John William Moore

JOHN WILLIAM MOORE, son of Ebenezer and Nancy B. (Hurst) Moore, was born April 16, 1837 in Rostraver township, Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania. His paternal grandfather, Robert Moore, moved from Cecil county, Maryland, in 1780 and settled there. He married Jane Power, a sister of Rev. James Power, D. D., who in 1774 was the first Presbyterian to settle and preach in the "Western Wilds." Robert Moore erected a large two-story house into which he moved and lived during his life.


Ebenezer Moore, the youngest of Robert Moore's six children, was born August 3, 1793. He moved to the old Blackstone farm in Tyrone township, Fayette county, Pennsylvania in 1846, and added to the farm by the purchase of one hundred and fifty acres of adjoining land. These two farms were heavily underlaid with coal, and it was here that the coke interests were started, which have since been developed by his sons J. W. and P. H. Moore. Ebenezer Moore was six feet in height, and a man of commanding presence. He was an elder in the Presbyterian church, and a Democrat in politics. He represented Westmoreland county in the legislature in 1844, and it is an interesting fact that he received all the votes except five that were cast in his own township. He was married in May, 1833, to Nancy Blackstone Hurst, daughter of James and Sarah Hurst, of Mount Pleasant township, Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania. They had six children: one died in infancy; Sarah Jane, died February 23, 23, at the age of thirteen: James H.; Rev. R. B. Moore, D. D.; John W., the subject of this sketch and P. H. The old house is standing in which the father and children were born, and the farm has been in possession of the family for one hundred and twenty-five years.


John William Moore received his early education in the common schools of his native township and Elder's Ridge Academy. He afterwards took a full business course at the Iron City Commercial College, from which he was graduated in 1856. In his early life he was extensively engaged in stack dealing in Westmoreland, Fayette, and Greene counties. Mr. Moore practically retired from that business in 1873. He made an investment in the Connellsville Coke industry (at that time just attracting public notice) and farmed a partnership with James Cochran, Solomon Kiester, and James Hurst for the manufacture of coke at the Summit Coke Works, near Broad Ford, Fayette county, Pennsylvania. After six years he withdrew from this firm, purchased the Red Stone Coke plant, three miles south of Uniontown, and engaged in the coke business with his brother, P. H. Moore. Colonel J. S. Schoonmaker was admitted as a partner in 1881, and four years later J. W. Moore withdrew. He bought two thousand acres of coal land in Mount Pleasant township in 1879, where he built the "Mammoth Coke Works," and put in operation six hundred ovens. He increased his coke business in 1889 by the purchase of the "Wynn Coke Works", near Uniontown. He sold, August 23, 1889, his entire coke interest to the H. C. Frick Coke Company for a large sum, and practically withdrew from active business. He died February 19, 1893.


Mr. Moore was married, November 22, 1860, to Elizabeth Stauffer, a daughter of M. B. and Charlotta Stauffer, of Connellsville, Pennsylvania, and they had six children. Mrs. Elizabeth Stauffer Moore has a beautiful home at Greensburg, and is largely interested in its charities. She also maintains a fine winter establishment in Washington, D. C.


Source: Page(s) 100-101, History of Westmoreland County, Volume II, Pennsylvania by John N Boucher. New York, The Lewis Publishing Company, 1906.

Transcribed February 2006 by Nathan Zipfel for the Westmoreland County History Project

Contributed for use by the Westmoreland County Genealogy Project (

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