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Oklahoma Family Tree Stories

This beautiful sculpture of three redbud trees is located just outside the Eleanor and John Kirkpatrick Research Center in the Oklahoma History Center. Each leaf of the Oklahoma Family Tree memorializes an Oklahoma family with the family surname, first name(s), and the town or county where they lived. In addition, a short family history is preserved in the digital family history book at the base of the tree. Sponsoring a leaf is a special way to recognize your family history and benefit future generations at the same time. To find out how to honor your own family with a leaf visit the Oklahoma Family Tree Project page.

Moore Family

Family Tree Leaf
Moore, John Daley & Willa Paris
Guthrie, Logan County

John Daley Moore was born on March 15, 1873, in Estill County, Kentucky. His family traces its roots to the early settlement of Madison and Estill County, where Daniel Boone established Fort Boonesborough in the 1770s. John's parents, Daniel (November 6, 1838 – February 24, 1917) and Nancy (née Taylor) (March 23, 1845 – January 23, 1921) were born in Estill County.

At age 23, Daniel was mustered into Company C, 14th Kentucky Volunteer Calvary, as a private in the U.S. Army. He became ill in the line of duty and was sent to the Mt. Sterling, Kentucky hospital for seven weeks of treatment. He was captured by Confederates soon after returning to duty and was taken to Winchester, Kentucky, where he was robbed of his money, overcoat, blanket, and boots. Suffering from three days of exposure to cold and snow, he once again fell ill and was taken to Camp Dennison, Ohio for exchange. He was diagnosed with pneumonia and received medical treatment for about a month.

Daniel was mustered out of the 14th Kentucky Volunteers on September 16, 1863. He married Nancy Taylor in Estill County on January 7, 1864. When Daniel failed to return to good health, he began the long, tortuous process of applying for his Civil War pension. The Bureau of Pensions would only recognize an affidavit from a medical professional to approve pensions. As Daniel could find neither the doctors who treated him nor records of his treatment, his numerous applications were denied. He received his pension after Congress passed an act in 1890 that allowed veterans a twelve-dollar-a-month pension if they had served at least 90 days and been honorably discharged.

As a descendant of pioneer farming stock, Daniel was anxious to own his own land, and he knew that his best opportunity was to move west and stake his claim to a 160-acre homestead. He, Nancy, and their seven sons and one daughter traveled by train to Oklahoma Territory in the 1890s. John Daley, their middle child, and his younger brother, Frank, traveled in a box car on a freight train. Their companions included farm animals that had to be fed and watered during the week-long journey. John Daley had to hide Frank when they stopped to load and unload freight because only one person was allowed to accompany the animals. Even though railroad detectives were always searching for hobos and scofflaws, the two brothers made it to their destination without incident.

John Daley's father, Daniel, was able to obtain a federal land patent on 160 acres in Logan County, Oklahoma Territory on June 30, 1898. By then, the Moores' sons had gone out on their own. John Daley leased a farm near Shawnee on Kickapoo Indian land where he cooked and cleaned his small, make-shift cabin. The Indians were always watching but never bothered him.

John Daley's farm was close to J. B. and Sallie Evelyn Paris's place in Logan County. Eventually, John Daley met their daughter, Willa Clara, who was nine years his junior. He courted her by attending pie suppers and other community events. They were married on January 1, 1902, in Guthrie. He had saved enough money to buy an 80-acre farm from his father. The farm was in Bear Creek's fertile bottomland in Logan County. He built a house where he and Willa Clara raised three children: Francis Dale (b. 1903); Jay Harold (b. 1905); and Daisy Evelyn (b. 1907).

About 1908, John Daley traded his first farm for another one near Coyle. After about four years at this location, he traded his farm for another one west of Mulhall. He and his family moved there on January 1, 1912, during one of the coldest winters on record. They built bonfires in the yard and used them for cooking until they constructed a proper kitchen and equipped it with a wood stove for heating and cooking. Their fourth child, John Dwight (b. 1914) was born there.

When Harold and Dale were ready to start high school, John Daley sold the farm and moved with his family to Guthrie where the Moores' last child, Glenn Owen (b. 1921) was born. John Daley purchased and maintained several rental houses and leased the pasture across the road from his family's home for his cows. The enterprising John Daley supplemented his income by selling eggs, chickens, and dairy products to his neighbors, and he was within walking distance of his rental properties. He served as a bailiff in the Logan County Courthouse and worked for Furrow's Greenhouse and Terrill's Dairy Company.

John Daley Moore died on August 10, 1958. His widow, Willa Clara, died on July 19, 1971. Both are buried in the Summit View cemetery in Guthrie, Logan County, Oklahoma.

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