Friday, July 13, 2012

1835 letter from Josiah Prescott Mooers of Maine to his brother Timothy Mooers at New York City

20 September 1835 letter mailed from Gardiner, Maine, by Josiah Prescott Mooers to his brother Timothy Mooers at New York City, to advise Timothy of the death of their uncle, Peter Mooers, on 9 September 1835.  Transcript below.

Josiah Prescott Mooers was born 27 December 1804 at Deerfield, New Hampshire, the son of Nathaniel and Elizabeth (Prescott) Mooers, "Betsey", New Hampshire natives who moved to Vienna, Maine.  

Josiah moved to Maine when in his early thirties and then to Minnesota in 1852.   In 1856 he settled at Mooers Prairie, now called Cokato, where he became a noted citizen.  Read about the settling of Cokato here and see a wonderful photograph of Josiah Prescott Mooers and wife Rachel (Peterson) Mooers here.

His parents Nathaniel and Betsey (Prescott) Mooers had twelve or more children.  Another son, Samuel, had a granddaughter, Clara Augusta Hoyt, who was adopted by Josiah and his wife.

In Philadelphia in October 1832, Josiah Prescott Mooers married Rachel Peterson, who was born in New Jersey on 16 January 1815.
They had three children of their own, and they adopted Josiah's niece:
  1. Josiah Nathaniel Mooers, born at New York City on 5 August 1833
  2. Augustus Peterson Mooers, born at Vienna, Maine, on 8 April 1835
  3. Henry Mooers, born at Vienna, Maine, on 27 December 1836
  4. Clara Augusta Hoyt Mooers, born at Vienna, Maine about 24 May 1846 to William and Angeline (Mooers - daughter of Josiah's brother Samuel) Hoyt; adopted by Josiah and Rachel
Timothy Mooers was born 18 September 1809 at Vienna, Maine, also the son of Nathaniel and Elizabeth (Prescott) Mooers, "Betsey".  Timothy married Mariah Conover in New York City in February 1837.  They had seven children:
  1. Timothy Conover Mooers, born December 1837; died 3 March 1838
  2. Maria Elizabeth Mooers, born December 1839; died 1921
  3. George Henry Mooers, born 1840; died 1841
  4. George Vienna Mooers, born 1843
  5. Eugene Edwin Mooers, born 1845; died 1863 in the Civil War
  6. Charles Albert Mooers, born 1850; died 1873
  7. Smith Timothy Mooers, born 1850
Peter Mooers, whose death was the subject of Josiah's letter to Timothy, was born 13 December 1751 at Candia, New Hampshire, the son of Samuel and Mehitable (Ingalls) Mooers.  

He married Mary, possibly Mary Varnum the daughter of Samuel and Hannah (Holt) Varnum of Dracut, Massachusetts; there's conflicing information online.  

Peter and Mary (Varnum) Moores had seven children, all apparently born at Candia, New Hampshire, before the family moved to Vienna, Maine:
  1. Mehitable Mooers, born 23 December 1776 m at Candia, New Hampshire; died 16 October 1822 at Vienna, Maine
  2. Samuel Mooers, born 7 September 1778 at Candia, New Hampshire
  3. Peter Mooers, born 20 August 1780 at Candia, New Hampshire; died 5 March 1814
  4. John Mooers, born 1 July; 1782 at Candia, New Hampshire; died 29 March 1844 at Deerfield, New Hampshire
  5. Nathaniel Moore, born 20 July 1784 at Candia, New Hampshire; died 17 August 1814 at Vienna, Maine
  6. Mary Polly Mooers, born 10 August 1786 at Candia, New Hampshire; died 1835 at Mount Vernon, Maine
  7. Abigail Mooers, born 4 December 1788 at Candia, New Hampshire; died 1835 at Mount Vernon, Maine
If you have any corrections or additions to any of the information presented above, please leave a comment or contact me directly.  Thanks!


Gardiner, Sept. 20, 1835
Dear Brother,
I take this opportunity to inform you that Uncle Peter Mooers is dead.  He died on the ninth of this month.  Aunt is as well as usual. Our folks are all in good health.  I am at work on G's house.  Jabez Smith has commenced cutting there with me.  He takes hold of the business well.  Father and Nathaniel carries on the farming at all the places this fall.  I expect to work here until into November.  Samuel Melvin, Esq., says he will give me chances to work for him this winter.  He wants thirty stone cutters this winter. ___cutting is good here and will be good next season.  You must not fain in coming home this fall.  Bring home all your cash.  Our debts are eating us all up.  Hay come in rather slim.  Stock is cheap.  I have no more news to write this time.  Good Bye,
To Timothy Mooers
This is from your Brother, Josiah P. Mooers

Vienna, Maine

Cokato, Minnesota: [Josiah Prescott Mooers was the first permanent settler at Mooers Prairie/Cokato, in 1856.]

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Mooer's Prairie encompassed an area which not only included what is now Cokato, but also included Stockholm and Middleville. Only an active church and cemetery remain at Stockholm and a town hall remain in Middleville.

    1. Thanks for those added details - much appreciated!

  2. Great! Thank you so much posting this. Clara Hoyt is my 3rd great grandmother and I couldn’t figure out who her parents were and why she was on a census with Mooers.

    1. Amber, I did this post 8 years ago, before my research standards improved. Please read the information with a critical eye and be sure to find sources to back things up. However, it would be neat if you learned something from the letter!