The Moys Family


Conrad Mobley’s notes on the Moys Family

    The following discourse on the Moys family is capsule compilation from a number of sources. There where a number of differences in some of the dates given so certain assumptions had to be made. As time goes by and more information is acquired, hopefully these differences will be eliminated.

   John C. Moys and his wife, Elizabeth Rogers first came to America from London, England. John came first in 1851 and settled in Cook Co. Chicago, Illinois. His wife, Elizabeth Rogers followed shortly after with their eight children. Their youngest child, Edward C. Moys was only 6 months old, so based on that bit of information that would make her arrival about Jun.1851. As yet, I have not found the port of arrival or the name of the ship.

   John was a brick mason by trade and laid the last brick on the top of “Big Ben” clock tower in London. While living in Chicago he helped build the first brick building in that city. After living in Chicago for three years he moved his family west and settled north of Emporia, Lyon, Kansas 1856.  On the stone house John built was a stone inscribed with “John Moys A.D. 1868” That house was still standing in 1984. They stayed in Kansas till 1877

   About 1877, Edward C. Moys, John’s youngest son traveled through to Washington and John E. Moys and his wife went by train to San Francisco and then by boat to Portland, Oregon. They then moved on to Whitman Co, and settled on a hill near Almota, Whitman Co. Washington.

   Their glowing reports of this new country, the mild climate, the abundant crops, stirred the pioneer spirit of those left behind in Kansas.

     About 1878 (one report states 1872. I find this highly unlikely as the 01 Mar.1875 Census seems to indicate he was still in Lyons Co. Kansas. Also his last 3 children were not born in till 1977 in Washington.) John’s son, Charles Richard Moys the 4th. youngest son of John and Elizabeth and daughter Emma Moys (later to become a Colvin) left for Washington.

Charles hitched up three horses to his wagon and joined the westward movement. They joined up with a train of 104 wagons consisting of 64 families heading for Oregon. Near Hays City, Kansas they had a scare about a horse thief. Hays city incidentally,  was here Wild Bill Hikcock was a few years later as a lawman and gambler.

     The wagon train traveled direct west from Denver, Colorado, from Denver they drove through Cheyenne and Laramie, Wyoming and on to Salt Lake City, Utah and up the old Oregon Trail. Near Salt Lake City they were stopped by Indians, but the Indians did not hurt any of them, instead they rode on in a very friendly way.  They stopped at many places en route, but many of the places were not what they where looking for. When they saw the great Palouse Country, they knew they had come to the right place. The reason they finally chose the Palouse Country, Whitman Co. Washington was because the Big Snake River was only about 3 miles away. The Snake River was the transportation route by which they could ship their grains and other goods in or out. They had been on the move for 6 months before they decided on this area.

The following pictures of two seasons illustrate why they fell in love with this country.

                                                                 Palouse Country, Whitman Co. Washington

   When they first reached the Palouse area it was covered with bunch grass and as these photos show, very pretty country around Palouse and Colfax area.