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Gregory Townsend Bedell Moore Papers

 Collection
Identifier: A-0129
SKETCH OF THE LIFE OF GREGORY BEDELL MOORE, compiled by Mrs. Bedell Moore [his daughter-in-law?] consists of photocopies of two volumes of handwritten narratives with photographs, clippings, and church programs interspersed. The volumes contain information about Moore's family, businesses, activities in the Episcopal Church, and philanthropic organizations.

The volume HENRY J. LUTCHER AND G. BEDELL MOORE'S TRIP TO TEXAS 1877 contains details of their journey from Williamsport, PA westward. The diary, written by Moore (he refers to "Mr. Lutcher" on p. 22), describes railroad travel, cities visited, hotels and other accommodations, food, backwoods people, timber stands, rivers, and machinery for sawmills. Cities they toured in Texas included Houston, Galveston, Orange, Beaumont, and San Antonio.

Dates

  • Event: Donated 3/18/1983
  • Event: Addendum donated 5/5/1987

Language of Materials

The collection is in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Open for research.

Extent

0.20 Cubic Feet

Biographical or Historical Information

Gregory Townsend Bedell Moore, son of Richard Channing Moore and Julia Grant Moore, was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey in 1840. His father was a Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church there for twenty-one years. In 1857 the family moved to Williamsport, Pennsylvania, where Richard C. Moore became Rector of Christ Church. At the age of seventeen Bedell went to work for the Taylor and Endsworth Lumber Company and quickly advanced from hauling sawdust to marking logs, measuring lumber, and bookkeeping, thus becoming well-acquainted with all facets of the lumber business. In the 1860s he started his own business with a small sawmill, and in 1868 he formed a partnership With Henry Jacob Lutcher. Realizing that lumber resources were soon to be depleted in the East, Moore and Lutcher took a trip West in 1877 and decided to move to Orange, Texas, where a sawmill and lumber and shingle plant appeared to be a good investment. Lutcher moved to Texas first, while Moore remained in Pennsylvania long enough to close out the old business.

Meanwhile, Moore had married Alice Clements. They were parents of two children, Julia Grant (Pearlie") born May 25, 1868, and Hilgard born December 5, l869. The children became ill with diphtheria in 1875 and died about a month apart. Alice Moore did not thrive in Orange, Texas and the Moores spent a lot of time in San Antonio, where the drier climate seemed to help. They moved there permanently in 1893. About that same timed Lutcher became unable to continue working, so Moore had the full burden of the company for several years. Feeling the strain, Moore eventually sold his interests in the Firm to Lutcher's sons-in-law. In 1902 Moore began buying large tracts of land in the Rio Grande Valley, intending to promote irrigation projects there. He built a large office building in Del Rio and organized the Val Verde Irrigation Company and the San Felipe Irrigation and Manufacturing Company. In 1903 he purchased the C. Bender and Sons sawmill in Polk County and started the Hilgard Lumber Company, named for his son. He was part owner of the West Texas Bank and Trust Company in San Antonio, an institution strong enough to survive the Panic of 1897. Moore was a generous philanthropist, endowing the Carnegie Library in San Antonio with a $10,000 book fund in memory of his first wife, Alice, who died on September 28, 1900. He also financed a Chapel at St. John's Episcopal Church in Elizabeth, New Jersey in memory of his father. Some of the land in Wiilliamsport, Pennsylvania where the first Lutcher and Moore mill was located was deeded to that city as a park. In 1904 Moore met Elizabeth Blasdel at Lake Tahoe, and they here married the following year on April 12th. By then Moore was suffering from a weakened heart. The couple moved to California hoping to improve his health. Moore died on October 14, 1908 in Santa Barbara, California. An infant son, bearing his name, survived him.

("MOORE, G BEDELL." The Handbook of Texas Online. http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/view/MM/fmo27.html  [Accessed Fri Jun 18 11:47:23 US/Central 2004 ]; "G. Townsend Bedell Moore Papers." East Texas Research Center. Ralph W. Steen Library. Stephen F. Austin State University).

Arrangement

This collection is described in three folders and housed in one clamshell box. The collection is organized at the folder level.
Title
Guide to the Gregory Townsend Bedell Moore Papers

Repository Details

Part of the East Texas Research Center Repository

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