Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p., [155] leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.

William E. Moore

WILLIAM E. MOORE. Nothing impresses the historian more, in considering the pioneers of Kansas, than the courage, perseverance and resourcefulness they developed, and the determination and resoluteness with which, when misfortunes overtook them, they continued to press on. That many of them emerged successfully is a happy fact, but few of them would have believed a prophecy made thirty or more years ago, that to them, to their broad and fruitful acres and their growing herds, the nations of the world would be looking for sustenance at a critical time in the country's life. Undoubtedly the settlers who went to Kansas in the '80s were homeseekers, and a number of them, like William E. Moore, one of the substantial ranchmen and valued citizens of Richfield Township, Morton County, brought with them a considerable amount of capital. Unexpected climatic conditions prevailed for some years and not every man who came to Morton County with high hopes for a future of independence possessed the courage to successfully face and overcome the unlooked for hardships. William E. Moore was of different fiber, however. Although his farming experience in Ohio had not prepared him very well for the adversities he met with in Kansas, he quickly adapted himself to circumstances, a theory of his always having been that what is really worth while is secured by working for it.

William E. Moore was born in Brown County, Ohio, April 25, 1856. His parents were Robert C. and Mary (Snedeker) Moore, the former of whom was born in Brown County and the latter was probably brought to the county from Pennsylvania in infancy by her parents, John and Mary (Coulter) Snedeker. Mrs. Moore died in 1861, the devoted mother of the following children: George, Mrs. Emma White, Mrs. Ellen Dixon, William E., Inda, Mrs. Lou Brady and Albert H.

Robert C. Moore was a son of William Moore, who came to Ohio from Kentucky, his ancestors originally being Virginia People. William Moore married a member of the Curry family, and they had two sons and five daughters, namely: Robert C., Joseph William, Mrs. Polly Thompson, Mrs. Phoebe Henry, Mrs. Reece, Mrs. Tucker and Mrs. Snedeker. Robert C. Moore was a man of little pretension, having had few early advantages, but he was a practical business man, possessing the common sense and good judgment that made him a successful farmer and a trader in such commodities as pork, tobacco and stock. He operated a flatboat on the river and sold his produce in the New Orleans market before the Civil war. He always voted with the democratic party but never had any desire for political office, nor did he belong to any church or fraternal organization. He was a good father, husband and neighbor, a respected member of his community. His death occurred on his farm in Brown County in February, 1888, at the age of seventy-eight years.

William E. Moore attended the common schools in Brown County, gave his father assistance and became a farmer. On April 1, 1886, Mr. Moore reached Wellington, Kansas, to which place he had come by railroad, bringing with him about $3,000, good health, a sound constitution and a determination to make this state his permanent home. For one year he remained at Wellington and then came to Morton County and subsequently bought a relinquishment on the southwest quarter of section 1, township 33, range 41. He lived on this place the five years necessary to prove up, his dwelling house being a small two-room frame structure, a great contrast to his present comfortable and commodious ranch house. When he left his homestead he came to his present place, settling on the northeast quarter of section 23, township 33, range 41, deeded land, and around this he has accumulated until he now owns 6,000 acres of ranch and farm. For some of this land he paid as high as $500 a quarter while other parts he bought for $100 a quarter.

Although, as stated above, Mr. Moore had a large sum of money when he came to Kansas, his entire capital was soon exhausted and for legitimate reasons. For the first three years he "farmed out," to use a local phrase, and then began to stock up with cattle, in the meanwhile raising crops of cane and Jerusalem and rice corn. Severe winters were experienced in Morton County and it frequently was difficult to winter his stock and provide sufficiently for his family in those early years. Like other farmers, he tried to grow corn and wheat but as the nearest market was Syracuse, distant fifty-seven miles, this experiment did not prove either profitable or feasable and gradually from being ambitious to be a large grain farmer he turned to cattle growing as the surest income producer. In starting the cattle industry Mr. Moore displayed good judgment. There were, at that time, many settlers who had become discouraged and were abandoning the country, and from these Mr. Moore was able to buy good grade Shorthorn cows. He later began to experiment with Herefords and has come to the conclusion that a cross between the Herefords and Shorthorns makes the best, all-round beef cattle, and his dictum is worth listening to as he has had much experience. It is his present custom to winter his stock on grass, oil cake and hay. For many years he had shipped his cows, they being marketed off the range, while his steers are sold to the feeders in Central and Southern Kansas.

William E. Moore was married in February, 1879, in Brown County, Ohio, to Miss Cora Parker, who is a daughter of Robert Parker, and they have children and grandchildren as follows: Effie, who is the wife of Edward G. Martin, of Garden City, Kansas, and they have two children, Everett R. and Edward Dale; Lee, who is postmaster and a merchant at Richfield, Kansas, married Sula Fox, and they have three sons, William Wendell, Samuel Francis and Robert Wayland.

Mr. Moore began to take an interest in politics before leaving Ohio and gave his support to the democratic party when Grover Cleveland was a candidate, but he voted twice for William McKinley, in 1908 voted for William Jennings Bryan, and in 1912 and again in 1916, for Woodrow Wilson. At different times he has been called to office in township and county, and for eight years was a member of the board of county commissioners. During this time occurred an event of great importance, it being the foreclosure by the board of the county's lien on land delinquent for taxes, and thereby 500 quarters of land fell to the county. This move was opposed by some who proposed to enter into a compromise with delinquent owners, but Mr. Moore finally saw the measure he supported prevail. The land was sold and the indebtedness to the county was paid, save about $3,000, but with a sinking fund of $1,000 and three quarters of land still on hand. During the first year after this sale the land tax was but seventy-five cents on a quarter. Mr. Moore, as chairman of the board, exercised a strict censorship over the bills submitted against the county, and much disappointment resulted to those who had put in a claim for more money than his service was worth. In many other ways he has demonstrated his public spirit and good citizenhsip.[sic] Mr. Moore is a member of Lodge No. 309, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and was made a Master Mason at Syracuse, Kansas.