Moses W. Field

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Moses Whelock Field
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Michigan's 1st district
In office
March 4, 1873 – March 3, 1875
Preceded byHenry Waldron
Succeeded byAlpheus S. Williams
Personal details
Born(1828-02-10)February 10, 1828
Watertown, New York, U.S.
DiedMarch 14, 1889(1889-03-14) (aged 61)
Hamtramck Michigan, U.S.
Resting placeWoodmere Cemetery
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Greenback Party
Spouse(s)Mary Kercheval Field
ChildrenVincent Field
Alice Field
Mary Field
ParentsWilliam Field
Rebecca (Wheelock) Field

Moses Whelock Field (February 10, 1828 – March 14, 1889) was a businessman and politician. He served as a member of the United States House of Representatives from the U.S. state of Michigan, and was instrumental in organizing the Independent Greenback Party.

Early life and education[edit]

Field was born in Watertown, New York, the son of William Field and Rebecca (Wheelock) Field.[1] He moved with his parents to Cato, New York, and attended public schools and graduated from the academy in Victor, New York

In 1844, he moved to Detroit, Michigan, and engaged in mercantile and agricultural pursuits. Here he married Mary Kercheval whose father, Benjamin Kercheval (1793-1855), had been an officer in the War of 1812. He built a house on Field Avenue which his mother-in-law thought was too far from the center of town.[2] He operated the Detroit Glass Works and the Detroit Hoop Manufacturing Company. In 1865, he was instrumental in establishing the Michigan State Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and helped create state laws relating to the humane treatment of animals.[3][4][5] He is credited with helping establish an art museum in Detroit, and helping establish public drinking fountains in Detroit in 1871.[6] Field served as Alderman of Detroit from 1863-1865.[7]


He was elected as a Republican candidate from Michigan's 1st congressional district to the 43rd Congress, serving from March 4, 1873 to March 3, 1875.[8] He was an unsuccessful candidate for re-election in 1874 to the Forty-fourth Congress.

Field was instrumental in organizing the Independent Greenback Party, having called the national convention at Indianapolis, Indiana on May 17, 1876.[9][10] Governor Josiah Begole appointed him a trustee of the Eastern Asylum for the Insane in 1883.[11]

In 1888, Field was elected to an eight-year term as Regent of the University of Michigan. He died on March 14, 1889 before completing the term.[12]

At the time of his death, he lived on his farm, "Linden Lawn," in the township of Hamtramck, a suburb of Detroit. He is interred in Woodmere Cemetery.[13]

Personal life[edit]

On February 2, 1858, Field married Mary Kercheval. They had ten children, including Vincent Field, Alice Field and Mary Field. His family were members of the Swedenborgian Church.[14]


  1. ^ "Proposed Moses W. Field House Historic District" (PDF). City of Detroit. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 4, 2014. Retrieved March 3, 2014.
  2. ^ John C. Lodge. I Remember Detroit Detroit: Wayne University Press, 1949. p. 19
  3. ^ Michigan. Legislature. House of Representatives (1871). Journal of the House of Representatives of the State of Michigan, Volume 1. Michigan. Legislature. House of Representatives. p. 161.
  4. ^ Farmer, Silas (1890). History of Detroit and Michigan. Silas Farmer. p. 1224.
  5. ^ Farmer, Silas (1889). The history of detroit and michigan or the metropolis illustrated. p. 72.
  6. ^ Daisy, Michael (2012). Detroit's Historic Water Works Park. Arcadia Publishing. p. 43.
  7. ^ "Moses Whelock Field Home". Retrieved March 3, 2014.
  8. ^ Hinsdale, Burke Aaron (1906). History of the University of Michigan. University. p. 202.
  9. ^ Richardson, Darcy G. (2004). Others: Third Party Politics from the Nation's Founding to the Rise and Fall of the Greenback-Labor Party, Volume 1. iUniverse. p. 457.
  10. ^ Haynes, Frederick Emory and State Historical Society of Iowa (1916). Third party movements since the Civil War, with a special reference to Iowa: a study in social politics. The State Historical Society of Iowa. p. 113.
  11. ^ Michigan Manual (1887). Michigan Manual. p. 268.
  12. ^ Hinsdale, Burke Aaron (1906). History of the University of Michigan. University. p. 202.
  13. ^ The Modern Cemetery, Volume 22. 1913. p. 189.
  14. ^ "Proposed Moses W. Field House Historic District" (PDF). City of Detroit. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 4, 2014. Retrieved March 3, 2014.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Henry Waldron
United States Representative for the 1st Congressional District of Michigan
1873– 1875
Succeeded by
Alpheus S. Williams