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Moore, Robert


Posted By: Bill Rathbun (email)
Date: 3/5/2004 at 23:56:12

The Fairfield Daily Journal, Mon., Feb. 4, 1907, Page 2, col. 2.

Glasgow Pioneer Crossed the Continent to California With Ox Team

The recent death of Robert Moore, at Glasgow, in the minds of pioneers of Jefferson and Van Buren Counties, recalls the remarkable experiences of this man who went half way round the world in search of gold.

Robert Moore thrice crossed this continent, sailed the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, risking his life on the Western Plains, in California mining camps and in Central America, only to decide at last that on a well tilled Iowa farm he would most surely find wealth. Having made nothing in his trips with the “49-ers” he died at the age of 88, a well to do farmer. He was a pioneer of Round Prairie township and has lived in Jefferson County since 1840.

Mr. Moore was present at the first Territorial land sale in what is now the state of Iowa, and lived to see a most remarkable transformation take place in the state of his choice.

He was born on the Ohio River in Dearborn County, Ind., Jan. 4, 1819 and died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. S. F. Watkins, near Glasgow, Jan. 29, 1907, age 88 years and 25 days. His wife died Dec. 8, 1903, since which time he has made his home with Mr. And Mrs. Watkins, where he had the best of care during his long illness.

In 1838 he removed with his father’s family to Van Buren County where his mother died in 1860. And his father passed to his reward three years later. In 1840 he bought land near Glasgow and in 1841 married Miss Sarah Stewart. With a good wife to help him, Mr. Moore was able to make many improvements on his farm which he still owned at the time of his death.

In 1850 he crossed the plains to California. The trip was made with an ox team and one hundred and eleven days were required to make the passage from the Missouri River to Cold Springs, California, where he was successfully engaged in mining about two years. Not wishing to brave the dangers and hardships of a trip across the country, he returned to his home by way of the Isthmus of Panama and New York City. In 1860 he again made a trip to the fields of gold. This time his destination was Pike’s Peak, Colo., and a few months sufficed to convince him it would be more profitable for him to return to his farm in Iowa than to seek for gold where none was to be found. A third time, in 1862, he again traveled westward, visiting Oregon and Idaho.

His experiences in this and Van Buren Counties are also worthy of mention. The hardships incident to frontier life were not unknown to the family, neither its pleasures and enjoyments.

One incident in his early life is worthy of mention. While living in Van Buren County he started on a trip to the mouth of the Des Moines river for some goods that had been shipped to that point. On reaching Lexington he was asked to take charge of a box which was to be conveyed down the river. He consented and undertook this mission but there seemed to be something mysterious connected with the affair, and in course of time it was discovered that the box contained the bones of the Indian Chief Black Hawk, which had been stolen by Dr. Turner, who took them to St. Louis, where he expected to obtain a sum of money for them. Failing in this he brought the bones back to Quincy, Illinois….

Mr. Moore was for many years a member of the Free Methodist Church of Mt. Zion. Father of ten children but five have been called home. Remaining are William, living in Colorado; Margaret, the wife of Alan Dowd, of Nebr.; Annie, wife of J. F. Hogate of Omaha, Nebr.; Emma, wife of S. F. Watkins at Glasgow, and Etta, wife of Louis Natz (Nady), of Fairfield. Funeral services conducted by Rev. J. Lee at Mt. Zion Church. A large audience attended the service performed to the memory of this venerable Christian… Pallbearers were: Louis Kiger, Walter Stewart, John Howell, Geo. Watkins, Chester Metz and Elmer Metz, who carried the casket and lowered it by the side of his faithful wife who had fought with him life’s battles for more than 62 years.


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