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John A. Moore

Warwood Tool Co.

-- from History of West Virginia. Chicago: American Historical Society, 1923 (v.2, p. 24)

JOHN A. MOORE is a native son of the City of Wheeling and has become an influential figure in the industrial and commercial life of this metropolitan district of West Virginia, where he is secretary, treasurer and general manager of the Warwood Tool Company. The modern manufacturing plant is established in the suburb of Warwood.

Mr. Moore is a scion of one of the sterling pioneer families of Wheeling, in which city his father, James B. Moore was born in the year 1838 and died in 1907. William Moore, great-grandfather of the subject of this review, was born in the north of Ireland, came to the United States in the early part of the nineteenth century, resided for a time in Western Pennsylvania, and thereafter became a pioneer settler in Tuscawaras County, Ohio, where he passed the remainder of his life. His wife, whose maiden name was Martha Purviance, likewise was born in the north of Ireland, and she was a resident of Wheeling, West Virginia, at the time of her death, her remains being interred in a cemetery here.

John Moore, grandfather of him whose name initiates this review, was born in Greene County, Pennsylvania, in 1810, and died at Wheeling, West Virginia (then Virginia), in 1860. He came to Wheeling about the year 1827, learned the plumbing trade, and owned the leading plumbing shop of the town in the early days. He established the first waterworks of Wheeling, and continued as superintendent of the same a number of years. In the '30s and '40s he served as steamboat inspector, and later he became the owner of a machine shop, to the conducting of which he game his attention until his death. He married Sarah Irwin, who was born at Wheeling, and they reared a family of two sons and three daughters, of whom only one is living in 1921 -- Elizabeth Irwin, who is the widow of Rev. J. R. Moore and who resides at Morgantown, Monongalia County. Rev. J. R. Moore, a clergyman of the Presbyterian Church, attained distinction in educational work in West Virginia. As a young man he was a member of the faculty of Linsly Institute at Wheeling, and later conducted the Monongalia Academy at Morgantown, from which was eventually developed the University of West Virginia.

Mrs. Sarah (Irwin) Moore, paternal grandmother of the subject of this sketch, was a daughter of William Irwin, who settled at Wheeling when the future metropolis and capital of West Virginia had only thirty houses. He was born in what is now Harrison County, this state, and was one of the incorporators of the village of Wheeling, besides which he served as a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses, as representative of Ohio County in what is now West Virginia. He was prominent and influential in connection with business, civic and political affairs in this section of Virginia in the pioneer days. He reared a large family of children, and many of his descendants still reside in Wheeling and vicinity. His wife, whose maiden name was Elizabeth Snodgrass, was a daughter of John Snodgrass, who came to Ohio County in the pioneer days and settled in the Short Creek District, where he reclaimed and developed a farm. He came to this county from the vicinity of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His daughter Elizabeth was born on this old homestead on Short Creek, and both she and her husband were residents of Wheeling at the time of their deaths.

James B. Moore, who passed his entire life in Wheeling, was a skilled mechanical draftsman and was actively associated with business activities in his native city for many years. He was a republican, and he and his wife were zealous members of the Presbyterian Church. He served as a member of the State Militia in the period of the Civil war, but was not called to the front. He married Louisa S. Craig, who was born in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, in 1840, and whose death occurred at Wheeling in 1910. Of the children John A., of this review, is the elder, and the younger son, J. Craig Moore, is in the employ of the Warwood Tool Company, of which his brother is general manager.

In the public schools of Wheeling John A. Moore continued his studies until he was seventeen years old, and he then entered the employ of J. A. Holliday & Sons, lumber dealers, with whom he remained until 1893. He then became associated with the Warwood Tool Company in the position of bookkeeper, and he has continued his connection with this concern to the present time, in the meanwhile having become its secretary, treasurer and general manager. The plant and officers of the company are situated at the foot of Nineteenth Street in Warwood, and here are manufactured picks, mattocks, hoes, wedges, sledges, crowbars, drills and other tools used in coal mines. The concern is the largest of its kind in the state, its products are sold in all sections of the Union, and for fully a quarter of a century its foreign trade has been of appreciable volume. The officers of the company are as here designated: B. W. Peterson, president; and John A. Moore, secretary, treasurer and general manager.

Mr. Moore is staunchly aligned in the ranks of the republican party, and he is a communicant of the Protestant Episcopal Church. He is a past master of Wheeling Lodge No. 5, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and is affiliated also with Wheeling Chapter No. 1, Royal Arch Masons; Cyrene Commandery No. 7, Knights Templars, of which he is a past commander; West Virginia Consistory No. 1, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, in which he has received the thirty-second degree; and Osiris Temple of the Mystic Shrine. He also hold membership in Welcome Lodge, Ancient Order of United Workmen, the Fort Henry Club and the Wheeling Chamber of Commerce. He is treasurer and general manager of the Warwood Water & Light Company. In the World war period he was a loyal and vigorous supporter of patriotic agencies, was chairman of the tool industry committee for war production and devoted much of his time and energy to the perfecting of this important part of war service. Mr. Moore's name remains on the roster of eligible bachelors in his native city.

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