Maxey Dell Moody

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Maxey Dell Moody
Maxey Moody around 1920
BornDecember 12, 1883
DiedJuly 27, 1949 (aged 65)
Resting placeEvergreen Cemetery
Jacksonville, Florida
OccupationFounder of M. D. Moody & Sons, Inc.
Spouse(s)Ethel Müller
(m. 1909)
Parent(s)Slomon Moody
Eliza Moody
RelativesJohn Pearson (grandfather)
Maxey Dell Moody III (grandson)
Rogue (great grandson)

Maxey Dell "Max" Moody Sr. (December 12, 1883[1] – July 27, 1949), also known as M. D. Moody, was the founder of M. D. Moody & Sons, Inc. in 1918 and the patriarch of the Moody family of Jacksonville, Florida. His business, M. D. Moody, became the oldest family owned construction equipment distributor in the United States and at one point the largest crane dealer in the southeast.[2] Moody also founded the American Road Builders' Association and was known as the "oldest construction machinery man in Florida."[3]

Early life[edit]

Max Moody was born on December 12, 1883, in Ocala, Florida, to Eliza and Slomon Moody.[4][5] His father, Dr. Sloman W. Moody (1838–1898), was born in Horatio, South Carolina, to plantation owners Susan and Slomon Moody. Maxey's mother Eliza Moody (née Pearson, 1847–1918) was born in Orange Springs, Florida, to Confederate Captain John William Pearson and Sarah Pearson. Maxey has many siblings which consists of a mixture of half-siblings or full-blooded siblings due to Slomon's previous marriages. Dr. Slomon became a physician in Marion County for over 30 years until he died on March 20, 1898, at the age of 64 when Maxey was 14. In 1901 Maxey contracted typhoid fever but recovered. Maxey worked at a local drug store until moving to Jacksonville in 1901.[6] In Jacksonville Maxey worked as a traveling salesman and then for Lancaster Automatic Railroad Crossing selling stock in Jacksonville, Ocala, Tampa and Cuba. In 1912 he became a salesman of tobacco.[7][8]

Marriage and family[edit]

On April 14, 1909 Max married Ethel Muller, who was born in Germany, at the Church of the Immaculate Conception.[9] Maxey and Ethel were going to Washington, D.C. for their honeymoon but changed it to Tampa due to his mother's illness.[10] They had four children: Dolores "Didi" Dux (1910-2000), Maxey Dell Moody, Jr. (1913-1987), Muller Moody (1917-1976), Ethel "Jean" Butler (1930-2001).


M. D. Moody[edit]

Maxey, right in black vest, delivering an Adams road grader from M. D. Moody in St. Augustine, Florida around 1923.

In 1915 Moody decided to give up his career in the drug business in favor of the road building industry. For three years he worked as a road grader salesman for J.D. Adams & Company where his initials M.D. gave him the nickname Mule Driver because of his skill in driving mules through demonstrations in road graders.[11] In 1918 Moody decided to establish a road construction company called M. D. Moody in the LaVilla area of Jacksonville to serve the needs of the road building equipment industry. M. D. Moody was initially affiliated with the Cyclone Fence Company until the 1920s. Moody held multiple positions at M. D. Moody as salesman, parts manager and serviceman.

Maxey, center, at the American Cast Iron Pipe Company in the early 1920s.

On April 23, 1918, his mother Eliza died. In that same year, the events of World War I in Europe forced Max to register for the draft on September 9, 1918 due to the Selective Service Act of 1916 but he was never sent overseas as the war ended one month later. In 1919 Maxey was a passenger in a bad car accident when his friend, who was driving the car, turned over and was killed.[12]On June 10, 1920 Maxey joined the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine and Scottish Rite at the Morocco Temple in Jacksonville. His business received numerous awards for his contributions to the Shriners.

During the 1920s M. D. Moody entered the marine equipment business by manufacturing their own marine engines and then with the Waukesha Engine dealership. During World War II the business supplied construction equipment needed for the expansion of military bases in Florida. In 1942 M. D. Moody became the sole distributor of the American Hoist & Derrick Company (American Crane and now part of Terex) in Florida.


The two sons of Maxey Moody, Muller and Max Moody Jr., joined the business in the 1940s incorporating it as "M. D. Moody & Sons, Inc." Max Moody's business was still a relatively unknown construction equipment business by 1950. However, his son Maxey Dell Moody Jr. took over his father's business in 1949 upon his death in the same year of a heart attack.[13] By the 1980s M. D. Moody under his son grew substantially to become one of the largest construction equipment distributors in the Southeastern United States.


On July 27, 1949 Maxey suffered a heart attack at the age of 65. He was interred in Evergreen Cemetery. The Florida Times-Union published an article on Maxey's death noting his legacy as the oldest construction machinery man in Florida, founding the American Road Builders' Association, and his memberships in the Scottish Rite and Morocco Temple.


Moody sign at Moody Fabrication & Machine, Inc., a subsidiary of M. D. Moody & Sons, in 2015.
Dell Marine was established in 2004 by grandson Maxey Dell Moody III.

Maxey's son Maxey Dell Moody, Jr. became President and diversified its assets with establishments of MOBRO Marine, Inc. in 1962, Moody Fabrication & Machine, Inc. in 1994 and Dell Marine in 2004. Maxey's business M. D. Moody became one of the oldest family-owned construction equipment distributors in the United States under Maxey Dell Moody, Jr. until his death in 1987 and then under Maxey Dell Moody III. After 100 years since its foundation in 1913 M. D. Moody was forced to liquidate. However, three Moody subsidiaries of M. D. Moody still in operation as of 2017 are MOBRO Marine, Dell Marine, and Dell Marine Tug and Barge.[14]

Descendants of Maxey Dell Moody[edit]

The descendants of Maxey Moody consists of 17 grandchildren, over 21 great grandchildren and many great-great grandchildren as of June 2017.[15][16][17][18]

Maxey Dell Moody
Maxey Dell Moody Jr.Jean ButlerMuller Pearson MoodyDolores "Didi" Dux
Audrey DavidsonMarian Perritt
Thomas Muller Rhine
Walter Butler, Jr.Beverly PiccioneBarbara BuckBlair May
John Dux, Jr.Christopher DuxDolores DuxJane duPont
Virgil "Rogue" duPont III
Maxine RowlandMaxey Dell Moody IIIElaina MoranAngel ThroopBoyd MoodyMike MoodyJoe Moody
John Henry Rowland IIIRichard MoranBrendan MoranD'Arcy FreemanDonald Richard Moran IIIChristina MoodyMike Moody Jr.
Lisa MoodyMaxey Dell Moody IVRay MoodySusan LawhonJane PowellMary MoodyRobert Patrick MoodyJessica PhillipsStephen Moody
Andrew Ryan NicholasMaxey Dell Moody VAudrey Moody
Madilyn PowellHarrison PowellMary Hannah MoodyRobert Patrick Moody Jr.Mitchell Ryan MoodyZachary Pearson Moody
Taylor LawhonCaroline Lawhon


  1. ^ "United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917–1918," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 02 Feb 2014), Florida > Jacksonville City no 1; Laco, Harry A.-Z; citing NARA microfilm publication M1509 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d).
  2. ^ Weaver, 2001, p. 159.
  3. ^ "M.D. Moody Succumbs to Heart Attack". Florida Times-Union. July 28, 1949.
  4. ^ "Ocala Evening Star". The Ocala Banner. April 15, 1909. Retrieved February 18, 2014.
  5. ^ "The Ocala Banner". The Ocala Banner. April 30, 1909. Retrieved February 18, 2014.
  6. ^ "Ocala Occurrences". The Ocala Evening Star. June 8, 1901.
  7. ^ "Ocala Occurrences". Ocala Evening Star. December 6, 1913. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
  8. ^ "Ocala Occurrences". Ocala Evening Star. January 16, 1908.
  9. ^ "Moody-Muller". April 15, 1909. Retrieved February 20, 2014.
  10. ^ "Local and personal". The Ocala Banner. April 30, 1909.
  11. ^ "From Mule To Horse Power Is Moody Story In North Florida". Enginews (May): 2–3. 1953.
  12. ^ "Latest Locals". Ocala Evening-Star. September 24, 1919. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
  13. ^
  14. ^ "M. D. Moody Succumbs to Heart Attack". Florida Times-Union. July 27, 1949.
  15. ^ "John Henry Dux Sr". Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  16. ^ "Dorothy Boyd Moody". Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  17. ^ "Judy Irene Moody". Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  18. ^ "EthelButler". Retrieved 12 June 2017.


  • Weaver, Delores Barr and J. Wayne Weaver (2001). "Jacksonville: Crown of the First Coast". Towery Publishing, Inc.
  • Taylor, Paul (2012). "Discovering the Civil War in Florida: A Reader and Guide". Second Edition. Pineapple Press