Wellington Genealogy Group
Wellington Genealogy Group

Member of GAR post 219

Hugh Mosher

Age: 69
Birthplace: Lake Co. O.
Residence: Brighton O.
Occupation: Farmer
Entry into the Service
Date: Oct.25"1861
Rank: Fifer
Co.: H
Regiment: 43"O.V.I.
Final Discharge
Date: Sept.4"1862
Rank: Fifer
Co.: H
Regiment: 43"O.V.I.
Length of Service: 9 1/3 months
Cause of Discharge: Disability
Date of Muster into the G.A.R.: July 3"1888
When Honorably Discharged:
When Suspended:
When Dropped:
Where Buried:
Nature of Wounds Received:
When and in what Engagements Wounded:
Remarks: Yankee Doodle - died Aug. 15"/92


Wellington Enterprise 17 August 1892 pg 1

Uncle Hugh Mosher has been confined to his bed for a number of weeks and the prospects of his recovery are doubtful. Hugh is the genuine fifer of northern Ohio. Sam.

Later. – Hugh Mosher departed this life at six o’clock Monday evening. Funeral services will take place Wednesday at one p.m. at the M.E. church. The Hamlin post of Wellington, of which he was a member, has been invited to attend.

Wellington Enterprise 24 August 1892 page 4

The Fifer Is Dead.

Hugh Mosher, the Original of Willard’s Yankee Doodle, Passes to Rest.

Brighton, Aug. 22, - Hugh Mosher, the noted fifer, died at his home in Brighton August 15, 1892, at 6:20 p.m.

The deceased was born in Perry, Lake county, O., January 29, 1819, and was one of a family of twelve children – six boys and six girls – he being the tenth child. He resided in Perry with his parents until the year 1844, when with them he removed to Brighton, Lorain county, O., on the farm where he lived until his death.

He was married to Hester B. Smith, of Rochester, O., March 19, 1848, and was the father of seven children, six girls and one boy, one girl dying at the age of twelve years.

His grandfather served in the Revolutionary war, his father in the Mexican war and he in the war of the rebellion.

Hugh Mosher enlisted at Brighton, O., October 25, 1861, as fifer in Co. H, 43d O.V.I., and was discharged on account of disability, at Columbus, O., September 4, 1862. He never fully recovered after coming out of the army, but suffered more or less from that time until his death. Hugh was probably the best fifer in northern Ohio, and was sent from far and near to attend celebrations, reunions, etc.

Mr. Mosher was liked by everyone who knew him. He was a very liberal giver to benevolent causes and no one was ever turned from his door hungry. While he did not belong to either of the churches in this town, he gave liberally to both of them. It can be safely said that no man ever lived in this township that was thought more of or had more friends than Hugh Mosher.

The funeral services were held Wednesday, August 17, at the M.E. church, Rev. C.H. Rutledge officiating. The crowds of people that came to the funeral from all the neighboring towns tell better than words can how well and favorably he was known. Over 500 people were present. The services were conducted by Hamlin post G.A.R., of which he was a member. The casket was covered with floral offerings; one very fine one from Hamlin post. The casket was draped with the stars and stripes, and on that, among the flowers, lay the old fife that the deceased charmed numerous audiences with.

The following is from the Cleveland Leader of August 18: Hugh Mosher, the fifer in A.M. Willard’s famous picture, “Yankee Doodle,” died on Monday and his funeral took place yesterday. Mr. Mosher was one of the pioneers of the Western Reserve, a patriot of the old school and a prosperous open-hearted old gentleman who had some quaint characteristics that will serve to keep his memory green for many years. He lived in Brighton, near Wellington, but he came often to Cleveland, where he had many relatives and friends. When he came to this city he almost invariably called on James F. Ryder, and he often posed before the camera. Mr. Ryder has a large pastel picture of Mr. Mosher that is of interest. It shows his rugged features in good advantage and represents him smoking a briarwood pipe, which with his fife, were the most prized of his possessions. His head was surmounted by a Scotch cap and his neck protected by a long, old-fashioned yarn scarf, when the photograph was taken.

Mr. Mosher was over six feet in height and has a strong, muscular frame. He was about seventyfour years of age.

During half a century he was a prominent figure in Lorain county. He served through the war, and the shrill notes of his fife cheered the soldiers in many battles. After the war he took a prominent part in all public gatherings. A fourth of July celebration without a fife and drum corps under his direction would have been no celebration at all. The yearly county fair would not have been considered a success if the visitors had not heard Mr. Mosher discourse martial music. The picture presented by the old gentleman while playing the fife should have been preserved on canvas. It is said that the first note would inspire him with enthusiasm and make him oblivious to everything except the music. His face would glow and his eyes sparkle. His arm would sway with the music as much as was possible without dislodging his fingers from the reed and the steady tapping of a heel on the floor would denote the measure. He always had his fife with him and he was always ready for action.

Along in the early seventies, Mr. Willard, who was then a resident of Wellington, drew a number of humorous pictures which Mr. Ryder published. As the time for the Philadelphia exposition approached, Mr. Ryder foresaw that a great wave of the spirit of 1776 would sweep over the country and he suggested the publication of a revolutionary picture. A fife and drum corps was early decided upon by Mr. Willard as the subject for illustration and he naturally chose his picturesque neighbor for one of the figures. His first idea was to make it a comic picture showing the corps under the direction of a drillmaster at an old-time fourth of July celebration. When the sketches had been completed, he saw more than a caricature in them. The result was a change of plans which gave the country the celebrated “Yankee Doodle.” It showed a revolutionary fife and drum corps on the battlefield. Of the three figures the center one was an old drummer of commanding stature and streaming gray hair. His lips were firmly set and his countenance aglow with determination and patriotic ardor. On his right was a boy drummer, who trudged along sturdily with his eyes fixed on the patriarch. On the left was the fifer, a sturdy yankee in a continental uniform with a bandage tied around his head.

The picture has been reproduced in almost every conceivable manner and few American paintings have become better known. The first painting was about 22 x 24 inches and is now owned by a gentleman in St. Paul. The second painting was drawn to the full size of life and was displayed at the centennial exposition, where it received much attention. Mr. Mosher visited the exposition and he was recognized, while standing in front of the picture, as the fifer. He was surrounded by a great crowd and received a small ovation.