Friday, May 12, 2006

Moses Sisco ~ Waynesville Shoemaker & Methodist "Class Leader"

Moses Sisco had a Boot and Shoe Shop in Waynesville for many years. We know that during the 1850s his son John, was also a shoemaker with his father. Moses' first wife, Olive, who was still living in 1850, had her own business. She was a mantua maker. During the 1850s he moved twice into different quarters on Main Street. His last shop during that decade was located in the Wright Building on Main Street:

"BACK AGAIN. The undersigned takes this method to inform his old patrons and the public generally that he has returned to Waynesville and opened a shop in Wright's building, on Main Street, where he is prepared to furnish and make to order boots and shoes of all kinds and at reasonable prices. A liberal share of patronage is solicited. M. Sisco, May 17, 1858" (Miami-Visitor, May 19, 1858).

There are hints that the family moved quite a bit (i.e. the advertisement above) and his first marriage in Gallia Co., Ohio, and the birth of his children in Butler and also Montgomery Counties, Ohio.

Moses Sisco was married three times in his life:
  • To Olive Sisson with whom he had two children: Sarah Jane Sisco and Francis Cisco.
  • To Mary Elizabeth Abbott with whom he had eight children: Laurah, Moses, Henrietta, Susan, John, Calvin C., Fanny and Charles W. Sisco.
  • To Sarah Neill with whom he had no children.
The following is the obituary of Moses Sisco, shoemaker of Waynesville (Miami-Gazette Newspaper, February 2, 1870):

Moses Sisco was born September 28, 1799, in Newark, New Jersey. Of his religious training we know nothing; but from the few scattered fragments that we can gather, we are led to believe that he had a praying mother. In the 18th year of his age, he was led by the providence of God to attend Methodist meetings, and under the influence of the Holy Spirit, united with the Methodist Episcopal Church, and was soundly and evangelically converted to God. Soon after his conversion, it was very evident to his brethren that he had gifts and grace for active labor in that Church, and he was solicited to receive license to exhort, but his mind was not fully satisfied in regard to this and he declined. Soon after this he was appointed Class-Leader, and in this position he served the Church for nearly forty years. He was often heard to say that in the capacity of a Class-Leader he had all the license that he desired, as it was the duty of a Leader "to comfort, reprove and exhort as occasion might require." And faithfully did he perform his duty. The Day was never too could, the night was never too dark and stormy to keep Brother Sisco from the classroom when he had strength to get there.

As a Leader, he was very successful. He possessed a wonderful power in exhortation, and always had a word of encouragement suited to each one's experience. When I came to the charge, a year ago last fall, I found Brother Sisco in charge of one of the classes, beloved by all of his brethren. He was feeble in body and said to me: "I shall be compelled to resign my Leadership. My strength is failing, and I feel that my work is about done." With great reluctance we yielded to his request, and he was compelled to tear himself away from his beloved work to suffer and die.

He was a constant attendant upon the preaching of the word. He loved to hear the old story of the cross; how often has he encouraged the heart of the writer by his cheerful smiles and his hearty approval of the truth during divine service. Brother Sisco was no bigot; it was enough for him that the Church to which he extended the hand of brotherhood cleaved to the cross with its vicarious sacrifice. Still he loved the Church of his choice, and was greatly interested in all her movements. His pathway through life was often dark and full of tears. Two of his companions and six of his children he has laid away in the grave. Ten years ago last October, he was married to Mrs. Sarah E. Neill, his now afflicted and bereaved widow.

The last few years of his life were years of great suffering; still, grace sustained him and no one ever heard him complain or murmur. The nature of his disease was such that for three or four days before his death he was unconscious, and but few expressions could be gathered from his dying lips; still he was heard to say, "Precious Jesus!" "Blessed hope!" The Lord has been so good to me!" When asked, "Do you think we shall know each other in heaven?" he seemed to rouse from his stupor and exclaimed, "O yes! Our knowledge in heaven will be wonderfully increased."

But why need I cite you to his dying words? You know what his life has been. "Hark, the perfect and behold the upright, for the end of that man is peace."

On last Monday afternoon, the 31st of January 1870, at 1 o'clock, the weary wheels of life stood still, and Moses Sisco ceased his labors and suffering, and entered upon the bliss and glory of the Heavenly land ~ leaving behind him the light of a good name and the fragrance of a holy example. To the church of which he was a member, I would say, we have lost one of our oldest members: for fifty-three years, he faithfully followed Jesus. To his bereaved widow I would say, you have lost a kind and affectionate husband. To the children, I would say, you have lost a good father. Still, we will not murmur: we will dry our tears and remember that our loss is his gain. Then let us, as we surround his coffin and look for the last time upon his pale face, remember, that his happy spirit, redeemed from earth and sin dwells with Jesus and the angels in the better land.

"Yet again we hope to meet him
When the day of life is fled,
Then in heaven with joy to greet him,
Where no farewell tears are shed."

E. McHugh."