. P. McAlister as sheriff and gave two terms of creditable service. His special efforts were made in keeping down violations of the prohibitory law and contributing so far as his official functions made it possible to a better moral atmosphere in the county. Mr. Mosher is an active Mason, being affiliated with the Blue Lodge, Royal Arch Chapter and Knight Templar Commandery and also with Isis Temple of the Mystic Shrine at Salina.
In Greenwood County, Kansas, in December, 1886, he married Mrs. Alice Keeler. She was born near Oakland, Indiana, in 1856, daughter of Houston and Amelia Wade. She was one of a family of four daughters and three sons. Mr. and Mrs. Mosher have two sons, Ross, a farmer and rancher associated with his father, married Ruby Rider, daughter of George R. Rider, and they have four children, Pearl, Iva, Melvin A., Jr., and Esther, the last two being twins. The other son is Dale, now in Camp Cody, Deming, New Mexico, in training for our war for world liberty.
Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p.,  leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.
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