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MOORE, TX (FRIO COUNTY)

MOORE, TEXAS (Frio County). Moore is at the intersection of U.S. Highway 81 and Farm Road 462 on the Missouri Pacific Railroad, thirteen miles northeast of Pearsall in north central Frio County. It is probably named for pioneer R. W. "Mustang" Moore, who, after an Indian raid in 1861, was found mortally wounded on the front porch of his cabin on Moore Hollow Creek, immediately west of the site of the present town. Tradition has it, however, that the community is named after an episode in which a weary, well-dressed train traveler arrived at the local depot and exclaimed that he could take "no more" of Texas, then went to a nearby ginyard and hanged himself. August Obets and his wife Louisa (Rihn) of Castroville moved to Frio County in 1870, chose a site at Moore Hollow Creek in 1874, built a grass-covered log house there, and became Moore Hollow's first permanent settlers. The couple constructed the community's first frame house in 1876. Children in the growing community attended school in Tehuacana until J. B. Harkness built a school in Moore Hollow in 1881; twenty-three students attended school that year. In August 1881 Mary Rihn sold fifty acres to R. S. Hayes as a townsite for Moore Hollow. Hayes granted right-of-way to the International-Great Northern Railroad on February 11, 1882, and sold the remainder of the property to the New York and Texas Land Company, land operators of the I-GN. The name of the community was changed to Moore Hollow Station when the site became a station on the railroad. The post office opened in 1882 with L. E. Nelson as the first postmaster; the same year C. J. W. Edwards opened a general store and John McMahon started a Masonic lodge. By 1884 Moore's Station had become a shipping point for wool; that year the settlement had an estimated population of fifty, a hotel, a saloon, and two general stores. Facilities of the Moore Baptist Church, organized in 1888, were utilized by circuit riders during brush-arbor meetings held at nearby Bailey Lake. In the 1889–90 school year ninety pupils attended Moore's Station Community School No. 9. By 1890 Moore's Station had an estimated population of 100. The name of the community was changed to Moore Station in 1892 and finally to Moore in 1897.

Between 1900 and 1910 three churches, the First National Bank, the Moore Hotel, two drugstores, and a cotton gin were added to the community. A yellow fever epidemic in 1903 caused at least twelve deaths. The disease was treated by residents with a tea made from watermelon seeds, believed to have been introduced by Mexican laborers attracted to the region by an exceptional cotton crop that year. School records of 1907 report seventy pupils and two teachers in the community. With an estimated population of 300 in 1910, Moore was one of the largest towns between Laredo and San Antonio and the railroad terminus for a significant cotton industry in the area. The community's first Mexican school was established in 1913 and housed in the Jesús Rodríguez Dance Hall. By 1914 Moore had telephone connections and Baptist, Catholic, and Methodist churches. Young men from local families, including the Obetses, Crains, and Conovers, were entertained at the local high school before leaving for military duty during World War I. Businesses operating in the community before 1920 included the Kellam Hotel, Charley Bartlett's Drug Store, Mrs. Nancy Winter's Rooming House, and W. H. Davidson's general store. Moore declined significantly during the 1920s and early 1930s when the boll weevil infested the region. Significant declines in the wool market and the loss of jobs accompanying a regional change from dry-land farming to ranching also contributed to community's decline during this period. In 1947 two churches, a school, six stores, and an estimated population of 350 were reported in the community. Moore School was absorbed by the Pearsall system in 1950. That year Moore had an estimated population of 180 and six businesses. In 1964 the community had three churches and one school, surrounded by numerous dwellings. The population of Moore from the 1970s to 1990 was estimated at 230. In 1989 the community had a post office, a church, one school, and four businesses. In 2000 Moore had seventeen businesses and 644 inhabitants.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Frank W. Johnson, A History of Texas and Texans (5 vols., ed. E. C. Barker and E. W. Winkler [Chicago and New York: American Historical Society, 1914; rpt. 1916]). Marker Files, Texas Historical Commission, Austin. A Twentieth Century History of Southwest Texas (2 vols., Chicago: Lewis, 1907).

Ruben E. Ochoa

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Ruben E. Ochoa, "MOORE, TX (FRIO COUNTY)," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hlm83), accessed September 15, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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