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Moses Decker1

b. circa 11 June 1788, d. 4 August 1860

Family 1 Mary Elisabeth Sheplor b. 5 February 1794, d. 3 January 1859
Marriage* 19 November 1810  Muskingum Co., OH, Principal=Mary Elisabeth Sheplor 
Children  1. Lucinda Decker b. a 1810, d. 17 Nov 1852
  2. Joseph Decker b. c 1812
  3. Dr. Henry Decker b. 23 Dec 1814, d. 8 Jan 1892
  4. Benjamin Decker b. 29 Jan 1815, d. 20 Mar 1875
  5. Eveline Decker b. c 1819, d. c 1859
  6. Eliza Jane Decker b. c 1822, d. 29 Dec 1915
  7. Westfall Decker b. 10 Dec 1822, d. 20 Nov 1880
  8. Sarah A. Decker b. c 1826, d. a 1870
  9. Solomon Decker b. May 1826, d. 2 Sep 1911
  10. Isaac Shepler Decker b. c 1829, d. 4 Jan 1873
  11. Louis Reasoner (Deed) Decker b. 20 Nov 1830, d. 6 Feb 1888
  12. Mary Elizabeth Decker b. c 1833
  13. Moses Decker Jr b. 4 Feb 1835, d. 4 Feb 1853
  14. Thomas J. Decker b. 14 Mar 1837, d. 26 Apr 1921

Family 2 Anna Goode b. circa 1788
Marriage* 14 June 1859  Village of Viroqua, Vernon Co., WI, by Michael Walsh Esq. Marriage notice appeared in NorthWestern Times 6/22/1859., Principal=Anna Goode1 

Note*   (Ed: These notes provided by Dale Decker. See Source Listing for contact information)

Moses was born approximately 11 Jun 1788 in Orange County, NY. The 1790 NY census shows Deckers in Minisink town, New Cornwall Town and Warwick town, all in Orange County. Historical and Biographical Memories of Muskingum County, Ohio 1892, says he was born of German parents and brought to Muskingum County, Ohio as a child.

The first record of Moses, so far, is recorded in 1809 in Muskingum Cnty., in the following court document:

Continuation of Supreme Court record of the June Term A.D. Eighteen Hundred and Twelve. (To December term 1810)
Case involves dispute between Joseph Decker and Stephen Mapes, James L. Retillery and others. In 1809 J. Decker and S. Mapes made a written agreement to form a partnership to look for salt springs and mines. Joseph accused Mapes of cutting him out of his share so Joseph sued to recover. The agreement was reduced to writing and witnessed by Moses Decker and Susanna France. It later says that a message was delivered by Moses to Joseph from James L. Retillery. Moses name appears 4 times in this document. Complete copy (19 pages) in file. Unable to find a connection between Moses and Joseph. Did identify a Daniel Decker as Josephs son. (Record in file--father of Jane Decker who possibly married John Self) Settled later in Joseph's favor.
Page 2: On the 24th of July 1809 Joseph signed a contract with Mapes in the presence of Moses Decker and Susanna France.
Page 16: 11th November, 1809, Moses Decker and Dan. Decker were witness to a written contract between L. Retillery & Stephen Mapes. The contract was admitted to the Supreme Court at the April Term 1812.
Page 18: Ltr. dated 12th July, 1810, delivered to Joseph Decker from L. Retillery by Moses Decker. (J. Decker responded to the ltr. on August 17, 1810.)
Page 19: 6 June, 1812, Moses Decker executed a bond with Joseph Decker to appeal a decision of the court. (bottom of page.)

Hist. & Memoirs of Musk. Cnty. 1892, page 343--Mr Mapes began to make salt just below the mouth of Wills creek in 1810.---Hist. of Musk. Cnty. with Illust. & Bio. Sketches of Prom. Men and Pioneers, page 361 has a paragraph on this information but is slightly different.--compare with Joseph Deckers Supreme Ct. case.

Muskingum County Marriages 1803 to 1818 shows Moses Decker and Elizabeth Shepler Dec. 17, 1810 by Benj. Reasoner JP. Hand written record shows "Married on the 19th November, 1810 Moses Decker and Elizabeth Sheplor of Muskingum County given under my hand this 17th December 1810. signed Benj. Reasoner JP. Typed record shows location of Muskingum County, Highland Township. (notice different spelling of Shepler) We understood her maiden name to be Reasoner. 2 Options, she was married before or someone made an error using Reasoner as her last name. Their son Isaacs' middle name is Sheplor and he gave it as a middle name for his son Milo. Our great grandfathers name is Louis Reasoner Decker.

One source states he was drafted in the war of 1812 and served one campaign. (can find no proof as yet, but have some records to check)

Biograpical & Historical Memoirs of Musk. Cnty., 1892, page 328; In 1815 Noah Decker built the first mill in Highland township, on the northwest quarter of section 14, which was transformed from a sawmill to a distillery with a grinding attachment as a distillery auxiliary. NOTE---Moses Deckers property, in 1817 shown below is located on the northwest quarter of section 14---what is the connection to Noah?????? if any. Also on page 452 of History of Muskingum Cnty., Ohio with Illus. and Bio. sketches of Prom men & pioneers. (slightly different)

Early Ohio Settlers--Purchasers of land in East and East Central Ohio, 1800 - 1840;
page 75 Decker, Moses (Z) 1815 May 27 MuskCoOh 06 01 01
Decker, Moses (Z) 1817 May 24 " " " 05 02 14
Decker, Moses (Z) 1817 Aug. 25 " " " 05 02 14
(Note: R06 T01 S01 Plat Map shows J. Shamblin and R. H. Hogan living in this section. Moses had real estate transaction with John Shamblin. R. M. Hogans' wife was Frances Decker Hogan. Could she be the Susanna Frances listed as a witness for Joseph Decker in his lawsuit against J. Mapes et al.??? They were married 29 April, 1816 in Musk. Cnty.)

Jury list of Muskingum County Ohio 1818-1830 shows Moses Decker from Highland served on jury in 1822.

No date or book #: George and Margaret Werts deeded to Moses nd Elizabeth Decker the SE corner of the SW quarter of Section 7, Township 2, Range 5.(look this up) NOTE: History of Mercer County, Ill., Ohio Grove, 1882, pages 469 - 470--Mary Decker, daughter of Benjamin Decker married George W. Werts, blacksmith on October 3, 1865. He located in Sunbeam in 1865. Has been a blacksmith since the age of 16. Born in Muskingum County, Ohio, April 4, 1841, the son of George and Margaret (Maple) Werts. Father was a native of Loudon County, Va. and mother a native of Ohio.

Copies of Land and personal property tax for Muskingum Cnty, Highland Township (Range 5, Township 2, Section 14, 139 1/2 acres) for the years 1823, 1824, 1825, 1826, 1827 & 1828 in Moses section of the Family History.

Deed Book L, page 588 Musk. Cnty. On the 25th day of February, 1823, James McBride andf his wife Polly, deeded to Moses Decker, (both of Muskingum Cnty) sixty six and 58/100 acres of land, being the north side of the northwest quarter of section one, township one and range six. (Description of property outlines follows) No amount of money is listed. (the next entry shows the property to be sold to John Shamblin for $330.)

February 26, 1823 Muskingum Cnty. Book of Deeds Vol. L, P588,P589 Grantor Moses Decker to John Shamblin, 66 acres Rge 6, Twp l, OTR TP 1 NW (J.H. Hogan was the J.P.)
Index of the Ohio 1825 Tax--Duplicate 1981 -- Petty - Compiler
page 44; Decker, Moses MK C 18

January 20, 1826 Book of Deeds, Vol H., P482, Muskingum Cnty. Grantor Moses Decker to Jacob Honnold, 20 1/2 acres. Rge. 5, Twp. 2, S14 NW, SW pt. for $102.

In the 1830 Federal Census, there is a female 60-70 living in Mose's household. This could possibly be his mother or mother-in-law.

January 1, 1836 Muskingum Cnty. Book of Deeds Vol S., P183, Grantor Moses Decker to Thomas Few, Rge. 5, Twp2, S14; 7 NW & SW. for $1200.

In 1836 (as shown by childrens birth years -Moses 1836 Ohio, Thomas 1837, Illinois.) Moses moved to Suez Township, Mercer County, Ill. Joseph and Henry remained in Muskingum County. Believe that Jane also stayed in Ohio. Suspect he left about 9/21/1836 with the McPherren group.

Circuit Court, State of Illinois, 20th August, 1839--Indenture made on 12th August, 1839 between Benjamin Groff and his wife Evaline (sp.?) of the county of Mercer and state of Illinois for $500 paid them by Moses Decker do quit,Bargain, sell, convey and confirm to said Moses Decker all the real estate, personal property, household and kitchen furniture, goods, chattles,nots, bonds, book accounts due debts all belonging to said Benj. Groff and Evaline his wife.--recorded on 20th August, 1839.

1 March, 1847 Deed Book page 3370--U. S. Govt. to M. Decker
Presumption Acts of 1838, Certificate #3370
Whereby full payment has been made by said Moses Decker according to the provisions of the Act of Congress of 24th April, 1820 for sale of public lands "for the East half of the North East quarter of Section Three in Township 13 North of Range Two West in the district of land subject to sale at Dixon, Illinois containing seventy three acres and seventeen hundredths of an acre according to the official plat. (see official copy in file--refers to the below.) Recorded Vol 33 Page 159E. Recorded March 20, 1850.

Decker, Moses -- Rec-ID # 372584 Sale type FD - Descr. E2NE Sec 03- Twnshp. 13N - Range 02W - Meridian 4 - acres bought 73.17 - Price per acre $1.25 - Total price $91.46. Date of purchase 9-20-1839- (066-Mercer) Archives Volume 710 P125. (Property located in Suez Township, Ohio Grove, Mercer County, Illinois.)

History of Mercer County, Illinois shows the first post office in Suez Township was called Pope Creek and was kept by Moses Decker in his home, in 1840. Records show his property as the N.E. 1/4 of section 3 in 1840. (E1/2 of the NE 1/4 of Sec. 3, 78.17 acres) (Note: On our June 1997 trip to Aledo I drove south out of Viola and passed through a dry creek bed and looked around. I made a turn through a driveway at a section road. After coming home and looking at the section maps, I had turned around on Moses property--go figure!!!??)

Tax records 1852 Mercer County shows E1/2 of the N.E. 1/4 Sec.3, 78.17 acres listed for Moses Decker.

In 1846, Moses Decker came to Wisconsin from Mercer County, Illinois alone, looking for land.

Moses, Isaac and Solomon cleared land and built a home prior to going back to Illinois for the rest of the family. Benjamin Decker and Eveline (Decker) Walter remained in Illinois. Suspect Eveline may have died in or about 1860, as she had young children at the time of Moses death in 1860.(listed in Moses will)

The village was first called Deckerville, then Farwell, the Viroqua.

Moses, Solomon and Isaac donated 40 acres to form the village. Moses, Solomon and Isaac built the first community building. It was used as a school and general purpose building, meeting place, etc.

History of Vernon County, page 138, under County Government. On the 11th of November, 1851 the next meeting of the board of supervisors was held at the house of Moses Decker. At this time taxes were levied; the whole valuation of the county being $32, 897.

Information from the Navrestads shows that Moses sold some land to Rufus Dunlap and sued him for lack of payment. (see record of Title clearance 24 March, 1859 to Warren Dunlap.)

Western Times June 2, 1858
by amount paid to Moses Decker to perfect title to lands donated to county 137.50.

Western Times June 14, 1859 (Bd. of Supervisors Meeting)
Resolved by the Board of Supervisors of Badax County, State of Wisconsin, now in session, that the Chairman of said Board is hereby authorised by this Board, to obtain a Deed from Moses Decker, to lot No. one in Block 6, in the Village of Viroqua, in said county, pursuant to his bond for the same, for the use of said county. The resolution was adopted.

Western Times - March 4, 1859 Deed from Moses Decker to Warren Dunlap in consideration for 30 dollars releasing deed to Dunlap Block. See description in file. (came from Arlona Mayhew)

May 4, 1857 The first and last village election 125 votes cast: 3rd with 17 votes, Moses Decker. 5 members on board. Moses served until the board was abolished.

1/3/1859 wife Elizabeth died, aged 64yrs, 10 months and 26 days. Obit in Elizabeths notes.

NorthWestern Times 6/22/1859 Moses Decker mrd. 6/14/59 by Michael Walsh Esq. to Mrs Hannah Goode of Bloomingdale.

Moses died August 4, 1860 at 72 years, l month and 22 days old, and is buried in Pioneer Cemetary beside his first wife Elizabeth. Son Moses Jr. is in row behind and to the north.(left in picture) Picture with flag shows his marker between theirs. (Note: The land for this cemetery was donated by Moses and the first burial was his grandson, Benjamin L. Rice, the child of Sarah A.(Decker) Rice and Hiram G. Rice on Jan. 16, 1852.)

June 6, 1900--(from Vic and Donna) The house first built by Moses Decker was razed to make way for a new and modern dwelling of Daniel Wise. It was built in 1846 and had been in constant use these 54 years. It was built of hand hewn logs and later clap boarded and the logs are yet in a perfect state of preservation.

October 1900--(from Vic and Donna) There was movement on foot to rebuild the Moses Decker house, the County Board will be petitioned for land where it can remain permanently. The logs have been kept intact.

From Vic and Donna, Mar 3, 1997--
Excerpt from a letter written to Thomas (Decker) by Charles Netters of Portland, Oregon, after seeing his name in the Censor - October 1909:
I just read in the Censor that you would attend the homecoming. The first time I saw your father, Moses Decker, it was the winter of '47 and '48 when he was on his way from Illinois on the road between Illinois and Round Prairie. I remember you as a small boy (etc. etc. See Thomas Deckers' notes for rest of the article.

Lived in Viroqua. Gave land for the courthouse and cemetery at Viroqua.1 
Birth* circa 11 June 1788  Orange Co., NY 
Marriage* 19 November 1810  Muskingum Co., OH, Principal=Mary Elisabeth Sheplor 
Census* 1820  1820 Federal Census, Highland Township, Muskingum County, OH Page 160
Decker, Moses (300210-201010-100)2 
Misc* February 1822  Muskingum Co., OH, Moses Decker appointed Petit Juror from Highland Twp. for 18223 
Census 1825  1825 Ohio Taxpayers, Muskingum County, OH.
Decker, Moses R5 T2 Sec 14 NW Highland 140 acres 
Census 1830  1830 Federal Census, Ohio, Muskingum County, Highland township, Series: M19, Roll: 137, Page: 332
Decker, Moses (1113001000000-1120010010000)4 
Census 1840  1840 Federal Census, Illinois, Mercer County, Township 13 - Range 2W, Series: M704, Roll: 66, Page: 321
Decker, Moses (line 15: 2121000100000 - 2010100000000 - 000000 - 000000 - 000000 - 000000 - 11 - 0400000 - _ - 0 - 000000 - 0000 - 0000005 
Land* 1 March 1847  Names
Patentee:      MOSES DECKER
State:      ILLINOIS
Acres:      73.17
Metes/Bounds:      No
Title Transfer
Issue Date:      3/1/1847
Land Office:      Galena
Cancelled:      No
U.S. Reservations:      No
Mineral Reservations:      No
Authority:      April 24, 1820: Sale-Cash Entry (3 Stat. 566)
Document Numbers
Document Nr.:      8625
Accession/Serial Nr.:      IL4580__.159
BLM Serial Nr.:      IL NO S/N

Aliquot Parts: E½NE
Sec./Block: 3/
Township: 13-N
Range: 2-W
Fract. Section: No
Meridian: 4th PM - 1815 Illinois
State: IL
Counties: Mercer
Survey Nr.:
Census 1850  1850 Federal Census, Wisconsin, Crawford County, Bad Ax Township, Series: M432, Roll: 995, Page: 252B, August 23
13, 299, 299, Decker, Moses, 63, M, , Farming, 600.00, New York, , , ,
14, 299, 299, Decker, Elisabeth, 57, F, , , , Pennsylvania, , , ,
15, 299, 299, Decker, Lewis R, 18, M, , Farming, , Ohio, , , ,
16, 299, 299, Decker, Elisabeth, 16, F, , , , Ohio, , , ,
17, 299, 299, Decker, Moses Jr, 14, M, , , , Ohio, , , , Idiotic
18, 299, 299, Decker, Thomas J, 12, M, , , , Illinois, , , ,
19, 299, 299, Bidou, Emeline, 7, F, , , , Illinois, , , ,7 
Marriage* 14 June 1859  Village of Viroqua, Vernon Co., WI, by Michael Walsh Esq. Marriage notice appeared in NorthWestern Times 6/22/1859., Principal=Anna Goode1 
Census 1860  1860 Federal Census, Wisconsin, Vernon County, Viroqua, Series: M653, Roll: 1399, Page: 392A, June 6
56, 43, Decker, Mosses (Moses), 71, M, , Farmer, 2000, 400, New York, , , ,
56, 43, Decker, Ann (wife), 58, F, , , , , Ohio, , , ,
56, 43, Knoff, Mary, 19, F, , , , , Illinois, , 1, ,
56, 43, Knoff, Emeline, 16, F, , , , , Illinois, , 1, ,
56, 43, Hood, George, 14, M, , , , , Illinois, , 1, ,
56, 43, Hood, John, 32, M, , Farmer, 600, 1000, Illinois, , , ,
56, 43, Decker, Thomas, 23, M, , Farmer, 400, 150, Illinois, , , ,8 
Death* 4 August 1860  Viroqua, Vernon Co., WI 
Burial* after 4 August 1860  M. E. Church Cemetery aka Pioneer Cemetery, Viroqua, Vernon Co., WI, Inscription: Moses Decker
Died Aug. 4, 1860
AGE 72 ys 1 mo
& 22 ds9
News/Obit* 8 August 1860 
Death of Moses Decker

From The History of Vernon County. p408

    It is with sincere regret we record the death of Moses Decker, Esq., which occurred in this village (Viroqua) on Saturday the 4th Inst.

    Mr. Decker had reached his three score years and ten, being in his seventy-second year. He was born in the State of New York, and portions of his life were spent in that State, in Ohio, Illinois and Wisconsin. During the war of 1812-15, he was living in Ohio, was drafted as a soldier and served one campaign.

    In January, 1847 he removed with his family on to the ground now occupied by the village of Viroqua, cutting his way with an ax. He had, previous to the moving of his family here, selected his lands, and soon after his arrival they were entered. When Bad Ax County was organized, Mr Decker laid out the village of Viroqua, and as an inducement to locate the county seat here, offered to donate forty acres to the county, adjoining the village plat, to aid in the erection of county buildings. Viroqua became the county seat and Mr Decker conveyed to the board of supervisors the forty acre tract.

    Since his removal here Mr. Decker has seen Bad Ax county organized and its population increase from a few families to 10,000 souls. He has seen churches and school houses spring up all around him, and the wilderness made to bloom like a garden. Amid all the changes and improvements that have been made by Mr. Decker has stood in our midst like one of the ancient landmarks. But at last he is gone!

    "Your fathers, where are they? and the prophets, do they live forever?" No, one by one, the links that bind the present to the past are sundered, and we look with sadness for a moment on the vacancy made by their removal, and then, hurried along by the waves, we float down the stream of time, soon forgetting the forms and faces that have been borne away from us forever.

    Mr Decker's first wife died Jan. 3, 1859. He was married again to Mrs. Anna Goode, widow of the late Thomas Goode, Esq. who survives him.

    Eleven children scattered through the States of Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin and California mourn his loss.

Appeared in the Northwestern Times, Aug. 8, 1860


  1. [S42] Dale Decker Personal Research, Dale Decker.
  2. [S279] 1820 U.S. Federal Census , 1820 Federal Census.
  3. [S970] OH, Muskingum Early Jurors & Justices, Genealogy Society Muskingum Co..
  4. [S121] 1830 U.S. Federal Census , 1830 Federal Census.
  5. [S3] 1840 U.S. Federal Census , 1840 U.S. Federal Census.
  6. [S301] Bureau of Land Management Land Patents, online
  7. [S4] 1850 U.S. Federal Census , 1850 U.S. Federal Census.
  8. [S46] 1860 U.S. Federal Census , 1860 U.S. Federal Census.
  9. [S626] Find-A-Grave, online
  10. [S244] Wisconsin Local History & Biography Articles, online

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