HON. ALBERT BARTLETT MOSS
History of Idaho, Gem of the Mountains, Volume 2, by James H. Hawley
S. J. Clarke Publishing Co, 1920, Page 384-387
Hon. Albert Bartlett Moss, founder of the town of Payette, was in many other ways closely associated with the history of Idaho, particularly in shaping its political development and in promoting those interests which and to do with the upbuilding of the commonwealth and the upholding of high civic ideals. He was born in Belvidere, Illinois, November 29, 1849, and there acquired his early education, but throughout his life he was a close student of men and events and learned many valuable lessons in the school of experience. At the outbreak of the Civil war he enlisted in the Drum Corps and in the battle of Shiloh sustained wounds which compelled his father to take him home as soon as he could locate him. His eldest brother, James Moss, was a captain in Company B, of the Fifty-eighth Illinois Volunteers and lost his life in the memorable engagement at the Red river crossing in Louisiana, where his valor won him distinction.
Albert Bartlett Moss was thirty-two years of age when in 1881 he arrived in the Payette valley of Idaho, where he took a contract with the Oregon Short Line Railroad for getting out two hundred and fifty thousand railroad ties. In order to accomplish this he had to build roads and bridges to Long Valley, where the timber was located. He employed eight hundred and twenty-seven men and the following year floated the ties down the river. The same year he and a brother established a store at Payette as a supply camp of the Oregon Short Line Railroad material, and by the end of that year they were employing over one hundred men. Deciding that there were excellent opportunities for the young men who would join his fortunes to those of Payette, Mr. Moss remained here and for years owned and conducted important business interests which constituted a most potent element in the development of the city. He was at the head of the Moss mercantile establishment, one of the most modern department stores of the west. With the settlement of the district his business rapidly developed until it had reached mammoth proportions, and Mr. Moss not only gave his time and attention to the upbuilding of an immense mercantile trade but also became actively interested in banking. He likewise fostered horticulture and in many ways promoted the welfare of Payette, the county and the state. In a business way he recognized opportunities that others passed heedlessly by and his enterprise and progressiveness brought him to the front as a leader in the substantial development of this section of the country. His efforts, too, brought to him the just rewards of labor and he became one of the men of affluence in his section of the state.
At the same time Mr. Moss was a leader in shaping public thought and action and became a potent force in political circles. He attended many of the state conventions of the republican party and in 1898 was nominated for the office of governor but without his solicitation. He had no chance to win against the populist-democratic-silver republican combination yet he made a remarkable campaign and was defeated by less than thirty-two hundred votes in a state that had given an enormous majority for a ticket of that kind two years before. The campaign promoted by Mr. Moss and his associates on the ticket paved the way for republican success two years later. In the midst of his political and commercial activity Mr. Moss found time to serve the people of Payette in various honorable but unremunerative positions and he was for a considerable period a member of the board of directors of the Blackfoot Insane Asylum. He gave liberally of his time, his effort and his means for the upbuilding of the state and the advancement of public welfare. At the same time he closely studied business conditions and that he had a comprehensive and masterful view of the situation was indicated in an excellent paper on the benefits of organization which he read before the Idaho Hardware and Implement Dealers' Association at its annual convention. He had the keenest interest in the welfare and development of Payette and did everything in his power to promote a beautiful city, planting many of the shade trees that add so much now to its attractiveness and loveliness.
It was on the 10th of March, 1881, that Mr. Moss was united in marriage to Miss Celia A. Mellor, who was born at Wethersfield, Illinois, a daughter of W. H. Mellor and Elizabeth (Scott) Mellor, the former a native of England and the latter of Scotland. Both are now deceased. To Mr. and Mrs. Moss were born the following children: Wentworth H., thirty-six years of age, was graduated from the West Point Military Academy in 1905, served in Philippines and on the Mexican border and after the entrance of America into the World war was identified with various training camps. Later he was assigned to duty at Washington, D. C., where he was connected with the port storage and embarkation service with the rank of lieutenant colonel. Albert Bartlett, thirty-four years of age, was the first white child born in Payette and is at present associated with his brother Frederick in the Moss Mercantile company, this being an active factor in the business life of his city. In 1907 he married Grace E. Zellar, of Kansas, whose parents were natives of Pennsylvania. They now have a family of three children, Helen E., Albert B. and Celia A., all attending school in Payette. Charles H., the next of the family, died at the age of five years. Frederick M., thirty years of age, is a graduate electrical engineer of the Washington State College at Pullman and for four years was with the Idaho Power & Light Company at Boise but at present is engaged in merchandising with his brother, Albert B. He was married in June, 1917, to Loretta Brennan, of Graceville, Minnesota, and they have one child, Dorothy J.
William A., twenty-five years of age, while attending the agricultural college at Pullman, Washington, enlisted in the regular army and is a first lieutenant, having trained for the Intelligence Corps. He was an officer of the Twelfth Infantry and had fifty men under him ready for service when the armistice was signed. He was married March 31, 1918, to Doris Hudson, a native of Fresno, California, and a niece of Professor Holland, of Pullman College at Pullman, Washington, and a daughter of William Hudson. They have a daughter Sylvia, born May 7, 1919. Heber R., sixteen years of age, is now attending a private school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, possessing great musical talent which he is cultivating. Gertrude E. and Gilbert W. both died in infancy. All of the sons save Heber are graduates of the Payette high school and Albert B., Jr., was trained by his father in all the different lines of business in which he was engaged and at the time of his father's death returned to Payette from Portland, Oregon, where he was employed in a mercantile line, and is now associated with his brother Frederick in the business. He is also interested in the automobile business. The family is one of which the mother has every reason to be proud. The death of the husband and father occurred March 14, 1914. He left a record of successful business achievements, of great good accomplished in connection with the public life of his adopted city and state, while to his family he was largely the ideal husband and father, finding his greatest happiness in promoting the welfare of the members of his own household.