Moses Warren Prentiss was born 2 February 1827 in Warrensville, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, United States to Robert Prentiss (1791-1847) and Presillia Warren (1792-1847) and died 6 July 1865 in Corydon, Wayne County, Iowa, United States of unspecified causes. He married Chloe Boswell (1833-1914) 18 March 1852 in Van Buren County, Iowa, United States. Ancestors are from the United States, the United Kingdom.

Born of Warrensville, OH, and who died in a tragic Steam Engine Accident at Corydon, Wayne Co, Iowa.

Vital Statistics

Son of Robert Prentiss (1791-1847) and Presillia Warren (1792-1847)

1827-Feb-2 : Birth at Warrensville, OH

1852-Mar-18 : Marriage to Chloe Boswell (1831-1914) at Van Buren Co, Iowa, USA

1865-Jul-06 : Death at Corydon, Wayne Co, Iowa - Tragic Steam Engine accident.


Moses died on a hot July day more than 140 years ago, blown sky-high when the coal- or wood-fired boiler used to power a portable saw mill then working in the woods on Wildcat Creek just north of Corydon exploded. We don’t know for sure why, but that sometimes happened when a boiler threatened to run dry and workers too impatient to wait for it to cool down added cold water --- a fatal mistake if the boiler had the slightest flaw.

This was an explosion that reverberated down the generations. Visiting many years ago with Cousin Glen Chapman, who lived just up the road with his wife, Pansy, from the farm where I grew up, he recalled that his grandmother, Hattie Olivia (Garnes) Tracy, only 4 in 1865 but playing nearby, remembered the blast all of her life and was scared to death for as long as she lived of steam-powered equipment.

Moses’s untimely death left Chloe, then 31, with four young daughters, Eva, 10; Laura, 7; Sarah Olive, 3; and Emma, 9 months.

Chloe remarried to Joseph Miller in 1870.

Tombstone Inscription

The tombstone here marks the grave in the Corydon Cemetery of Moses Warren Prentiss, the first husband of my great-grandmother, Chloe (Boswell) Prentiss/Brown.

The inscription is difficult to read, but when I was a kid it was easier to make out “Moses W. Prentiss, died Jul. 6, 1865, age 38 Y, 5 M, 11 D” and then a short poem:"

“Remember friends as you pass by,
As you are now, so once was I.
As I am now, so must you be.
Prepare for death and follow me.”

Family of Moses and Chloe Prentiss

  1. Eva L Prentiss (1855-1938) -
  2. Laura R Prentiss (1857-1944) -
  3. Sarah O Prentiss (1862-1935) -
  4. Emma Caroline Prentiss (1864-1894)


Offspring of Moses Warren Prentiss and Chloe Boswell (1833-1914)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Eva L Prentiss (1855-1938)
Laura Rozella Prentiss (1857-1944)
Sarah Olive Prentiss (1862-1935)
Emma Caroline Prentiss (1864-1894)



Footnotes (including sources)