December 4, 2017, (just a week before my own 75th birthday) will be the 155th anniversary of my great-grandfather William Joseph Moseley’s birth.
William was my mother’s paternal grandfather. He was born in 1862 near Birmingham, England. His first wife, Catherine Burns (with William in the portrait above), was born in Ireland. When William was a child he lived with his grandparents in Birmingham, and he immigrated to the United States in 1880 soon after his grandmother Mary Glover Moseley died.
William settled in Auburn, New York, where he went to work in the Auburn Button Works, which had just opened the prior year. He lived in Auburn for the rest of his life. He later became a building contractor (he was the prime contractor for the St Alphonsus Church in Auburn, pictured below) and even served as a city alderman circa 1910.
William died in 1952 after falling down the stairs of his house on 34 Mary Street.
William was born out of wedlock to Emma Wilkins in Handsworth, Staffordshire. Emm’s mother, Mary Glover, was William’s grandmother and Jane Wilkins Scotton (also spelled Scotten), Mary’s other daughter, was his aunt. Jane and her husband immigrated to Auburn about a year before William did, and she lived with him in Auburn until her death in 1921.
I only met William one time when my parents and Moseley grandparents visited William in Auburn in about 1950. I remember that he was very friendly to my sister and me, and that he called me Rick and gave me an enormous cookie to eat!