Jesse H. Moore

JESSE H. MOORE is the cashier of the Oketo State Bank. The Moore family has for many years been identified with banking and other affairs of Marshall County, and Mr. Moore's father was the founder of the present bank, his mother is now its president, and this excellent Kansas woman has another special distinction as being one of the few women of the state to hold the office of mayor of a town.

The Oketo State Bank's history begins in 1889, when Z. H. Moore started it as a private bank. In 1900 it was reorganized under state charter. It is an institution of large resources and an effective factor in the financial affairs of the community. It has a capital of $10,000 and surplus of $25,000. The present officers are: Mrs. L. G. Moore, president; P J. Eychaner, vice president; J. H. Moore, cashier; and Henry C. Waters, Jr., assistant cashier.

Mr. Jesse H. Moore was born at Oketo, Kansas, August 20, 1884. He received his education in the public schools there, graduating from high school in 1900, and in. 1907 he received his Bachelor degree from Baker University. While at Baker he was a member of the Kappa Sigma college fraternity. In the meantime he had become associated with his father in the banking business, at first as assistant cashier, and in 1908 was promoted to his present position as cashier. Besides his home on East Street he has acquired other property and is interested in farms in Marshall, Trego and Logan counties. Politically Mr. Moore is a republican. He is a member of the Oketo School Board has served in the City Council, and in religious affiliations he is a Friend or Quaker. He is past master of Oketo Lodge No. 25, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons.

In 1911, at Topeka, he married Miss Margaret Betzer, daughter of I. L. and Mary E. Betzer. Her parents still live in Topeka, where he is in the loan and bond business.

The late Ziba Hibbard Moore was for many years a prominent figure in Marshall County, and died at Oketo December 19, 1916. He was born near Avondale in Chester County, Pennsylvania, March 14, 1845. He grew up in his native community, was married in Adams County, Pennsylvania, and in early life followed the trade of carpenter. In 1875 he went to the Indian reservation in Gage County, Nebraska, and was employed as a carpenter by the Indian Agency. In the fall of 1879 he removed to Oketo, Kansas, and was a merchant there until he established his bank in 1889. He was sole owner of the private bank and president after it was reorganized. His widow, a very capable business woman, has followed him in that office. Ziba H. Moore was a very strong advocate of republican principles. He served one term as mayor of Oketo. Both he and his wife were birthright Quakers, and in the absence of a Friends church at Oketo he gave his active support to the Methodist denomination. He was also affiliated with Oketo Lodge No. 25, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons. In 1905 he erected a modern home, perhaps the best in Oketo, now occupied by his widow.

For a number of generations the Moore family lived and did their part in the life and affairs of Pennsylvania. David Moore, grandfather of the late Ziba H. Moore, was born November 10, 1767, and died September 10, 1823. His wife, Martha, was born October 12, 1772, and died October 8, 1870, when nearly one hundred years old. Their children were: Mary Moore, born October 13, 1792, and died May 15, 1858; Lydia Moore, born February 7, 1795, died in March, 1883; William Moore, born July 22, 1796; Sidney Moore, born January 29, 1798; Ziba Moore, mentioned below; Esther Moore, born September 11, 1801, and died November 27, 1842; Sarah Moore, born in September, 1803, and died October 9, 1887; Hibbard Moore, born in March, 1806, and died June 18, 1867; Hannah Moore, born September, 1808; Sharpless Moore, born November 14, 1811, and died November 10, 1866; and Isaac Moore, born August 9, 1813, and died October 22, 1859.

Ziba Moore, father of the late Ziba H. Moore, was born in Pennsylvania January 16, 1800, spent his life in Pennsylvania as a farmer and cabinet maker, and died in Chester County December 30, 1846. He married Mary Bell on December 1, 1831. She was born March 25, 1805, and died July 13, 1880. The record of their children is as follows: Phebe Ann, born December 15, 1832, died July 14, 1909; David, born July 15, 1834, died July 23, 1867; Sabella E., deceased; Martha, who resides in Chester County, Pennsylvania, widow of Samuel Thompson, a farmer; Richard B., born July 4, 1839, a veteran of the Civil war and now a retired farmer living at Topeka, Kansas; Rachael C., born August 11, 1842, died May 2, 1847; Ziba H., whose record has been given above.

Ziba H. Moore married Lavina Griest, who was born in Adams County, Pennsylvania, ten miles north of the city of Gettysburg. She attended the public schools there, and also had two terms in a private school in Pennsylvania, and for two years taught in Adams County. She is a member of the Friends Church, belongs to the Royal Neighbors and the Order of Eastern Star, and is the present mayor of the little town of Oketo. She has two children, Edgar Hiram and Jesse Howard. The older son, Edgar Hiram, is manager of the Oketo Milling & Elevator Company. He married Mary Thomas, of Oketo, and their two children are Margaret and Ziba Thomas.

Mrs. L. G. Moore's grandfather was Cyrus Griest, who was born in York County, Pennsylvania, where he spent most of his life, but died in Adams County. He was a farmer. He married Mary Ann Cook, a native of Baltimore, Maryland. She died in Adams County, Pennsylvania. Their children still living are: Mrs. Moore's father; Hiram, a retired farmer in Adams County, Pennsylvania, Maria, who lives on her farm at Guernsey, Pennsylvania, widow of Charles Tyson, who was a photographer by profession and later a farmer, spending a portion of his career in Baltimore, Maryland, and afterward taking up the culture of the apple in Adams County, Pennsylvania; Elizabeth K., wife of Isaac Wilson, a prominent minister of the Friends Church now retired and living at Bigelersville in Adams County, Pennsylvania; and Amos W., an apple grower at Floradale, Pennsylvania.

Mrs. Moore's father, Hiram Griest, was born in York County, Pennsylvania, December 9, 1827, and is still living at the age of ninety, at his home ten miles north of Gettysburg, at Bendersville. He followed farming during his active career, but for the past twenty years has lived retired. He is a staunch member of the Friends Church. He married Louisa Ellis, who was born in Adams County and died at Bendersville in that county. Their children are: Mrs. L. G. Moore; Emma G., wife of Maurice Walton, a real estate broker at Portland, Oregon; and Mary E., who lives at Bendersville, Pennsylvania, with her father, widow of Howard Gove, who was formerly a merchant at Herman, Nebraska.


A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918; transcribed 1997.
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