Lake Worth Pioneers' Association, Inc.

 


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John Yeend

1109 S. Congress Ave.
West Palm Beach, FL 33406

Phone: 561-642-4200

E-mail: info@lwpa.org


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Robert Bingham Moore

Robert Bingham Moore first came to the shores of Lake Worth in 1875. He was born 15 November 1831 in Watertown, New York, one of the eight children of Mary Ann (Bingham) and William Moore. He was named for his mother’s brother, who disowned her when she married his father. The family moved several times during Robert’s childhood, as his father was in the Army. They eventually settled in Waukegan, Illinois. There, in 1852, Robert married Ursula Turner Soule.

They had eight children, four born in Waukegan, and four born in Chicago: Lillie C., who married Alexander Flett, George W., who lived only five months, Minnie M., who married D.R. Ingersoll, Ida U., who married Franklin J. Pope, Etta A., who married U.D. Hendrickson, Robert Grant, who married Mary Wheeler Nokes, Walter Rufus, who married (1st) Eleanor Emmons, (2nd) Merion Hendrickson, (3rd) Estella K. Kutz, and William Lee, who married Bertha Winot.

Robert, who had weak lungs and had already lost two brothers, two sisters and his mother to consumption, traveled alone to south Florida in the fall of 1875 to visit his brother, William H. Moore, and his sister, Margretta Pierce. The climate agreed with him, and helping his brother and brother-in-law raise pineapples he began spending the winters on Hypoluxo Island.

In the summer of 1883, Robert and Ursula traveled by train from Chicago to Cedar Keys on Florida’s west coast, then by boat to Key West, and caught the mail schooner to Biscayne Bay, where the Pierces were stationed at the government House of Refuge. Robert announced that he intended to spend the rest of his life on Lake Worth and had brought Ursula to pick out a homesite. The four Pierces sailed north with them to Lake Worth. H.D. Pierce had previously offered to sell Robert 6 acres of land on Hypoluxo Island, but Ursula thought the location too isolated. Instead, they bought from Albert and Marion Geer, 6 acres of land where the Royal Poinciana Hotel was later built. They paid $500. They hired Morris Benson Lyman to build their house and returned to Chicago to wind up their affairs.

Their new home was a two-story house, the first on the lake finished in lath and plaster, and they named it “Dellmoore Cottage.” They moved in with their four youngest children, and became active members of the community. They operated “Deilmoore Cottage” as a small hotel, renting rooms for $2.50 a day. In 1900, they sold their property to Henry M. Flagler for $40,000 and moved across the lake to West Palm Beach.

Robert died 2 June 1903, age seventy-two. He had a good life prolonged by the Florida climate. Ursula died ten years later. They are buried side by side in Woodlawn Cemetery, West Palm Beach.

Minnie Moore Ingersoll and her husband moved to the shores of Lake Worth in 1883 when her parents did. Sometime later, they bought a home in West Palm Beach where they lived for a number of years. Eventually, they sold their property to Mayor Whidden and moved back to Chicago.

Ida Moore Pope lived with her husband in Ohio until he died in 1919. She moved to Eustis, Florida. where she stayed two years. Then she lived in Umatilla until her death in 1942.

Etta Moore Hendrickson lived all her married life in West Palm Beach, where she died in 1945. (See the U.D. Hendrickson story.)

Robert Grant Moore married Mary Wheeler Nokes and was a bicycle dealer in West Palm Beach for several years. They lived in various places in Florida, including Jacksonville, and finally settled in Orlando, where he died in 1939.

Walter Rufus Moore and his first wife, Eleanor Emmons, had four children and were divorced in 1916. He and his second wife, Merion Hendrickson, were married and divorced in the same year, 1918. His third marriage, to Estella K. Kutz, produced four children. Raised on the water, Walter became a steamboat captain. In 1920, he and his cousin Lillie’s husband, Fred C. Voss, had a pleasure yacht built in Bath, Maine, and named her “Donnygill” after their two sons, Donald and Gilbert. Walter was the captain and Fred the steam engineer. They took charter parties cruising between Port Washington, New York, and West Palm Beach, Florida, for several years until Walter lost an eye in an accident and was advised to stay ashore. Walter sold his property at Gomez, near Hobe Sound, for $100,000.00 and retired to California with his family. Unfortunately, the Florida “bust” and combined with the 1928 hurricane, forced the buyers of his property to renege. Walter moved the family back home, where he lived until his death in 1952.

 

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