NameJohn Henry MUSSER
Birth19 Mar 1880, Lima, Allen County, Ohio30, v. 2, p. 722.,176
Death1 Nov 1924, Moulton Township, Auglaize County, Ohio316 Age: 44
Burial4 Nov 1924, Greenlawn Cemetery, Wapakoneta, Auglaize County, Ohio316
OccupationAttorney, Admitted to the Bar in 190130
OccupationProsecuting Attorney, Auglaize County, Ohio, 1915-1919
MilitarySpanish American War, OVI 2nd, Co. L187
FatherJohn F. MUSSER (1849-1914)
MotherMary Elizabeth AMES (~1857-1916)
Birth25 Oct 1882, Union Township, Auglaize County, Ohio313,324
Death16 May 1963, Artesia, Los Angeles County, California313 Age: 80
BurialGreenlawn Cemetery, Wapakoneta, Auglaize County, Ohio313
FatherJoseph Henry TAYLOR (1843-1898)
MotherEliza Ellen TAYLOR (1854-1924)
Marriage17 Jun 1903, Auglaize County, Ohio1712
Notes for John Henry MUSSER

Biographical Sketch (1917):30, v. 2, p. 722-723. "J. H. Musser. Hardly was his high school course finished at Wapakoneta when J. H. Musser definitely determined upon the law as his future vocation. He had the natural talent which is a prerequisite to success in the law, and ample training and a liberalizing experience have brought him to a foremost place in professional circles in Auglaize County.

He is a native of Allen County, Ohio, where he was born March 19, 1880. J. H. Musser grew up in Wapakoneta, attended the public schools and in 1897 graduated from the Wapakoneta High School. From there he entered the law offices of Goeke & Hoskins, and later the Ohio Northern University at Ada, where he diligently pursued his law studies, and was admitted to the bar in 1901.

For the first eighteen months after his admission he practiced with the firm of Goeke & Hoskins, largely for the experience, and then for five years was associated with Mr. A. L. Comb. Following that for two years he was in individual practice, and then joined the firm of Goeke & Anderson, making a change of name to Goeke, Anderson & Musser. In 1913 Mr. Musser again established an individual practice, and has now reached a place in his profession where he can practically choose his business and his clientage.

His is also filling one of the most important county offices, having been elected prosecuting attorney of Auglaize County, in November 1914. His first term has been administered with so much satisfaction to the people of the county that he is now a candidate without opposition for re-election. Mr. Musser has taken an active part in democratic politics, and was manager of the successful campaign made by B. F. Welty for election to Congress. For nine years Mr. Musser was a member of the board of election, and while in politics for the good of his community his heart and mind are always absorbed in this profession.

In 1903 he married Lillian A. Taylor. Mrs. Musser was born in Uniopolis in Auglaize County. Mr. Musser is a Knight of Pythias and a Woodman of the World and also a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles."

1898 Spanish-American War:16, p. 281-282. A war between Spain and the United States, fought in 1898. The war began as an intervention by the United States on behalf of Cuba. Accounts of Spanish mistreatment of Cuban natives had aroused much resentment in the United States, a resentment encouraged by the Yellow Press. The incident that led most directly to the war was the explosion of the United States battleship Maine in the harbor of Havana, Cuba, an incident for which many Americans blamed Spain. The United States won the war easily. The best-remembered incidents in the Spanish-American War were the charge of the Rough Riders, led by Theodore Roosevelt, up San Juan Hill in Cuba, and the Battle of Manila Bay, in the Philippines, at which Admiral George Dewey said, "You may fire when you are ready, Gridley." The United States acquired Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines in the war, and gained temporary control over Cuba. The victory of the United States in the Spanish-American War made the country a world power, with territories spread across the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea. Hawaii, which had been an independent kingdom, was annexed by the United States in the same period.

1898 Military Service:187 "Spanish War. John H. Musser, Pvt., Co. L, 2 Reg’t Ohio Infantry, appears on company muster-in roll of the organization named above. Roll dated Columbus, Ohio, May 10, 1898. Mustered in May 10, 1898. Age 19 yrs; height 5 feet, 6 inches; complexion light; eyes brown; hair light. Where born Auglaize Co., Ohio. Occupation: student. Joined for duty and enrolled: when Apr. 25, 1898; where Wapakoneta, Ohio; period 2 years. Travel from residence to place of rendezvous: Residence: Wapakoneta, O. No. of miles: 102. Married or single: single. If single, name and address of parent or guardian: John Musser, Wapakoneta, Ohio."

1899 Military Service:187 "Spanish War. John H. Musser, Corp., Co. L, 2 Reg’t Ohio Infantry, appears on company muster-out roll of the organization named above. Roll dated Macon, Ga., Feb. 10, 1899. Mustered out Feb. 10, 1899. Joined for duty and enrolled: when Apr. 25, 1989, where Wapakoneta, O. Last paid by Maj. May, last paid to Jan 1, 1899. Place of residence Wapakoneta. O. Place of discharge Macon, Ga. Clothing: due Soldier, $28.99. Due U.S. for arms and equipment: $0.04. Due U.S. for Q.M. Stores & equipage: $0.08. Remarks: Enrolled as Pvt. Appointed Corp. from Pvt. July 1/98. Per Regt. O.88, dated July 21/98 on sick furlough from Oct. 5 to Nov.4.98 inclusive per 9.0.11408. A 90 day furlough extended 30 days Nov.4/98 per teleg. notices from War Dept. Sick in quarters."

1900 U.S. Census:936 John enumerated in the household of his father John F. Musser as white, male, born Mar. 1880, age 20, single, born in Ohio, father born in California, mother born in Michigan, law student, can read, can write, can speak English.

1902 Member of the Bar:27, p. 528-529. Musser, John, Wapakoneta, listed as member of the Auglaize County Bar, lawyers in practice from 1848 to 1902.

1903 Marriage License Application:1712 "The undersigned respectfully makes application for a marriage license for said parties and upon oath states that said John Henry Musser is 23 years of age on the 19th day of March 1903, his residence is Wapakoneta, Ohio, his place of birth is Lima, Allen County, Ohio, his occupation is attorney at law, his father's name is John F. Musser, his mother's maiden name was Mary E. Ames, that he was not previously married, and that he was no wife living. That said, Lillian Adelaide Taylor is 20 years of age on the 26th day of October 1902, her residence is Uniopolis, Auglaize County, Ohio, her place of birth is Unionpolis, Auglaize County, Ohio, her occupation is singer, her father's name is Joseph Henry Taylor, her mother's maiden name was Elize Ellen Taylor, that she was not previously married, and is not a widow or divorced woman, that she has no husband living."

1910 U.S. Census:955
Auglaize County, Ohio (Wapakoneta)
Enumerated 5 May 1910
John H. Musser •• head, male, white, 30, married 7 years, born in Ohio, father born in California, mother born in Michigan, native language English, lawyer, able to read, able to write
Lillian A. •• wife, female, white, 27, married 7 years, 2 children born of this marriage, 2 children still living, born in Ohio, father born in Ohio, mother born in Ohio, native language English, able to read, able to write

1920 U.S. Census:944
Auglaize County, Ohio (Wapakoneta)
Enumerated 12 January 1920
707 Pearl Street
John H. Musser •• head, home owned, free of mortgage, male, white, 39, married, can read and write, born in Ohio, father born in Ohio, mother born in Ohio, can speak English, lawyer
Lillian A. •• wife, female, white, 37, married, can read and write, born in Ohio, father born in Ohio, mother born in Ohio, can speak English

1924 Death Certificate:316 John H. Musser; date of death, November 1, 1924; place of death, Moulton Township, Auglaize County, Ohio; male, white, married; wife, Lillian Musser; born, March 19, 1880; age 44 years, 7 months, 12 days; occupation, lawyer; father, John Musser, born in California; maiden name of mother, Mary Ames, birthplace unknown; informant, Mrs. Lillian Musser, Wapakoneta, Ohio; burial, Greenlawn Cemetery, Nov. 4, 1924.

1924 News Account:2762 Wapakoneta Attorney is Killed in Crash. Car Struck at Railway near Home. (Full text available as a .pdf download.)

1924 News Account:843 John H. Musser Killed at Grade Crossing. Auto wrecked by traction car Saturday night. Was prominent attorney and politician of this city. The citizens of Wapakoneta were shocked Saturday night when the news was circulated that John H. Musser, 44, prominent attorney and former prosecutor of Auglaize County, was instantly killed at 6:30 p.m. when his automobile was struck by a speeding Western Ohio traction car in front of his home on the Wapakoneta St. Marys road, three miles west of this city.

The accident happened as Mr. Musser was leaving his home to come to Wapakoneta. He had been at this office during the day and after purchasing some fruit left for his home about 6 o'clock. His wife and two daughters were at home and after eating his supper he jumped into his Ford car and started out of the driveway. The house is located on the south side of the track, a few hundred feet from the traction crossing. The machine was squarely on the track when it was struck with the full force of the traction car, which was one of the old style heavy cars. Musser's body was crushed in the wreckage and carried along the track to a point within 100 feet of the west line of the plot of ground where it was thrown into the ditch. He was dead when picked up.

There was a hole in his skull, one leg was severed below the knee, the other was shattered so that the bones protruded through the flesh and he was crushed about the body.

The automobile was reduced to wreckage by the traction car. It was crushed underneath the wheels, the woodwork being split and broken and the metal part being rolled up under the body of the traction car. The latter had to be jacked up in order to release the wreckage.

Motorman Jesse Blackburn, in narrating the tragedy, stated that he was proceeding westward driving the car which leaves this station at 6:30 o'clock. He saw Musser drive away from his home and approach the crossing, but as he had done this many times before on the same run, he was certain that he would come to the crossing and stop as on all previous occasions. He sounded the whistle continuously but Musser evidently did not hear and came on toward the crossing. Seeing that he would strike the car, Blackburn put it in reverse and the emergency brake and then stood back until it struck.

It is believed that Musser was absorbed in thought at the time he started to leave town and failed to use his accustomed caution. It is also probable that he was confused and believed the headlight of the traction car was that of an automobile on the highway which parallels the railway.

Another theory is that Mr. Musser's eyesight was weak and that he failed to see the car approaching. He was applied for a pension and was to have been examined at the next meeting of the pension board for cataracts on both eyes.

Mr. Musser's wife and two children were both home at the time of the accident. Both ran out into the yard and were among the first to find the body.

The body of the dead man was brought to Wapakoneta in Heinl & Swonguer ambulance and after being prepared for interment, it was taken back to the late home Sunday morning.

The deceased was one of the most prominent attorneys and Democratic politicians in Auglaize County. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. John Musser, of Wapakoneta, both deceased, and spent his entire lifetime in this city. In 1898 he enlisted in Col. L Second O.V.I., and served as corporal of the company during the war with Spain beginning April 21, 1898, and ending February 10, 1899. Upon returning from army service he went to the Ohio Northern University and studied law, leaving that institution in 1906. That year he entered the firm of Goeke & Anderson and was a member of the partnership for several years. In 1914 he entered Auglaize county politics and became a candidate for prosecuting attorney. He was elected and served from 1915 to 1919.

The sympathy of the people generally go out to the family. Mr. Musser was an able young man and he demonstrated the fact that he possessed the qualities of loyalty and courage by the fact that he volunteered in the Spanish American war, the youngest and smallest man in the company. Mr. Musser was a member of the Eagles Lodge of Wapakoneta and Wapakoneta Camp no. 22 U. S. W. V. The funeral will take place Tuesday morning from the residence, Rev. J. Ernest Zimmerman of the First English Lutheran Church officiating.

1924 News Account:844 Attorney Killed In Auto-Traction Crash. J. H. Musser Dies Near His Country Home. Was Leaving Driveway Three Miles West Of City Saturday Evening As Crash Occurs. Death Was Instantaneous. Body And Wreckage Of Auto Carried Several Hundred Yards.

J. H. Musser, prominent local attorney, was instantly killed at 6:30 Saturday evening when a Western Ohio traction car crashed into his Ford sedan as he was crossing the tracks in front of his country home three miles west of the city on the St. Marys-Wapakoneta road.

Mr. Musser was thrown from the wreckage of his auto more than 200 feet west of the crossing where the collision occurred. His body was frightfully mangled, both legs being broken, one completely off above the ankle. His skull was fractured, shoulder blade broken, face and head badly bruised and lacerated and evidence present of internal injuries. Death was instantaneous.

The Ford auto, dragged 500 feet beneath the wheels of the car down the tracks, was strewn along the right of way. It became lodged beneath the car preventing further motion of the interurban ahead or backward, and traffic was held up for more than an hour until the tangled mass of junk could be removed. The top of the sedan was torn off with the first impact, it would seem, and was thrown 30 feet into the Musser yard.

Jesse Blackburn, motorman, and Rupert Heil, conductor, were in charge of the car, which left Wapakoneta at 6:30 p.m.

Mr. Musser was leaving the driveway at his home, preparing to go to the city after supper. His home is on the south side of the highway and it is necessary to cross the Western Ohio tracks in getting out upon the concrete highway. He drove directly upon the tracks in front of the car, apparently without ever noticing the car's approach, Motorman Blackburn said. It was already dark and the headlights of both the Ford and the traction were lighted. The traction sped towards the crossing, the motorman noticing the Ford's approach and believing that it would stop before reaching the crossing. Instead it moved slowly out in front of the traction. Blackburn grasped the whistle cord and at the same time applied the brakes bringing the rapidly moving car to a grinding, shrieking stop, but not until the death dealing crash had occurred. Only a miracle kept the traction from being derailed.

Friends of Mr. Musser believe that poor eyesight was the cause of his death. He had been afflicted with failing vision for several years, and had consulted opticians and specialists with regard to his trouble. Recently, he had his teeth extracted upon advice of doctors, who diagnosed his eyesight difficulty as coming from defective teeth. His friends have advised him against driving an automobile. It is believed he failed to see the danger.

It is thought that Mr. Musser, having crossed the tracks hundreds of times at this point, was unmindful of the crossing and probably noticed the approach of the headlight and thought it was an approaching auto from the east on the roadway which parallels the tracks.

At the point in front of the Musser home the tracks have a clear and unobstructed sweep and interurban cars are accustomed to make good time for several miles through to Moulton. This fact probably accounts for the terrific impact when the Ford car came in front of the interurban.

When the car was brought to a stop the trainmen started a search for the occupant of the Ford. Mrs. Musser, who was operating a radio set in the house, rushed outside when she heard the crash and the clatter of the broken glass. The body of Mr. Musser was found lying alongside the tracks about 25 feet west of the Musser yard. The Heinl & Swonguer ambulance was called by trainmen, and the remains were taken to the morgue in this city where, following an examination by Coroner W. S. Stuckey, they were prepared for burial. One of the ten wounds on the head is believed to have caused death. The body was later moved to the bereft home.

Mr. Musser was one of the best known attorneys in Auglaize County. He was known among lawyers as a 'scrapper' and was considered as one of the most active members of the bar. He served as prosecuting attorney of the county from 1915 to 1919, acting in this capacity during the war at which time he represented the government in reviewing claims for exemption for service. Since his retirement from office he has followed a general practice of law. He figured in more public legal proceedings in the various local courts than any other attorney in the county, it is said.

Mr. Musser was an active Democrat, and in the present campaign has manifested a keep interest in the success of the Democratic ticket in nation, state, and county. A number of local friends who had conversed with him Saturday afternoon and in the evening a short time before he went home to his supper say that he was unusually interested in the success of the party during the day Saturday and had spoken to many people on the streets in behalf of the ticket.

Many persons visited the Musser home west of the city Saturday and hundreds passed the place to view the wreckage that was scattered along the tracks directly in front of the home.

Only the fact that Mr. Musser was wearing a heavy brown overcoat prevented further dismemberment of his body, it is believed. The coat was badly torn. That the body was thrown clear of the wreckage and not caught beneath the wreckage which was firmly lodged underneath the interurban after tearing off the car's cowcatcher, is considered fortunate. The accident was witnessed by Mr. Musser's daughter who was sitting near a window.

John H. Musser was born in Wapakoneta on March 19, 1880, and was in the forty-fifth year of his life. He was the only son of the late John H. and Mary Musser, residents of this city. His father was a local machinist for many years. One sister, Mrs. C. E. Wade, remembered as Kathryn Musser, survives. Mr. Musser was united in marriage in 1903 to Miss Lillian Musser of Uniopolis. The family resided on West Pearl Street for many years, moving three years ago to a new dwelling erected on the farm west of this city.

Mr. Musser studied law in local law offices and then went to Ohio Northern University where he underwent examinations, being later admitted to the bar. He was connected with various law partnerships, being associated with the firm of Goeke, Anderson, & Musser and also with A. L. Combs in the firm of Combs & Musser. Since leaving the office of prosecuting attorney, he has maintained his own offices. He was a member of the Wapakoneta Aerie of Eagles and with the Spanish American War Veterans. He was a Corporal in Co. L, 2nd Reg., Ohio Volunteer Infantry, in the War with Spain, and served with his company and regiment during the entire period from April 21, 1898, to February 10, 1899. Mr. Musser was also a member of the Auglaize County Bar and Law Library Association.

Funeral services Monday evening in charge of the Wapakoneta lodge of Eagles and Tuesday at 10 a.m. in charge of the Rev. J. Ernest Zimmerman, pastor of the First English Lutheran Church. Interment in Greenlawn Cemetery.

1924 Tombstone:17, p. 266. Greenlawn Cemetery, Wapakoneta, Auglaize County, Ohio.
Musser, John H
d. Nov. 1, 1924
Co. L, 2nd OVI
Spanish American War
Last Modified 4 Jul 2004Created 5 Aug 2014 using Reunion for Macintosh