John Moser and his wife Maglema Wenger settled at Mulberry Pond in 1856 in a log cabin. As immigrants from Switzerland, they first arrived at Ellis Island and later came west to Kansas Territory to help vote for Kansas to become a Free State. Mulberry Pond was originally gifted to John’s grandfather for his service in the War of 1812. After building their log cabin, John began farming the 360 acres by hand and plow. He and Maglema eventually had 8 children, with four of their sons becoming prosperous farmers in Hiawatha township.
North of the Moser’s original log cabin on Mulberry Pond was a Native American camp. Once when John’s 12-year-old daughter was home alone, two natives came to the door. Knowing the custom of trade in exchange for living on the Native Americans’ original land, she offered them a side of bacon, and they left peacefully.
During the Civil War, John joined the Brown County State Militia in October of 1864. He and his company gathered with other Kansas militias in Atchison to help protect Kansas border towns from Sterling Price’s rebel raid.
After the Civil War, the growing and prosperous Moser farm and family needed a larger home. Using his experience as a brickmaker in Switzerland, John and his sons began forming bricks made from clay which they dug north of Mulberry Pond. In addition to making every brick, John cut the limestone from a quarry just north of the property to build the house’s foundation and basement. In 1870, John and his sons finally finished building the white brick house still standing at Mulberry Pond today. The house is one of the oldest remaining pioneer homes in Brown County and is largely in its original condition, with double brick walls and four bedrooms.
As John’s farm grew in acreage, he donated land just southwest of Mulberry Pond for Bellview School. Only a tree stands on the corner of Mulberry Road and 220th Street, where Bellview School, a small schoolhouse, once stood. John and Maglema Moser’s decendants have visited Mulberry Pond on various occasions to share stories about their family’s history. To learn more about Mulberry Pond, please see our about page.