Abraham Molsbee biography

ABRAHAM MOLSBEE, who has extensive farming and stock-raising interests which he is profitably conducting in Montague county, is also well known as a minister of the Brethern church, and his upright life has commended him to the confidence and good will of all with whom he has been associated. He was born in Hawkins county, Tennessee, July 8, 1835. His parents were David and Margaret (Simmons) Molsbee, the latter a native of West Virginia and the former of Tennessee. The paternal grandparents were William and Nancy (Groves) Molsbee, both of whom were natives of Pennsylvania, the former of English lineage and the latter of German descent. After their marriage they removed to Tennessee. Mrs. Molsbee was first married to a Mr. Stakely and had two sons, John and Christian. The former married and became the father of a large family. Subsequent to his removal to Tennessee William Molsbee, the grandfather of our subject, purchased large tracts of land and improved good farms. There he spent his remaining days, his death occurring upon the old family homestead. He was a member of the Brethern or German Baptist church and assisted in the up building of a large congregation in the locality where he resided. He was at all times true to his professions, and his honesty and genuine worth made him a man of value in the community where he resided. In his family were two sons and a daughter: David, Mrs. Mary Bowman and William. The last named was a farmer and removed from Tennessee to Missouri.

David Molsbee, the father of Rev. Abraham Molsbee, was reared in Tennessee and settled upon the old homestead farm there. Later he added more land to his original property and he became one of the prominent and successful agriculturists of the neighborhood. He, too, was a local minister of the Brethern church. In politics he was a Whig, but never aspired to office. He opposed slavery and was a strong Union man during the Civil war. At time he was threatened by the rebels because of his Union sympathies, but he was never harmed. The army, however, foraged off his place, took all that he raised, drove out his stock, robbed his place and seriously damaged him financially. He died in the year 1864 respected by all who have regard for upright principles and honorable conduct. His wife survived him until 1865. She was a daughter of C. Simmons, a native of Virginia, who followed the occupation of farming, and removed to Tennessee, where his last days were passed. He, too, was a member of the Brethern church and in his family were eight children: Mrs. Susanna Shanks; Jacob, a farmer; Mrs. Margaret Molsbee; George; Mrs. Elizabeth Isenberg; Mrs. Martha Vaughn; Mrs. Anna Price and Mrs. Catherine Francisco.

The children of David and Margaret Molsbee were nine in number: Catherine, who became the wife of John Kinsinger; Joseph, who followed farming but is now deceased, dying during the period of the Civil war; Mrs. Mary Isenberg; William, also a farmer; Margaret, the wife of William Kinsinger; Mrs. Anna Shanks; Mrs. Rachel Davis; and Samuel and Abraham, twins. The former died on the old homestead farm in 1891.

Abraham Molsbee was born and reared upon the old family homestead in Tennessee. He pursued his education in the common and graded schools, and when a young man engaged in teaching school for a number of years, providing a capable educator. In connection with his brother he obtained the old homestead farm, which they divided. Mr. Molsbee of this review took up his abode thereon and built a commodious brick residence. He continued the work of cultivating the fields and improving the property until he had an excellent farm, upon which he lived for many years, there rearing his family. In 1888, however, he sold that property and came to Texas, settling in Montague county, where he purchased a farm from the Broadus Jordan Ranch Company, thus becoming owner of nine hundred and sixty-five acres of valuable land, on which he has made many permanent and substantial improvements. He built a commodious two-story frame house and all necessary outbuildings for the shelter of grain and stock and now has an excellent farm property. He has since made division of his farm with his sons and about four hundred acres of the entire tract are under cultivation, yielding good crops. He has never failed to raise a sufficient amount to support his family and his stock and has met with a desirable measure of success in all of his undertakings. He is pleased with the country, has firm faith in its future and is demonstrating its possibilities for agricultural development. He gives some attention to stock raising, having small herd of cattle, and he has also fed some for the market.

Mr. Molsbee was married to Miss Sue Looney, who was born in Tennessee in 1840 and is a daughter of Absalom and Sally (Starnes) Looney, both of whom were natives of Tennessee and were faithful members of the Methodist church. Her father was a prominent farmer and slave owner and was regarded as one of the substantial citizens of his community. He never aspired to office, but was a man of considerable local influence and was respected by all with whom he became in contact. He died during the Civil war in 1862. His children were eleven in number: William C., a farmer; Mrs. Louisa Hutchisson; Gains, who also follows agricultural pursuits; Mrs. Mary A. Campbell; Margaret G.; John B.; Absalom and Joseph I., all of whom are following farming; Mrs. Sarah J. Pearson; Orville, who was killed while serving in the Confederate army; and Mrs. Molsbee. To our subject and his wife have been born the following named: Samuel and David, who follow farming on the old homestead in Montague county; Alice, the wife of R. Brice of Tennessee; Absalom and Abraham, who are living upon the home farm; Mrs. Maggie Drake; Mrs. Sudie Paine; and William, yet at home. The second son of the family, Orville Molsbee, died in Texas when about twenty years of age.

Mr. Molsbee has always taken a deep interest in religious work and for forty years has been a preacher of the Brethern church. He has been associated with the Louisiana and Texas Conference and has attended several of its annual conventions in different parts of the United States. He did missionary work at Texas, but now has a regular charge at Nocona and also one in Cooke county, which he has controlled since its organization fourteen years ago. He is a strong Prohibitionist, having long been an advocate of the temperance cause, and his life is permeated by honorable principles, which make him a man worthy the highest regard and confidence of his associates. In all of his business relations he has been honorable and upright, and moreover in his relations with his fellow men he has displayed the kindness, sympathy and charitable spirit which are the direct outcome of his religious faith. His labors in behalf of his church have been far reaching and beneficial and he is today numbered among the honored citizens of Montague county.

Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 311-312.