John Marks Davenport Moore, businessman and mayor of Corpus Christi, was born on March 21, 1811, in Oglethorpe, Georgia. He studied chemistry and geology at college in Virginia, and at age fifteen he homesteaded a plantation in Alabama, the beginning of his large landholdings. In 1831 he married a Miss King, who died the next year, leaving him with an infant son. Moore entered a coal venture with M. C. Conklin at Marion, Alabama, in 1834 and married his partner's daughter Harriette in 1837. He was twice elected to the Alabama legislature. In 1855 he became president of the Alabama Coal and Mining Company, which provided the first steam dredge to Dean S. Howard Company for the Corpus Christi ship channel in 1858. Severe financial reverses forced him to liquidate most of his Alabama and Mississippi lands, slaves, and property and bring his remaining assets to Corpus Christi. During the Civil War he was involved with obtaining gunpowder for the Texas Military Board, in blockade running, and in commerce with Mexico. He was appointed purchasing agent for arms and munitions for the Military Board in Mexico by Governor Francis R. Lubbock. After the war Moore purchased the outstanding bonds and shares of the Corpus Christi ship channel from John W. Vineyard and other owners through his brother-in-law, George E. Conklin. Tolls on the ship channel were inadequate to pay for its operation, and Moore persuaded the city of Corpus Christi to purchase his interest in order to forestall its reverting to Vineyard. In the 1871 election the ship channel proposition received every vote cast. Moore became mayor of Corpus Christi in October 1877 and served until 1880. He died on August 20, 1892.
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Texas Military Board, Records, Texas State Archives, Austin.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
“Moore, John Marks Davenport,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed June 28, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
April 1, 1995
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