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William Wilmot Moore 1848-1939 Family History

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William Wilmot Moore 1848-1939 Family History

Transcribed by Kyle Condon

Wm. W. Moore, Sr. Family History  (bio from Clay Co. 1984)

The Moore family came to the U.S. in 1804 from County Tyrone, Ireland.  They bought a farm at New Hope, Pa. and also established a hat factory where they made men's high silk hats.  Two presidents wore them at their inaugurations.


William Wilmot Moore, Sr. was born in Mahoney County, Seville, Ohio, April 27, 1848, the son of Samuel and Mary McKelvey Moore. When he was a young boy, he was taken to a whistle stop on the campaign tour of Abraham Lincoln and was picked up by Lincoln who used him as a 'fail' saying "Now here is a fine example of American Youth".

William Moore, Sr. was married on June 12, 1870 to Zulema Anderson who was born Mar. 3, 1851 at Barberton, Ohio, the daughter of Isaac and Mary Ann Segner Anderson of Marshallville, Ohio, and was one of eleven children.


In 1870, the Moore family came to a farm near Indianapolis on the site of the present day State Fair Grounds and operated the "Best on Earth" soap factory with his brother, George Moore.  In 1879, they were attracted to Clay County by the early rolling mills and blast furnaces, machine shops and deep coal mines of the area.  Brazil served a trading population of 60,000 at that time.  the brothers first operated a flour mill at Knightsville, a boom town then with families from Scotland and England migrating to work in the mills and mines.  About 1880, William W. Moore, Sr. and Richard Kerfoot owned a hardware store located on Main Street in Brazil between Walnut and Franklin Streets.  The first self binder and mowing machine for grain was sold, attracting much attention.


In 1885, the Moore and Ferguson Furniture and Undertaking business was established with George B. Ferguson in a new building next to the old Riddell bank building which also began in 1885.


George B. Ferguson retired in 1919 and sold his interest in undertaking to Wm. W. Moore, Jr. and the furniture interest to Samuel W. Moore.  The firm continued as Wm. W. Moore and Son.  Mr. Ferguson lived to the advanced age of 98, and died in 1934 in Hot Springs, Arkansas.  Wm. W. Moore, Sr. served on the Brazil City Council from 1891 to 1894 and was elected as the twelfth mayor of Brazil, 1903-1904.  He helped build Brazil from a small mining town to a flourishing community.  From muddy streets with rickety board sidewalks to paved brick streets and stone sidewalks, sewers and all modern improvements, splendid business blocks and fine homes in residential areas.


The old Moore family home was built in 1883 of solid red brick with a slate roof, and barns for the horses and carriages used in the business.  The home is till family owned by the third generation of Robert and Dorothy Moore.


The first funeral of the [undertaking] firm was in March of 1885, that of former Mayor, Elias Kilmer who was buried at the entrance of the old Stough cemetery, now known as Cottage Hill.


W. W. Moore, Sr. was active in and organizer of the Brazil Booster Club, which contributed to getting new industry.  Their prime project was raising money to build the Knight-Brinkerhoff Piano factory, East Brazil, later the Stout Furniture, Car-na-Var plan, Twigg Industries, 7-UP Bottling and at present, the Metal Industries property.


W. W. Moore, Sr. was credited with the early development of the deep wells and reservoir for the water works which was expanded due to the increase in the population of the area.  At present, the site is being beautified.


In 1914, Wm. W. Moore and Son purchased the property east of the old Post Office, next to the Dr. Tulley home (now the Eagles Lodge) and remodeled it into a chapel and undertaking business location. About this time, Wm. W. Moore, Jr. joined his father in the firm.  In 1933, the third generation, Robert T. Moore began as a member of the business after graduation from high school.


W. W. Moore, Sr. died at the age of 91, Apr. 19, 1939.  Mrs. W. W. Moore, Sr. died at 78, Nov. 1929.   She had been very active in social and church activities and the early development of the community working with those less fortunate.  She was also interested in the Public Library, served as a board member, was a charter member of the Women's Reading Club, and a member of the First Presbyterian Church.  She helped organize a drive to sell lots and raise money to build the early hospital.


Mr. and Mrs. Moore were the parents of five children:  Gertrude Daisy Moore Roland, born Feb. 17, 1875, died Dec. 16, 1959; Eva Moore Zimmerman, born July 11, 1873, died May 31, 1945; Samuel W. Moore, born Nov. 19, 1880, died July 19, 1967;  Wm. W. Moore, Jr. born March 28, 1885, died Nov. 25, 1975; Mary E. Moore, born Nov. 14, 1888, surviving at age 95, living with her niece at Dunellon, Florida.

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