Maternal

Moores of Mount Washington

Recently I have been doing more research on my great-grandmother Mae’s Moore Family. Her dad was named Fred Lowell Moore and, according to his death certificate, he was born in Coldwater, Michigan in 1863. His parents were Andrew Lowell Moore and Mary J. Lyman. Andrew was born in Mount Washington, Berkshire, Massachusetts. He and at least 3 of his brothers made their way to west to Michigan. Andrew’s parents were John Moore and Clarissa Sparks.

Andrew L. Moore, on left. His son Lee at right, grandson Charles T. Moore, and great-grandson Lee Jr.

John and Clarissa were married around 1812 and they lived mostly in Mount Washington. They had at least 10 children, including Abigail (1813-1885), Betsey (1816-1903), Michael (1818–1897), Benjamin (1820–1897), Louisa (1822–1898), John (1824–1897), Clarissa (1828–1921), Andrew (1830–1918), George (1832–1904), and Sabra (1837–1921). About 1847, they moved to Batavia, Genesee, New York, where Clarissa died in 1850 and John in 1857.

To Michigan, Boys!

Benjamin Moore was born on January 28, 1820 in Mount Washington, Massachusetts. He married Prudence Lee there on February 23, 1843. According to his obituary (Middleville Sun, 12/16/1897), he was converted in 1841 and commenced his ministry as a Congregational pastor at the age of 27. His obituary states that he preached in Batavia and Honeoye, New York, Plano, Illinois [1874-1876], Dowagiac and Wayland, Michigan, and finally, Middleville, Michigan. In the 1850 and 1860 censuses, he and Prudence lived in Batavia, New York and he was a farmer. Apparently ministry wasn’t his full time job until later his in career because in the 1870 census for Dowagiac, Michigan, he was a dry goods merchant. According to the “Minutes of the General Association of the Congregational Churches of Michigan” for 1873, he began his ministry in Wayland, Michigan on November 12, 1871 with a congregation of 42 people and in Middleville on January 1, 1876 with a congregation of 68. In the 1880 census, he was listed with his wife Prudence and their son Harmon Lee in Middleville, Michigan. His occupation was preacher. Prudence died on September 27, 1892. Benjamin’s obituary said that since her death, he had “constantly mourned her absence, often spending half days at her grave.” In January 1897, he attended his brother John’s funeral in Ann Arbor. Benjamin passed away on December 9, 1897 at the age of 77. His last words apparently were, “I am almost home.”

Benjamin Moore’s tombstone in Mount Hope Cemetery, Middleville, Michigan

John Moore was born on March 23, 1824 in Mount Washington. He married Emily Calkins on April 27, 1848 in Batavia, New York. He and Emily lived next to Benjamin in the 1850 census with their nine-month-old daughter Agnes. He was a farmer. According to his obituary (Ann Arbor Register, 1/14/1897), they moved to Jonesville, Michigan in 1855 and then to Niles, Michigan in 1859, where he “engaged in the book and drug business.” In the 1860 census, he was a druggist in Niles living with his wife Emily, daughter Agnes (10), son George (7), daughter Ida (3), daughter Mary (10 months), and two relatives of Emily’s, Frances and Edwin Calkins. In 1868, they moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan and purchased a book business. In the 1870 census, John was a book merchant in Ann Arbor with a personal estate of $15,000 living with wife Emily, daughter Agnes (20), son George (17), daughter Ida (13), daughter Nettie (5), and son John (1) . In the 1880 census, he was a bookstore owner living on South Division Street in Ann Arbor with his wife Emily, daughter Nettie (15), son John (12), and daughter Lucy (9). John sold out his book business to George Wahr in 1883. He was then a druggist again until his death. He died Friday, January 8, 1897 and was buried in Forest Hill Cemetery in Ann Arbor. Emily lived with her daughter Lucy and her family in Detroit in the 1900 census. She died on May 11, 1917.

Site of John Moore’s bookstore (to the right of the building’s entrance) in Ann Arbor’s Gregory House, c1868 (http://quod.lib.umich.edu/m/moaa/x-bl000823/bl000823)

Andrew Moore was born on February 13, 1830 in Mount Washington. In the 1850 census, he was living with his parents John and Clarissa in Batavia, New York. Three siblings were living there as well – Clarissa (22), George (17), and Sabra Ann (12). He married Mary J. Lyman in September 1855 in Stafford, New York. In 1860, he and Mary and their 11-month-old son Lee were living in Pembroke, New York. Mary’s sister Amanda Lyman was living with them as well. By 1870, the family had moved to Little Rock, Illinois (near Plano). In the 1870 census (enumerated on July 9), Andrew was a druggist, living with his wife, son Lee (10), son Fred (7), daughter Cora Libbie (7 months), and Mary’s sister Cora Lyman (24), who died on July 21, 1870. In 1880, Andrew, Mary, and daughter Mary Frances (2) were boarding with Eliza Haines in Plymouth, Michigan, where Andrew was a general store keeper. By 1900, they were living in Sandwich, Illinois where Andrew was still a druggist. His future son-in-law Francis Newton was boarding with them as well. He was a drug salesman. Andrew’s wife Mary died in March 1904. He moved in with his daughter and son-in-law and died on October 3, 1918. They are buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery in Sandwich, Illinois.


George F. Moore, of Edson, Moore & Company, in center (From Detroit Historical Museum, 1974.129.001)

George Moore was born on December 10, 1832. In 1850, he was living with his parents and 3 of his siblings in Batavia, New York. He married Adela Mosher in 1855. According to one of his obituaries (Buffalo Evening News, 3/31/1904), he “spent several years in the dry goods store of Seymour & Wells” in Batavia. Then, “in company with George[sic] L. Edson of LeRoy he went to Buffalo in the same business, and later in company with Edson removed to Detroit.” This move to Detroit occurred around 1859. George, Adela, and their 2-month-old son George Jr. were living in the city of Detroit in the 1860 census. George Sr. was a clerk in a dry goods store. In 1867, George, his friend James L. Edson, Allan Shelden, and Zachariah Chandler formed the dry goods business Allan Shelden & Co. In 1870, he was doing very well for himself as a wholesale dealer in dry goods with a personal estate of $30,000 and real estate of $7,000. He and his wife had 3 more children and 2 servants living with them. In 1872, he and Edson formed Edson, Moore & Company, a dry goods store, with Ransom Gillis (yes, this Ransom Gillis) and two others. Their business was located on the corner of Jefferson and Bates. The May 10, 1879 Detroit Free Press featured the news that George and his wife would be sailing for Europe where they would remain for four months. In 1880, George, Adela, George Jr. (20), Willis (18), Hattie (16), and Adela (14) were living on Winder Street in Detroit.

In 1881, George built a beautiful house at what was 1010 Woodward Avenue (https://digitalcollections.detroitpubliclibrary.org/islandora/object/islandora%3A149118)

In December 1882, “George F. Moore…had the misfortune to lose by death his fine young pug puppy, presented to him by Mr. [Hiram] Walker, of Walkerville” (Detroit Free Press, 12/13/1882, p. 6). George’s wife and children were a staple of the society pages in the 1880s and 1890s. George Jr. married Luella Lockwood in May 1885. She was a composer, known for her orchestral suite My Lady’s Boudoir. Hattie married John A. Heames in a lavish ceremony in April 1887 (she died on July 1, 1888, two weeks after the birth and death of their son). And George’s youngest, Adela, married J. Ledlie Hees in October 1887. They moved to Fonda, New York. On November 25, 1893, the Edson, Moore & Co. building caught fire and 5 employees died. The company continued until 1974 in various locations. James Edson died in 1895. Adela died in New York City on October 28, 1902. George died in Florida on March 25, 1904. He and his wife are buried in the family vault in Detroit’s Elmwood Cemetery.

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