James Harrison Moore, M.D.

from Mercer County, Kentucky – Biographies

James Harrison Moore, M.D.

The original ancestor of the numerous and influential Southern family represented by the subject of this sketch, was Thomas Moore, who came from the vicinity of Liverpool and Bristol, England, at an early period and settled on the bank of the Nomonce River in Westmoreland County, Virginia, where he began as one of the pioneers of that section, living in peace and friendship with the native Indian tribes by whom he was surrounded.  He left two sons, William and Thomas, to whom he devised his estate.  Thomas died on his portion of the old farm, leaving two sons, Thomas and James, who disposed of the property and moved to North Carolina, where they are now numerously represented by descendants.  William Moore, son of the pioneer, married Sarah Lawson, and passed his life on his patrimonial estate.  He also left two sons, Elijah and Vincent.  The latter married and raised a family of children in Northumberland County, Virginia, where he died.  Elijah, at the age of nineteen, married Judith Harrison, of Northumberland County, Virginia, and had three sons:  Lawson, George and William.  Shortly after the birth of his last son the father was killed by lightning at the early age of twenty-six years.  He was a large, powerful man, of great perseverance and energy, and his sudden death was deeply regretted.  His wife survived him eighteen months, leaving the three sons mentioned, who were placed under the guardianship of Christopher Collins, a merchant in Westmoreland County, who proved an efficient and trustworthy protector and guide, and whose noble traits of character were ever cherished by his wards.  Lawson Moore, the eldest of the sons, married in 1794, Elizabeth Rochester, a representative of an old and prominent Virginia family, and four years later, 1798, moved with his family to Kentucky.  He purchased a large tract of land near Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky, and there passed his life engaged in farming pursuits.  July 26, 1815, death deprived him of his wife, and January 22, 1817, he married her sister, Jane Murray Rochester, whom he survived some years.  Lawson Moore was upward of six feet in height, large frame and commanding presence, a man of strong native intellect, well versed in history and abreast with the spirit of the age.  Having a large family of sons and daughters, he fully appreciated the benefits of education and was one of the active workers in aid of erecting Centre College.  He had a large family of children.  By his first marriage were born Sally, who married Elijah Harlan; Betsy Lawson, who married General William Moore, of Tennessee; Elijah, a lawyer by profession, residing at Little Rock, Arkansas, for a number of years and ending his career as a banker and general investor at St. Louis; John Rochester, a physician prominent in his profession, who practiced successively at Danville, Kentucky, New Orleans, Louisiana, Louisville, Kentucky, and died at Bowling Green, Kentucky; Nancy Jordan who married Archibald Yell, afterward governor of Arkansas, who fell at Buena Vista during the Mexican War, with McKee Hardin and the son of Henry Clay; George, a clergyman of the Presbyterian Church, who died in Mississippi, engaged in cotton planting; Jane, who married Rev. Robert McAfee, of the Presbyterian Church, and died at Columbus, Missouri; William, who was educated at West Point, settled in Texas where he was active in the war of independence and died at Moore’s Bluff, on Trinity River; Lawson, who engaged in planting in Mississippi; Sophia, who married James F. McCaleb, a large cotton planter of Adams County, Mississippi, and died there; and Artemisia, who became the wife of Rev. John D. Sloan, of Tennessee.  By his second marriage Lawson Moore had five sons, of whom Joseph Lapsley died during boyhood.  Christopher Collins Moore was educated at Centre College, Danville, was a successful merchant at Harrodsburg for many years, and finally located on a farm near Danville, where he led a successful career and closed his days; he was for many years president of the First National Bank of Harrodsburg.  Thomas Rochester Moore was born and educated at Danville and engaged in farming in Mercer County, owning the old Captain Chaplin farm.  Charles O. Moore was educated at Centre College, studied law and devoted his life to farming on the old ancestral estate near Danville; his widow and two sons now occupy the place.  James Harrison Moore, second son of Lawson Moore by his later marriage, was born on the old farm near Danville, October 3, 1819.  Here he passed his boyhood, receiving an excellent English education and subsequently entering Centre College, where he enjoyed the benefits of a classical course.  He subsequently commenced the study of medicine under Drs. Joseph Weisiger and John Fleece of Danville, and matriculated at Transylvania Medical College, Lexington, from which institution he was graduated with the degree of M.D. in 1841.  He located in Warren County, Mississippi, soon after, where he successfully practiced his profession for five years.  There he met and married Mrs. Mary S. Foster, daughter of Daniel T. Messinger, of Berkshire County, Massachusetts, and soon afterward returned to his native county.  He first located at Harrodsburg, where he practiced for awhile and then joined his brother, Collins Moore, in trade, as Moore and Moore.  Several years later (1851) he purchased the Major William Hoard farm, a portion of the old Captain Chaplin farm near Harrodsburg, and entered upon the life of a farmer and breeder of thoroughbred Durham cattle, and horses.  This is his present residence.  In addition to this he also owns a large plantation on Deer Creek, Mississippi, where he is extensively engaged in cotton raising.  Dr. Moore has been closely identified with the business and social life of his section for many years and is recognized as a useful and thoroughly trustworthy citizen.  He was one of the organizers of the Mercer County National Bank at Harrodsburg, and is president of that institution.  He is also an elder in the Southern Presbyterian Church of Harrodsburg, and interested in other local enterprises.  In 1856 he passed from the Whig to Democratic party with which he is at present identified.  Though opposed to the secession of the States, the ties of interest and kinship which bound him to the South caused him to sympathize with that section during the Civil War.  His two sons are the Honorable Daniel L. Moore, late State senator from the capital district of Kentucky, and Bacon Rochester Moore, a lawyer by profession, engaged in planting in the South.

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