Captain Truman Moore
Captain Truman Moore is a prominent and public-spirited citizen of Lorain, Ohio, and a descendant of a long line of shipbuilders and master mariners. He is a son of Theron and Delia Ann (Case) Moore, the other members of his father's family being Menzies (for a long time lake captain, but not deceased), Leonard (who was also a sailor, but now retired from the lakes), Elmina (now the wife of Thomas Gawn, a wealthy ship and land owner of Lorain), Amelia (the widow of Capt. John Farragher), Melvina (who died young), Maria (the wife of Mr. Pointon), Lotta (now Mrs. Burt Briggs), Rowena (now the wife of Theron Merrey, of Cleveland), Burt (who died young), and Mary (wife of Arthur Jewett, a prominent druggist of Cleveland). The vessels built by the father were the Flat Foot, Rowena and Almina, all of which he sailed as master. He also laid down the schooner Rambler, but sold her on the stocks before she was completed. He was a pioneer of Sheffield township, Lorain County, and was possessed of a large farm where Truman, the subject of this article was born, December 1, 1844. Truman acquired a district-school education, attending during the winter months, and working with his father on the farm during the summer seasons.
In the spring of 1860 he adopted the life of a sailor, going with his brother, Menzies, on the scow Rowena, and from that period until the fall of 1875 he sailed as seaman and mate on various vessels, among which may be mentioned the schooner H.D. Root, George W. Holt, Cousin Mary (of which he was mate); he was also mate on the vessels Oza, Lime Rock and W.S. Lyons, the schooners H.D. Root and C.F. Allen, all of which vessels his father and elder brother owned. In the meantime his brother purchased a hop farm, and in 1876 Truman stopped ashore and worked in the hop vineyard, being employed in this occupation two years with good results.
In 1878 Captain Moore bought the scow Mona, and sailed her one season. He then sold her, and purchased the scow Growler, which he sailed two seasons. In the spring of 1881 he joined the schooner Q.A. Gilmour, as mate, with his brother. The next year he brought out the interests of the several heirs in the homestead in Sheffield Township, and conducted the farm successfully for three years. Thoughts of wind and wave and the limpid waters of the lakes proved too alluring for the continuance of the life on shore, and in 1885 he purchased the schooner Monticello, and sailed her three seasons. After selling her he purchased the schooner Alice B. Norris, built by Wolf & Davidson, at Milwaukee, in 1872, and sailed her as master. The Norris was about 600 tons burden, and considered a smart schooner in those days; she was valued at $23,000. In the spring of 1889 he brought out the schooner Henry W. Sage, which he had purchased the previous winter, and sailed her until November 25, when he lost her in the great storm known as the Thanksgiving gale, in which more vessels were lost or stranded than in any other single storm in the history of the lakes. The Sage was built in Wenona by Boston, in 1875, and was valued at $30,000.
In the spring of 1890 Captain Moore purchased the schooner Kate Winslow, and after sailing her successfully three seasons he sold her and turned his attention to steamboats, the first propeller of which he was master being the R. R. Rhodes, a 1,285 ton boat, built by Quayle's Sons in Cleveland, sailing her two seasons. In the spring of 1895 he was appointed to the command of the steamer N. K. Fairbank, owned by Capt. John Moore, of Cleveland. This boat was destroyed by fire on Lake Erie early in the summer. The crew reached shore at Gravelly Bay in the yawl boats without further casualty. In August of the same year he became master of the steamer Louisiana, owned by the same party, and sailed her with good business success until the close of 1897, again assuming command of her in the spring of 1898.
Captain Moore was united in marriage to Miss Esther, daughter of William Carran, of Sheffield Township, Lorain County, by whom he has three children. His son, William E., was mate on the steamer Nahant when she was destroyed by fire in 1897; his daughter Rowena is the wife of Mark Jones; and Etta lives at home with her father. Some years after the death of his first wife Captain Moore, in 1881, chose for his second wife Mrs. Rosa E. Rice, daughter of William Green, of Spencer Township, Lorain Co., Ohio. Fraternally our subject is a member of the beneficial orders of the Royal Arcanum and the Knights of the Maccabees. The family occupy a spacious homestead recently built by the Captain on Erie street, Lorain, Ohio.
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This version of Volume II is based, with permission, on the work of the great volunteers at the Marine Captains Biographies site. To them goes the credit for reorganizing the content into some coherent order. The biographies in the original volume are in essentially random order.
Some of the transcription work was also done by Brendon Baillod, who maintains an excellent guide to Great Lakes Shipwreck Research.