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100 years ago: the life and times of Dr. C.D. Moore

He was a native of Greensburg, KY, this doctor, soldier, scholar, and gentleman, but his final years were in Adair County. An account of his life here is pieced together from Adair County News stories 100 years and at least 1 week ago, by 'Jim'

By "Jim"

The front page of the September 14, 1910 News briefly mentioned that long-time Adair County resident Dr. C.D. Moore "continues in a low state of health." In the same edition, the Cane Valley newsletter stated that he was quite feeble and that his son Willie and daughters Mrs. E.C. Page and Mrs. Cundiff were at his bedside. A few weeks earlier, the News had noted Dr. Moore's failing health and commented that "It is feared that he will not be seen at his accustomed place on the amphitheater, next week," referring to the upcoming Adair County Fair.

The following is a blend of two articles, one of which appeared in the May 30, 1906 News, the other in the September 28, 1910 edition, a few days after Dr. Moore's death. It gives tantalizing glimpses into the extraordinary life of an extraordinary gentleman.
Last Sunday night (September 25th) Dr. C.D. Moore, who was one of the best known men in the Green River section of Kentucky, died at his country home, near this place. Had he lived until the 17th of next April he would have been eighty-five years old. He was a native of Greensburg, but for many years was a citizen of Adair county. Since he became a citizen of Adair County he has made many warm personal friends.

He was a very intellectual man and at one time a very eminent physician and surgeon. He was a classical scholar, and was a most entertaining conversationalist. For many years he was one of Green county's most prominent physicians, but in 1900 he gave up the practice, not for lack of health or vitality, but because he could use his time more profitably.

When the Mexican War broke out he enlisted in Capt. Squires' Company (the May, 1906 article noted it was Capt. Moss'es Company) and served until peace was declared. [H]e took up the study of medicine, and in 1850 he graduated from the University of Louisville. Some years later he took a course in medicine in Philadelphia and also in New York.
(On cursory examination, the May 1906 article seems at odds with the above by stating "Returning home [from the war] he joined a company of Forty-niners, and went to California on a gold hunting expedition. After mining for several years he returned to his native home, Greensburg, Ky., [and] took up the study of medicine..." However, gold was discovered near Sutter's Mill, California, in late January, 1848, only eight days before the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ended the Mexican-American War. Moore could easily have spent the better parts of 1848 and 1849 -- and possibly even early 1850 -- searching for gold before returning to Kentucky, attending the University of Louisville, and being graduated in late 1850, as mid-ninteenth century courses of study in medicine were more informal and considerably briefer than those of today.)
He successfully practiced his profession in his home town until the Civil War broke out. He espoused the cause of the Union, enlisted as a surgeon in Hobson's regiment, and served until the hostilities ceased. During the four years of that bloody strife he amputated one hundred limbs of wounded soldiers.

He also made application to raise a company for the Spanish-American war.

It is related by an old soldier that in hotly contested battle in the South, and while Dr. Moore was dressing the wounds of disabled soldiers, smoking a pipe, a ball struck his pipe, knocking it from his mouth. The doctor remarked, "That was a very poor marksman," and continued his surgery as though nothing had happened.

He was twice married, his first wife being a Miss Spenser, a sister of Mesdames Bettie Atkins, M.D. Baker and G.A. Kemp, of this city. Only one child was born of this first union, Mr. W.R. Moore, of Lampasas, Texas, who was visiting his father a few weeks ago. His last wife (the former Miss Martha W. Lane) and five or six children also survive him.

The interment was at Cane Valley, this county, this morning (probably Tuesday, September 27th, the day the News went to press) at ten o'clock, many friends being present.
Among his children mentioned in various editions of the News 1900-1910 were sons Thomas O. (Tom), Bingham, C.S. (Short), and W.R. (Willie, also known as Bill), and daughters Mamye (Mrs. E.C.) Page and Mrs. Mat Cundiff.

In 1902, the good doctor visited Willie in Texas. Upon Dr. Moore's return to Adair County, he had a bit of gentle fun at his beloved eldest son's expense. The News reported that as Dr. Moore was preparing to leave Texas, he asked, "Bill, when shall I expect to see you in Kentucky?" to which his son replied, "Not until I get money enough for traveling expenses." Quipped Dr. Moore, "Farewell, then, I will meet you in heaven."

(Capt. Jack Squires, mentioned above, died in Mexico in the spring of 1848. Many years later, William Wheat of Green County, one of the men under Capt. Squires command, wrote of Capt. Squires death: "[He] died in the City of Mexico, Mexico, of yellow fever, we put his body in a lead coffin and it was sent home to Adair County, Ky to [the] city of Columbia--the coffin cost $400 and I helped pay the bill." Sadly, the exact location in Columbia where Capt. Squires' remains were interred has been long since been forgotten.)

This story was posted on 2010-09-25 07:58:26
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