The physician is a necessary element in our civilization, because human life is our most precious possession. A man will sacrifice all his property to save his own life. "Self preservation is the first law of nature" is so trite a maxim as to be known to all and will be disputed by none. The fact that a man will give up his own life to save one whom he loves does not disprove the maxim; it only emphasizes the power of his affection. But there are good physicians and otherwise. At the best there are many things dark to the wisest and most experienced physicians; and again the best physicians make mistakes. So it is incumbent upon all persons to secure the services of the ablest physician; every head of a family should have his family physician, if for no other reason than to give perfect confidence in his judgment to the members of the family. In these days of hypnotic suggestions when sometimes a single word will turn the tide of disease and death, a physician cannot be given too much latitude that is a highly reputable physician, such as Dr. Moss of this sketch.

Dr. Harry Corwin Moss is a native of this section of the state, his eyes having first opened to the light of day near Mt. Vernon amid the rural surroundings of his father's farm. His father, Captain John R. Moss, was born in 1830, and died October 2, 1909, in Albion. The elder gentleman was a native of Jefferson county, this state, and the son of Ransom and Anna (Johnson) Moss, who were among the pioneers of Jefferson county, and who were born and reared in the Old Dominion. They migrated first to North Carolina, then to Tennessee, and then, as was often the custom in those days to the westward, coming to Southern Illinois and establishing a home for themselves in Jefferson county as early as 1818, meeting, it is unnecessary to state, their share of the many hardships encountered by the pioneer and enjoying the wholesome pleasures peculiar to their lot. Ransom Moss was twice married, his first wife passing away in Kentucky. He died at the early age of thirty-nine years, but his wife, Anna Johnson Moss, survived him for many, many years more than half a century, in fact, for she was ninety-three when she was summoned to the life eternal in 1895, leaving over two hundred descendants. She was a remarkable woman, of strong character, as well as physical frame.

Capt. John R. Moss was a farmer by occupation and a soldier in the great conflict between the states. He enrolled and organized Company C of the Sixtieth Illinois Regiment, a company made up of the flower of Jefferson county manhood, and he served as captain of this company for a considerable period. He was taken ill with measles and returned home on furlough and in 1863 was appointed provo-marshal, with headquarters in Olney and in one official capacity or another he served until the affair at Appomattox brought peace to the stricken land. He was one of his county's ablest and most highly respected citizens and served as representative in the Illinois legislature and upon one occasion was candidate for state senator. He married Pamelia C. Allen, a native of this state and a daughter of Rev. George Allen, a Methodist minister and a native of Georgia, and her demise occurred on March 16, 1909, only a few months before her husband, these cherished and devoted life companions being united in death as in life. They reared a family of six children, namely: Angus Ivan, a resident of Mt. Vernon; Norman H., an attorney, also of that place; Addie May (Me Anally), deceased, of Carbondale, Illinois; Anna E. Neal, of Knoxville, Tennessee, whose husband is a wholesale merchant of that southern city; Harry Corwin; and Grace, wife of Rufus Grant, cashier of the Third National Bank of Mt. Vernon, Illinois.

Dr. Moss received his education in the public schools of Mt. Vernon and had the advantages of both the common and higher departments. He subsequently entered the Southern Illinois Normal University and following that taught school in Jefferson and St. Clair counties, acting as principal of the schools of Marissa, this state in the years 1891, 1892 and 1893. In 1894, having come to the conclusion to change his profession from the pedagogical to the medical, he entered the Missouri Medical College, and was graduated with the necessary degree, and in his case a well-earned one, in the spring of 1898. Since that time, not content with "letting well enough alone" he has taken a post-graduate course. In the year of his graduation he located in Albion and here has ever since practiced successfully, being practically the leading practitioner of the city. He is a constant student and makes every effort to keep abreast of the onward march of progress in his field. He is a prominent member of the Tri-State Medical Association, and was markedly influential in organizing the County Medical Society. He is a Republican in politics and his word is of weight in local party councils, and his influence and support a desirable asset. He was elected coroner of Edwards county in 1902 and served in that office for an entire decade, and he has also served as chairman of the board of health from 1901 to 1911. He is exceedingly popular and enjoys the highest order of esteem for his ability, sound principles of life and conduct and unfailing altruism and public spirit. He takes pleasure in lodge affairs and his affiliations extend to the Masons, the Modern Woodmen of America, Ben Hur and the Mystic Workmen. His church is the Methodist Episcopal.

Dr. Moss was happily married in 1895, his chosen lady being Elizabeth C. Wilson, of Marissa, daughter of Rev. J. C. Wilson, a Baptist minister. They maintain a hospitable household and are in all respects among Albion's fine citizenship.

Extracted 11 Nov 2018 by Norma Hass from 1912 History of Southern Illinois, by George W. Smith, volume 3, pages 1600-1602.

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