Thursday, November 27, 2014

Brown County Doctors - Dr. Stephen B. Mossop

This starts a series on the doctors of Brown County in the 1800s-to early 1900s. A list dated 1881 was found in our book “History and Families of Brown County” published by the Historical Society. We are trying to add to the list as we find more and do some research on some of the lesser known doctors that practiced in Brown County. On some of the later doctors such as Drs. John F. Genolin, Frank L. Tilton, Samuel C. Wilson, and Alfred G. Ralphy we have more information and even photos of these men. Some on the list come up quite frequently in coroner’s reports and sometimes in advertisements in the old newspapers. So my associates and I will gather whatever information we can find on these lesser known doctors and present them in this blog.

The subject of this post is Dr. Stephen Mossop of Schooner Valley, which is in Washington township. I usually start to look for them in the census in the year that is closest to the date they were found on the list mentioned above, and then I go backward from that date. To condense this information and to form a timeline it is put back in order from oldest to newest. We start from the first time he was found in America. Following Dr. Mossop in the census from 1850 he is found living in Campbell County, Kentucky where he is listed at age 34 born in Ireland with an occupation of doctor. His wife, Ellenor, age 24 is also born in Ireland.

By 1860 he has moved to Brown County, Indiana. Stephen is age 45, wife Ellen is age 33, and by now a son named William age 9 born in Kentucky. In the 1870 census Stephen is age 54 living in the same place with wife Eleanor age 44. The son, William, is not with them at this time. By the 1880 census we find Stephen Mossop, M.D. age 62, listing him as married, but he is living alone now. His wife, Ellen Mossop, age 54 has moved to Johnson Township by this time living in Thomas Madgett’s family with her son, William age 29. Ellen is named as a sister to Thomas Madgett. Ellenor and Stephen may have separated by this time. No divorce record could be found for them, although. Jumping forward to the 1900 census neither Stephen nor Ellenor can be found. So it is assumed they may have died before this time.

The son, William, by this time is abt. 50 living as a boarder with the Ed Thickstun family. His death record was found in Brown County where he died March 5, 1922 and buried in the Duncan Cemetery. It names his father as Stephen and mother as Elner Matgett, both born Ireland. The son, William, had only a short obituary saying he died in Belmont age 71, born in Newport, Kentucky, and never married. His parents were Stephen and Ellenor Mossop who came to this country from Ireland in the 1840s.

Checking cemetery records since William’s death record names Duncan Cemetery, we find Stephen Mossop listed, with no dates on his stone. Elenor is given a death date of January 31, 1892 and from Ennis, Ireland. Checking another type of record, Circuit Court cases, the last entry found for Stephen Mossop was in 1893 when he filed a lawsuit.

I wanted to see if I could find something on Stephen and Ellenor when they first came to America such as a passenger list or a naturalization, but nothing was found. They could have been naturalized anywhere along the way from when they first entered America to Kentucky to Brown County, Indiana. Although checking on the website I was surprised when I found their marriage record. Stephen Mossop married Eleanor Madgett on April 23, 1849 at Drumcliff, Clare, Ireland. His father was listed as William Stephen Mossop. Her father was John Nicholas Madgett.

I took one last try to find something on them on and got a hit. A short notice in a Fort Wayne newspaper states he was a recluse, an eccentric character, and he died in October 1894. Here was a few clues about his personality. It also stated he was the first practicing doctor Brown County ever had. Another article said that he was a graduate of Dublin University. Final dates for Stephen Mossop is he was born abt. 1816 in Ennis, Ireland, County Clare. He died on October 15, 1894 in Brown County, Indiana. He, his wife, Eleanor, son William, and brother-in-law, Thomas Madgett are all buried together at Duncan Cemetery. I will keep looking for other records for Dr. Stephen Mossop’s life in America and Ireland to help us know more about this Brown County doctor. If anyone can help with any other information on this Irish doctor please let us know.

P. S.

I finally found where Stephen B. Mossop was naturalized. I got to thinking, if he wasn't naturalized in Campbell County, Kentucky then where was the next largest city – Cincinnati, Ohio just across the river. Yikes, I remembered, a lot of our immigrants to Indiana came through Cincinnati. So there he was, Stephen Mossop age 34 departed from Canada on August 15, 1849 and arrived in Buffalo on August 20, 1849. His declaration for citizenship occurred on March 5, 1851. It just took a little experience and some detective work, but I found him. He had come through Canada from Ireland.

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