THEODORE B. MOORE is the senior member of the firm Moore & Franklin, and successors to Moore & Falls, real estate, insurance and loans at Liberal, and has been a factor in the varied development and business enterprise of this part of the Southwest for a number of years.
Mr. Moore is a native of Kansas, born in Chase County February 4, 1862. His grandfather, Samuel C. Moore, was a native of North Carolina, lived in one of the western counties of that state, was a Quaker, and as his association with that faith would indicate, was a pronounced abolitionist. About the opening of the Civil war he migrated to Indiana, and the property he left behind in North Carolina was confiscated by the Confederate Government. Later he came on to Kansas and he died in Chase County. He married Mary Bundy, and their children were: Morris, John B., Joseph, Samuel C., Jr., Eli J., Abigail, who married John Morgan, Rebecca, who became the wife of Robert B. Brown, and Hulda J., who married Joseph O. Binford.
Morris C. Moore, father of the Liberal business man, was born in Guilford County, North Carolina, was reared and educated there and in that county married Rebecca M. Beals, who was born in Eastern Tennessee, daughter of Abram Beals. Morris Moore and family went from North Carolina to Hancock County, Indiana, and from there in 1859 came west to Kansas Territory. He was one of the pioneers in Lyon County, and filed on a homestead northwest of Emporia. Later he moved to Chase County, entering land four miles east of Cottonwood Falls. The rest of his life was spent there and he died in 1870, when about thirty-five years old. Though his activities were those of a farmer and stockman he acquired considerable prominence in his locality. He was a man of great ambition and a leader in the republican party. He remained true to the faith in which he was reared, that of the Friends. His widow survived him and afterwards married Barclay Thomas and now lives at Whittier, California. By her marriage to Morris Moore she was the mother of the following children: Ada V., wife of Dr. D. F. Janeway, of Stillwater, Oklahoma; Theodore B.; Marcellus E., of Ontario, California; Mary Rosetta, who died in young womanhood; Sarah Isabel, for many years a teacher in the Morgan Park schools of Chicago; Laura M., wife of Warren S. Wood, of Lawrence, Kansas.
Theodore B. Moore was for many years active in educational lines and gained considerable prominence as a school man in Kansas. He grew up on a farm, had a rural environment, but managed to acquire more than an ordinary education in district schools, and afterwards used the means acquired by teaching to give him some of the best advantages obtainable anywhere. While teaching he attended the Kansas State Normal and graduated in the elementary course in 1888. Later he was one of the early students of the University of Chicago, where he did special work in the sciences. He began teaching in Chase County, in one of the country schools. Later he was principal of Matfield Green School, and from that position was elevated by popular election to the office of county superintendent of Chase County. During his official term of two years he made some notable improvements, especially in grading the schools in the county, and in creating sentiment in favor of the practical observance of Arbor Day and the general planting of trees. He also instituted the practice of graduation from the common schools. On leaving the office of county superintendent he became principal at Cullison, Kansas, later was principal of the Syracuse schools and of Almena, and he put special work and training gained at the University of Chicago to use in his position as science teacher and assistant principal of the Norton County High School, an office he held three years. On leaving the schoolroom Mr. Moore became representative of a Chicago publishing house in Oklahoma, with headquarters at Hobart. For three years he sold school supplies, and while thus engaged he entered a homestead in Beaver County, out in the Strip or No Man's Land, and while proving up on that land he continued to sell school supplies for a time.
It was in 1903 that Mr. Moore entered his homestead in Beaver County, Oklahoma, and remained there six years, proving and improving his claim. At the same time he established business connections at Tyrone, Oklahoma, and at Liberal, Kansas. His Oklahoma pioneer home was a frame building 16x18 feet on the southeast quarter of section 28, township 5, range 20. Later he enlarged this. Mr. Moore's success as a farmer was quite encouraging. He raised generous quantities of grain and feed, and handled a growing and increasingly profitable herd of cattle. He increased his farm to a half section, and subsequently sold it and bought other land in Texas County, Oklahoma, where he is still interested. On his homestead he grew a fine grove and orchard, and his sheds and other buildings and especially his fine orchard and grove furthermore marked him as one of the most earnest developers in that region.
On leaving the farm Mr. Moore came to Liberal, where he had already established connections in the real estate business with his old partner, N. L. Falls, with whom he had been in similar business at Tyrone, Oklahoma. The firm of Moore & Falls have handled a large amount of property on commission, were pioneers in the insurance business at Liberal, and also represented the Railroad Building and Loan Association of Newton, Kansas, in placing city loans and the Farm Mortgage Trust Company of Topeka, Kansas, for farm loans. A large volume of insurance on city and farm property has been written through their office. Moore and Franklin are continuing the work in all these lines in the same office.
Mr. Moore has not lost his interest in schools and education. He is one of the directors of the Playground Association of Liberal and his former experience as a teacher has enabled him to render some very valuable service in that office. He and his family are active Methodists, and he has for several years served as church treasurer, is one of the church stewards and is in charge of the teachers' training class of the Sunday school. Politically he began voting as a republican, later was enrolled in the populist party and was elected county superintendent on that ticket. Finally he supported some prohibition party candidates, and is now a democrat, though reserving the right to support the man in preference to the party.
At Allen in Lyon County, Kansas, August 29, 1889, Mr. Moore married Jessie C. Layton. Mrs. Moore was born August 31, 1866, at Johnstown, Pennsylvania, and it is perhaps of interest to note that she was married the same year that the great and calamitous flood overwhelmed her birthplace. Her parents, Hiram T. and Fannie (Willett) Layton, came to Kansas and her father was a carpenter, cabinet maker and farmer near Allen. Mrs. Moore is the oldest of a family of three daughters and four sons. Mr. and Mrs. Moore have a daughter and a son, Lula Myrtle and Donald T. Myrtle is a graduate of the Liberal High School and is now teaching music in Liberal.
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.,  leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.
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