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Below is a family biography included in Book of Biographies: Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens, Cortland County, New York published by Biographical Publishing Company in 1898.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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WILLIAM H. MOORE of East River, Homer township, this county, has been a miller all his life, and has resided in many localities in New York State while following his business. He is a most affable and congenial man, with numbers of intimate friends, and a host of acquaintances. In his township and throughout the county he is influential and popular, and ranks as a man of prominence, especially in a political sense. For over forty years he has been a resident of Cortland County, a greater part of that time living in Homer township, whose interests he has served most faithfully. His connection with the organization of the Republican party in this county will be recalled with interest by those who followed his leadership at that time. It was in his mill that the first secret meetings were held that realized in the launching of a new political party in this district. His counsel was then the first sought, but of late years he has not been especially active in politics, leaving this to younger men. Mr. Moore is now engaged in managing the mill of the Cortland Wagon Co., at East River.

He was born in the town of Walkill, Ulster County, N. Y., February 18, 1824, and was a son of John and Elizabeth Moore. The family is of English extraction. Mr. Moore’s father was a native of Walkill, and there spent the years of his active life, but died in Monticello, Sullivan County, N. Y., in 1874, at the age of seventy-five years. He worked at the trade of stone-mason. His wife died in 1856, when about sixty years old. They had a family of eight children, as follows: John, deceased; William H., the subject of this narrative; Daniel S., deceased; Alfred H. of Brooklyn, N. Y.; Sarah J., deceased; Elsie Decker, deceased; Susan Ann, the widow of Joshua Rundell of Monticello, Sullivan county, N. Y., and Mary Elizabeth, the wife of Warren Cutler of Woburn, Mass.

Our subject was educated in the district schools of Ulster County, N. Y., which schooling however ceased when he was eleven years old, for at that age he went to work for a farmer, with whom he lived five years, after which he made his own way in life. In 1840 he began learning the milling trade at Monticello, N. Y., and remained there six years, in which term of service he finished his trade so far as country milling was concerned. He then went to Orange County, where in Mt. Hope he conducted a milling business on shares for two years, after which he was engaged for one year under similar circumstances in Minosink township, of the same county. For one year nearly, following, he was at work for the Erie R. R. He next went to the north part of Sullivan County, and for one year engaged in milling. In 1851 he came to East Virgil, this county, and ran a mill on shares at that place for one year, after which he removed to Virgil Corners, and worked in the mill there for three years and a half. He subsequently went West, and worked nearly a year in Janesville, Wis. He then returned to the mill at Virgil Corners, and operated it for four years; upon leaving that place he went to Marathon, where he rented a mill and conducted a very successful business for the space of two years. About this time, while a resident of Cortland village, he became interested in a patent buckwheat huller, which he, himself, invented and patented.

After one year that was taken up with this patent, he went to McLean, Tompkins County, and there engaged in the manufacture of the huller, later becoming interested in a machine shop at McLean with his brother, Alfred, running the business under the style of Moore Bros, for two years. Having dissolved partnership, he went to North Lansing, and worked in a mill for G. D. Crittenden for three years, when he came to East Virgil, and took charge of the mill he had operated there before when he first came to the county. After putting in nearly a year there, he moved to Blodgett’s Mills, and was engaged at his trade there from October until about the first of March, when the mill burned down. After this occurrence he worked in J. A. Tisdale’s mill, located between Cortland and Homer, being in the employ of that gentleman for thirteen years. In 1883, he came to East River, and took charge of the mill owned by the Cortland Wagon Co., under a stipulated agreement that he was to furnish his experience against the capital and property of the Cortland Wagon Co., the net profits to be divided equally. This arrangement was continued very satisfactorily for both parties for nine years, when in 1893, Mr. Moore wishing to withdraw from business, he was made manager on a salary. There are few men in the milling business who have had so long and varied an experience in all the ins and outs of the trade as our subject, and there are still fewer who are so well qualified to give their judgment.

Our subject, as we have stated before, is a stanch and bed-rock Republican, and although now not quite so active in practical politics as in years past, his sympathies are with the workers, and he is still ready to do what he can in the interest of the party of “protection and prosperity,” whenever the call is made. He was a justice of the peace in Virgil two years, that being a long time before the term of that office was lengthened by the State Legislature to ten years. He represented the party in county, district and state conventions, and was for a long period the acknowledged leader of the Republican township organization. He united with the First Baptist Church of Homer in 1874, and has ordered his life consistently with the church regulations. He has filled the office of trustee.

Mr. Moore married on August 14, 1853, Fidelia McVean, daughter of Alexander McVean, of East Virgil, and has had two children — William A. of Baltimore, Md., who is engaged in the manufacture of rubber type and electrotypes; and John C. of California, who is a mechanical engineer, with his headquarters in San Francisco.

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This family biography is one of numerous biographies included in Book of Biographies: Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens, Cortland County, New York published in 1898. 

View additional Cortland County, New York family biographies here: Cortland County, New York Biographies

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