John Moser, one of the heirs of the Moser estate, died in the almshouse at Laurytown on Tuesday. John Moser was the grandson of Burkhart Moser the first white settler in the Panther Creek valley. In 1777 Burkhart Moser bought 200 acres of land along Panther creek near what is the present town of Tamaqua. He shortly after discovered coal along the banks of the creek. His brother Jacob joined him and together they conducted a business of selling coal to the farmers in Lehigh and Berks counties by the bushel. Later Burkhart purchased 1,000 acres of land extending northward towards Coaldale and settled on a farm. Here John was born in 1805. During the war the operations of the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company were gradually extended from Nesquehoning towards Coaldale, and, it is claimed, the Moser tract, which proved to be exceedingly rich in coal, was usurped by this company. The heirs to the estate have been for years trying to regain possession of the estate and have spent a fortune in litigation. John Moser spent whatever money he had in trying to establish his claim, and became so poor that to earn a livelihood he was at length obliged to accept a position of slate picker. He had followed this occupation during the past several years working in the breakers around Hazleton. Lately his health had been failing and his inability to secure the money which he believed by right belonged to him preyed heavily upon his mind and he began to show signs of insanity. Being deprived of his only means of support he was last February sent to the almshouse, where he died heart-broken and penniless. His wife, who is infirm and aged, survives him.
The beginning of Coaldale (Coal Dale) dates back to the year 1827, when John Moser and his wife settled there. Moser was born on May 24, 1805, in Tamaqua and was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Burkart Moser, the original settlers of Tamaqua. Upon arriving at Coaldale, John Moser built a log cabin on the north side of what was known as the Manila Grove Park. At present, the Coaldale Hospital is located on this very site. After building the cabin, Moser cleared the land for the purpose of raising products for his own use. His principal occupation was hauling coal and timber to Tamaqua. This he continued until about 1887 when he vacated his farm due to the fact that a coal company possessed his land and began the building of a breaker for the purpose of preparing coal. This breaker was known as the Number 12 and was owned by the Lehigh Navigation & Coal Co.