August 13, 2010

John W. Moore

John W. Moore, signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence and early Texas official, was born in Pennsylvania about 1797. He traveled to Texas from Tennessee in 1830 and settled in Harrisburg Municipality. In December 1831 the ayuntamiento of San Felipe de Austin announced his election as comisario of the precinct of San Jacinto. Moore was a friend of William B. Travis and was with him on July 30, 1835, when a company of volunteers under Travis forced the capitulation of Antonio Tenorio at the fort at Anahuac. Moore was a delegate from Harrisburg to the Consultation and was elected contractor for the army by the General Council on November 18, 1835. He was one of the three representatives from Harrisburg at the Convention of 1836 at Washington-on-the-Brazos and signed the Declaration of Independence.

On October 3, 1836, Moore was seated in the House of the First Congress of the Republic of Texas as a member from Harrisburg County, but his election was contested and Jesse H. Cartwright was seated in his stead on October 11. In January 1837 Moore was elected captain of the Second Militia District and sheriff of Harrisburg County; he held the latter post at least until November 30, 1840. In 1839 he served as a trustee for the newly formed Harrisburg Town Company. On January 6, 1840, he was elected an alderman of the city of Houston. He was a charter member of the first Independent Order of Odd Fellows lodge of Texas, organized at Houston on July 25, 1838. Moore's first wife died sometime after April 28, 1831. On February 21, 1839, he married Eliza Belknap in Houston. He died in Houston in 1846 and was buried there in the city cemetery. In 1936 the Texas Centennial Commission placed a monument in the cemetery in his honor.

Note
This is a cenotaph. Founders Memorial Park, originally founded in 1836 as Houston's first city cemetery, was rapidly filled due to a yellow fever epidemic and closed to further burials around 1840. The cemetery became neglected over a period of time, often vandalized and was heavily damaged by the 1900 hurricane. In 1936, despite a massive clean up effort, a century of neglect had taken its toll. The vast majority of grave markers were either destroyed or missing and poor record keeping prevented locating individual graves. Several cenotaphs were placed in random areas throughout the park in honor of the more high-profile citizens buried there, but a great number of graves go unmarked to this day.

GPS Coordinates
29° 45.461, -095° 22.768


Founders Memorial Park
Houston

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