Jean Bell Mosley


Beloved Missouri Author
Born in St. Francois County, Missouri

       CAPE GIRARDEAU - Jean Bell Mosley, 89, died July 11, 2003, at Southeast Missouri Hospital.

       Born Sept. 21, 1913, in Elvins [St. Francois County, MO], daughter of the late Wilson and Myrtle Casey Bell, she spent her formative years in St. Francois County near the St. Francis River, where the wildlife, wide meadows, fields and waterways provided the backdrop for her writing later in life. The farm home where she grew up was designated a literary landmark by the Missouri Association of the Teachers of English.

     She graduated valedictorian of Doe Run High School in 1931, graduated valedictorian of Flat River Junior College (now Mineral Area Community College) in 1933 with an associate in education degree and graduated from southeast Missouri State University in 1937 with a bachelor’s degree in education. She and Edward P. Mosley were married April 11, 1936, in Farmington. He preceded her in death on Jan. 29, 1977.

     After teaching school for a short while, Mrs. Mosley became an executive secretary and accountant and managed an insurance agency during World War II while the owner was overseas. She sold the first story she ever wrote to Woman’s Day magazine. Her first book, “The Mockingbird Piano,” published in 1953, won the Missouri Writers’ Guild Award. Her other books were: “Wide Meadows” (1960), “The Crosses at Zarin” (1967) and “The Deep Forest Award” (1985), which won the C.S. Lewis Silver Medal for the best children’s religious book.

     Her short stories and articles have appeared in Reader’s Digest, Saturday Evening Post, Ladies Home Journal, Farm Journal, Country Gentleman, Extension, Guideposts and many other publications. She wrote a series of seven booklets for the nationally known Know Your Bible program.

     She began writing a column for the Southeast Missourian in 1955 and continued writing until her death.

     In 1977, Mrs. Mosley received Southeast’s Alumni Merit Award and two years later received the Dingledein Award for outstanding achievement in the arts. In 1983, she received an Alumni Merit Award from MACC.

     In 2001, she received the Women’s Impact Award from the Girl Scouts Otakhi Council.

     She was a member of several social and professional sororities and other organizations. She was a lifelong member of the United Methodist Church and was a current member of Centenary United Methodist Church in Cape Girardeau.

     Survivors include a son and daughter-in-law, Steve and Viney Mosley of Cape Girardeau; three grandchildren, Lauren Mosley, Ellen Collom and Jimmy Woods of Sikeston; and one great-grandchild, Victoria Marie Collom of Sikeston.

     She was preceded in death by a brother and two sisters. Services will be conducted at 2 p.m. today at Ford and Sons Mount Auburn Chapel with Dr. Clayton Smith officiating. Burial will follow in Cape County Memorial Park.

Sikeston Standard-Democrat, 07/14/03


Dance with Me, (ss) The Saturday Evening Post Sep 3 1955
The Dog Stealer, (ss) The Saturday Evening Post May 22 1954
Her Man Calloway, (ss) Woman’s Day Jun 1956
A Lesson for Teacher, (ss) The Saturday Evening Post Nov 13 1954
One Night Together, (ss) The Saturday Evening Post Nov 5 1955
Primitive Young Man, (ss) The Saturday Evening Post Nov 28 1953
Waiting for the Wedding, (ss) The Saturday Evening Post Jun 12 1954
The Way of Love, (ss) The Saturday Evening Post Dec 1 1956
Woman Hater, (ss) The Saturday Evening Post Jan 23 1954