My Uncle, Friend & Mentor
Oss Elias Mosis
April 9, 1875 ~ May 26, 1977
Wrangler, Veteran of the Spanish-American War,
Saloon Keeper,Real Estate Speculator
Amateur Magician, Psychic Investigator.
Born ten years to the day General Lee surrendered to General Grant,
Oss Elias Mosis died 102 years later having lived a life about which books are written and movies made. This is his story, as told to his adopted nephew Pete McMillan.
Ossie grew up in the Cherokee Nation of the
Indian Territory that would become
Claremore, Oklahoma. His father, Ned Mosis
had settled there after serving, as a field
hospital corpsman during the Civil War at age15.
As Ned continued his medical studies he came
across a process called osmosis.
It tickled him at the similarity to his name
and profession. His wife Nerma, on the other
hand, was not very happy when Ned raised the
suggestion of naming their first son Oss Mosis. After many discussions Nerma relented with the insistence that their son's middle name would be her Father's first name. Elias.
1890. Growing up in the Indian Territory was all a boy could want. There were always the farm chores, but Ned also made sure a healthy dose of fun went along with the work. After graduating from the mission school, Ossie took a greater hand in working the Mosis farm so his dad could concentrate on his medical studies. Once Ned was setting up his practice, Ossie wanted to see more of the world and headed down south, finding work at the Miller 101 Ranch.
1898. At the start of the Spanish-American War the call went out for volunteers to form the 1st United States Volunteer Calvary. Several cowboys and wranglers from the Miller 101 Ranch joined up and Ossie was among them. Assigned to Company I as a Saddler Corporal, his Company did not make it into Cuba due to a shortage of transportation ships, and spent the remainder of the war in Tampa, Florida. The 1st US Vol. Cavalry went on to be immortalized as "The Rough Riders." After being discharged in Oyster Bay, NY, Uncle Ossie remained in town and became a saloon keeper. It was here he made friends with two local amateur magicians and started learning coin and card tricks.
1902. Ossie moved to NYC working at various
saloons, and finally landed a position at the brand new
Astoria Hotel in 1904, which later became the
In the Men's Bar, he increased his popularity and tips
by performing the coin and card tricks he learned
from his friends in Oyster Bay, inbetween serving
up the latest cocktails.
1903. In NYC, he attended a lecture by the Reverend Lilly Dale on methods of contacting the spirit world to communicate with loved ones who passed thru the veil. This was the beginning of his own studies and experiments and provoking the questions:
Where do we come from? To where do we go? Is contact with pre or post mortal existence possible?
His first efforts at creating a device to communicate with other planes of existence produced a simple electrical circuit. He called it his Electro-Illuminarygraph. A small direct current power source, single pole single throw switch and an incandescent light bulb, Ossie worked with a simple code of blinks. 1 = Yes, 2 = No, 3= Maybe. The blinks would occur when the switch was in the open position disconnecting the lamp from the power. In the next few years, Ossie developed several styles of Electro-Illuminarygraphs, trying to improve reception and duration of contact. He continued his experiments until 1957, but never said why he stopped at that time and put his equipment away. He did tell me the experiments he conducted in mid 1912 produced interesting results, but felt I was too young at the time and did not go into detail.
1913. The Miller Brothers started their plans to reorganize their 101 Wild West Show. Ossie was invited to re-join them. An expert wrangler, stock man, and a wiz at repairing livestock tack, he was also a fair hand at performing fancy rope and gun work, not to mention he was a member of T.R,'s Rough Riders. He was a perfect fit for the show. He gave notice to the Astoria Hotel and caught the first train to Oklahoma. After weeks of rehearsing his part of the show, Ossie helped with the preparations of moving such a large troop. The box cars were loaded for shipment to Boston, Mass. From there the show shipped across the Atlantic and prepared to open the 1913-1914 season in England. Unfortunately, however, in September of 1914, the shows horses and mules were commandeered by the British for the war effort in France.
With no prospects in Britain, Uncle Ossie returned to New York.
1918. After the Armistice of November, there was a resurgence of interest in trying to make contact with those who died in the Great War.
Ossie studied what books he found on the subject
and continued his experiments with his own
Electro-Illuminarygraph, for conversing with the
He was rehired at the Astoria Hotel, and started
demonstrating coin and card tricks at Martinka's
Magic Shop in his off time.
1922. In the ensuing years Ossie moved further west, working in the oil fields of Oklahoma as a roustabout and wildcatter with very good success allowing him to move on and settle in Los Angeles. Investing his oil wildcatting profits in the LA real estate market and oil speculation that worked out in his favor, he lived pleasantly on the income, escaping the devastation others faced when the stock market crashed on Black Friday 1929. All the while, continuing his study of contacting the dearly departed.
1965. Uncle Ossie adopted me. Rather, I kept showing up at his door asking more questions about the wonders in
his apartment. We rented the apartment above
him in the building he owned. I was 10.
As time went on he softened up and kept me
riveted with stories of his life, and at the same
time introduced me into his trove of magic
and mystical knowledge. It fascinated me.
1973. After graduating High School, I joined the Navy, was schooled in the trade of an Aviation Structural Mechanic, traveling the world repairing jet aircraft. I made it home on leave in 1975 to celebrate Uncle Ossie's 100th birthday, but was on deployment when he passed in 1977. I did not get back stateside for another year. By then a rather beat up packing box caught up with me at Lemoore Naval Air Station. It contained many of the items Uncle Ossie had shared with me, among them were his Electro-Illuminarygraph, his spirit slates and the Séance Table, as well as his notes on Magic and Psychic Investigation.
1994. Since retiring from the Navy, I have continued to work with Uncle Ossie in his experiments. Myself on one side and Ossie on the other. I present his Intuitive Mystic Experiments to help others develop their own Intuitive Intelligence. I also craft reproductions of the devices Uncle Ossie developed so others can conduct their own experiments to communicate with other planes of existence.
Mosis Family Photo Gallery
Claremore OK 1890
Astoria Men's Lounge
Miller 101 Touring Wild West Show 1913
Martinka's Magic Shop Counters where Ossie demonstrated.
Lower left Ossie's apartment. I lived directly above.
Ossie, age 11
Saddler Corporal O.E. Mosis
Ossie Age 33~1908
Ned and Nerma Mosis
Dr. Ned Mosis