M. L. MOORE, one of the enterprising business men of Bloomington, is extensively engaged in the manufacture
of harness and saddles, of which he keeps constantly on a full line, with collars, robes, whips, nets, trunks,
Mr. Moore is a native of Menard County, Ill., and was born Feb. 6, 1829. He is the son of John N. and Phoebe (Scott) Moore, natives of Virginia and Kentucky, respectively, who, after their marriage, located in Menard County, Ill., in 1821. This was a part of Sangamon County at that time, and John Moore entered land and also purchased a farm, becoming finally the possessor of 440 acres.
He and his wife shared in common with the other pioneers the hardships and difficulties incident to a new settlement. Their family included ten children. The mothers of that day spun and wove the cloth which they made into garments for their families, Mrs. Moore doing the same, and being one of the most busy as well as one of the most excellent of housewives and mothers.
Both parents were members of the Presbyterian Church, of which John Moore was an Elder, and to the support of which he contributed liberally and cheerfully of his means. He was Justice of the Peace in his township for many years, and joined in wedlock scores of couples who came many miles to have him say the few words that would complete their happiness.
He was universally loved and respected by all, and after the record of a worthy and useful life folded his hands for his final rest in 1848. The mother survived until 1870, departing this life at her home in Menard County, Ill., where they first settled, at the age of seventy.
The subject of this sketch was the fifth child of the family and remained under the parental roof until eighteen years old, receiving a common school education. He then left home and went to Jacksonville, Ill., and apprenticed himself to learn harness-making.
In 1857 he hired a horse and rode to Bloomington, a distance of sixty miles, where he rented a shop on the southwest side of the square and proceeded to engage in business for himself. He operated alone for the following two years, and then took in Mr. P. Whitmer as partner. After two years Mr. Moore purchased the interest of Mr. W., they having in the meantime moved to the corner where the People's Bank now stands.
Here Mr. Moore remained until 1858, being prospered in his business and giving employment to from four to six men. He then removed to North Main street, and four years later, during the progress of the late war, sold out and enlisted as a Union soldier in Co. K, 94th Ill. Vol. Inf. [ed., 94th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment, a/k/a the “McLean Regiment”].
He was appointed Regimental Quartermaster, which position he held until the close of the war. He participated in the battle at Prairie Grove, Ark., and the siege of Vicksburg [ed., Battle for Vicksburg], when his regiment was sent to the Rio Grande to take charge of the forts along the river. With his comrades he was then sent to Ft. Morgan, of which they took possession, and afterward to Spanish Fort.
At the close of the war Mr. Moore returned to Bloomington and purchased back his old business from the man to whom he had sold, and has continued it successfully since that time. In 1870 he removed to his present location, and his business has increased so that he now employs from six to ten men, his transactions being the largest of any house of its kind in the city. He is a straightforward business man and forms one of the important factors in the industrial elements of the city.
Mr. Moore was married, in 1852, to Miss Joanna Beaty, a native of Champaign County, Ohio, and the daughter of John Beaty. Of this union there have been born seven children, four of whom are still living—Laura, James, John and Ruth.
The family residence is located on West Washington street at No. 508, and its inmates are surrounded by all the comforts and many of the luxuries of life. Mr. and Mrs. M. are members of the Presbyterian Church, of which our subject is an Elder. Socially Mr. Moore belongs to the G. A. R., and uniformly casts his vote with the Republican party.
Portrait and biographical album of McLean County, Ill. : containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Illinois, and of the presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887), 348. Transcribed and annotated by Judy Rosella Edwards