The Diary of Marcus L. Moore

A time worn, leather bound diary dated from January 1, 1899 to March 1901, written by Marion L. Moore was found among the effects of Jane Clark in October of 2002. The diary had been given to the Douglas County Historical Society and contained beautiful penmanship, concise writing, daily entries, and descriptions of his daily activities including daily accounts of the Roseburg weather. Who was Marion L. Moore? After researching the name for some time, I was also perplexed. The name Marion L. Moore was not to be found in the usual places…A visit to the Family History Center in Roseburg and a highly skilled teacher started me on my journey to find about Marion L. Moore’s life. He was born in St. Claire County, Illinois on August 27, 1838, and died on August 26, 1921 in the United States Soldiers’ Home in Roseburg, Oregon. His father was William Moore of Illinois and his mother was Lucy Simmons of Kentucky. He and his family are buried in the IOOF Cemetery on Douglas Street in Roseburg.

Marion L. Moore, Marcus Moore, Marquis Lafayette Moore, which was his name? A letter written by him in 1915 in Roseburg, Oregon to G. M. Saltzgaber explains the unusual story of his name:

March 24, 1915
Roseburg, Oregon
G M. Saltzgaber

Dear Sir,

I will write a few lines and make a statement in regard to the way my name is spelled on the rolls and state how it came about. At birth my maternal grandmother gave me the name of Marquis Lafayette. (She being a great admirer of Gen. Lafayette and of course that was my name so spelled, always) When I entered military service, the 2nd Lieut. David H. Horter made out the muster in rolls, (he had known me since the summer of 1848) and he spelled my name on the rolls Marcus L. Moore. When I came to sign the rolls, I saw the error and said to the Lieut. that my name was not spelled Marcus, but Marquis. “Well,” he said “it would not make any material difference, he did not like to erase and make the change, to sign the rolls as it was written there, and always sign the rolls the same way and there would be no trouble arise from so doing.” I signed Marcus L. Moore, and have always done so, and in all my correspondence with the various departments at Washington, all affidavits of every kind I have written that way. Of course when I come to procure the marriage license I had the name written Marquis L Moore, and it so shows in the certified copy of the marriage record I have. And in case it becomes necessary to use it by my wife it would show that way. I explain this here and now..

Yours,
Marcus L Moore Correct
Marquis L Moore

The Life journey of Marquis Lafayette Moore took him  from St. Claire County, Illinois to Roseburg, Oregon. On the way he would serve in the Civil War, marry Sarah Brown in Lebanon, St. Claire County, Illinois on November 30, 1865, have five children (four survived infancy), live in Union Mills, Missouri, Summerfield, Illinois, Trenton, Illinois, Beulah, Kansas, San Buena Ventura, California, move by wagon train to Oregon City, Oregon and finally to Roseburg, Oregon. He lived to within one day of reaching his ninety-third year of life and is buried at the IOOF Cemetery in a family plot containing the graves of Marquis Lafayette Moore, his wife Sara Moore, his son Luther B. Moore and his wife’s sister, Miss Mary A. Brown.
His Civil War diary was located at the Douglas County Museum of History and Natural History. Marquis was a member of Company “E”2nd Illinois Cavalry. The Civil War Muster Roll gave me the following information and description of M. L. Moore: Joined service 5 Jan. 1862. Description: 5’10”, dark hair, black eyes, dark complexion, single, farmer. “Marcus Moore.” He was promoted to 1 st Sgt. and then to 2nd Lt. on November 22, 1862. He resigned on September 29, 1863 with a disability Discharge #539933 due to a health problem with his eyes.
Most of what we know comes from his diary. Marion lived close to the railroad in the Edenbower area on Short Street, near the current airport. He was a farmer. His son William worked as a freight clerk for the railroad. Another son John W. was a farmer and worked with his father.
My research took me to the Douglas County Court House where the probate records including his last Will and Testament were found.
The diary reveals the day-to-day existence of his life in Roseburg, Oregon from January 1, 1899 to March 1901. The following excerpts will enable you to go back over 100 years and experience the life of a farmer living in Roseburg, Oregon. The journey begins…..

January Sunday – 1 1899

Rained the most of the night and continued up to 9 AM. Has taken the snow off, except on the hills. There is plenty of water on the ground all over now. John went down to church. The sun shone out some, but did not last long, rained some heavy showers during the day and was cool and chilly. John did not come back until after evening service, said all was well. Will sent me a letter to come down and stay over night as the weather was such I could not do anything. Said Mother was getting along splendid. Mame has a cold now, mine is getting better.
Monday -2
Cloudy, we had all kinds of weather during the day. The barometer is down to 28.54, very low, south wind all day, will storm more unless the barometer rises. Mame is really sick with her cold. She made some paste and after noon we put on the ceiling paper. The room got along with it very well. We used all the flour we had and Mame went over and borrowed 6 1/2 pounds from Mrs. Jenny so we can have enough to make paste to finish the room. The overland train passed here going north 12 hours late today.

January Tuesday -3 1899

Cloudy, the ground is covered with snow again, and was snow and rain during the day. Is very disagreeable, the wind was south the most of the day. The barometer continues very low. Mame made more paste and we got out the paper for the wall, and cut it and put on about 3/4 of it. We would have got it all on if the paper had been ready. The paper being large flowered made it hard to match and also wasteful. John went to get some milk from Mrs. Briggs. He did nothing else during the day.
Wednesday -4
Cloudy, the barometer is rising slowly, the wind was in the south most of the day and was very chilly. We put the border on the room this morning, we had just enough and none to spare. Thought once we did not have enough but we managed to get enough. I cleaned the room up and fastened all cracks so mice could not get in. We scaled the brine on the meat after noon. John went to the funeral of Mr. Vinson’s daughter. I rented the Gillin’s house at $1.50 per month for the winter.
Thursday -5
Clear a greater part of the day, though wind was south. I fixed up this morning and went down to town to see how the folks were getting along. I carried along 3 doz. eggs, sold at 22 1/2 cents per doz. but only got 65 cents. I sent $1.00 postal money order to renew subscription to National Tribune. I went to Will’s, found Sade feeling well for her. I went to Post meeting in afternoon, quite a good tum out and in the evening I attended the joint installation of the Post and Corps. Had refreshments and a good time, for a stranger. I met D. G Palm, had a long talk with him, he is adjutant of the Soldiers Home. I will stay at Will’s tonight. I fell down
in the dark, got muddy some.

Friday -6
Rained in the forenoon, afternoon was pleasant. I wrote a letter to Gov. T. T. Geer and WH. Burkhardt, and J.M. Schulpins. I sent him an order on WH. Burkhardt for $2.00, one on J.H. Darling for $2.60, also the note I paid for WT. Walsh of $50.00. I don’t know that I will get anything but will try. We went over and dined with Lute’s folks. Sade was able to go over. I stayed until near night and then came home. I brought home a gun 44-40 Winchester, it was left with Will and Houston for keeping. I thought John might use it some and kill a deer, if he went hunting any more.

Saturday – 7
Cleared up today and was very pleasant. I went over to see Mr. Wyley. He has a carbuncle on his neck and is quite sick, has been for two weeks. I did not hear it until yesterday, he is resting easy today. John went down to town to take something to his mother. I put the baseboards on the room we papered, puts a finish on the room. I also put some castors on the bureau. I ought to have had the plow going today was so nice. Miss Minkler and Miss Snowstein made a call in the PM. Mr. West moved into the Gillin House today, he is to pay $1.50 per month for the house and barn, has to earn the money first. I let him have some stove pipe, two elbows and five joints of pipe. Is to return the pipe when he goes away.

January Sunday -8 1899

Clear and was a beautiful day, warm and pleasant. John went down to church. I went over to see Mr. Wyley again, he was not feeling so well. He had been using morphine and still felt as though he must take the drug again and had to before he got any worse. No one called on us today, quite a good many stirring around.
Monday -9
Cloudy and south wind, was up early thought I would plow but began to rain about 7:30. It was rainy the greater part of the day though not all the time, but was very chilly. John and I took our axes and went over to get the use of Mr. Wyley’s grindstone, they was (or one of them) very dull and it was after 11 AM when we were through. Mr. Wiley is improving slowly. When we came home found Bro. Arnold. He had come to have a hunt with John, so they went out as soon as they got dinner. Soon began to rain and continued so much, they did not see anything and they returned quite wet. He left his gun here and took the umbrella. I wrote a letter to Mr. Horton. Mame wrote to Ida Pease last night.
Tuesday -10
Rainy and was very rainy all day, the barometer is down to 28.40, wind south, very chilly. John went to town with some things and to take the gun down to Bro. Arnold. He did not bring any mail. Mame was in bed but did not put her clothes out. I made two benches for her to set her tubs on and fixed the rollers to the bureau. One of them I found was an odd one, I had to take it off and fix the leg shorter. The day was real chilly. I got some cold working away from the fire. John said his mother was well was over at Lute’s, and was sweeping. Stella sent the pepper out to have ground.
Wednesday -11
Cloudy, but cleared away, though there was some showers and was chilly, the barometer rises slightly, wind continues south. I put up the mill and ground some pepper so as to have it ready to send down when any of us goes down. I then went over to see how Mr. Wyley was, found him feeling first-rate, the best since he was first taken. Mame put her clothes out and they got dry. There was some wind. John and Mr. Briggs went to see if they could get a deer. John got a shot at one but did not get it. Mr. Briggs did not see the deer. John went down to the Salvation Army meeting with a friend.
Thursday -12
Foggy, some frost. I went this morning and rented the pasture of the Gillin place to Mr. Veril. He is to pay $12.00 and keep the fences up, and pays by 1st of June next. I can’t use the land conveniently, so I thought best to rent it. John plowed afternoon on the Gillin place, I did not go up to see how it plowed. I was working at the fence for the chicken yard. I got the posts set and ready to drive. The sun shone out quite pleasant though continues cool, barometer rises slow.

Friday -13
Raining, had wind in the night, rained up to near noon. John and Tom Jenny went hunting again today. John is anxious to get a deer. I have the headache some and do not feel good, so I was in the house all day, did not do much of anything. I wrote Mr. G. A. Harding, Oregon City a letter, and for some seed catalogues. I selected some seeds that I would send for. John came home, he got a quail, did not see any deer.
Saturday -14
Cloudy, not so cool, quit raining during the night, the wind continues south. I wrote my seed order to W. H. Maule, Philadelphia. I made an order for $1.35 ($1.00 for seeds and 35 cents for a potato knife) I got ready as soon as I could and went down to town to see how the folks were getting along. I sent my seed order away and mailed my letters, then went to the depot and met up with Will. He was not well and is gripping somewhat, is taking medicine. Found mother feeling very well for her. I took dinner with Will’s folks, spent the afternoon at Lute’s, but will stay at Will’s over night. Began to rain about 3:30 P.M. and continued until night. There is no letter mail, all papers.
Sunday -15
Raining and was raining the most of the night, and continued the most of the day without any let up, so I did not go to church, as I did not have any overcoat and the weather was cool. I spent the most of the day at Lute’s, the children wanted me to eat dinner there. The boys had to work today, but Will was able to attend church in the evening, he is feeling better today. Mother got over to Lute’s yesterday but did not today. Was so stormy John did not get to town. If the day had been nice Mame intended going down to church today. Will rec’d a letter from Maurice Myers he is in Manila Philippine Islands. He is well and writes hopeful he is a volunteer in 2nd Oregon Regt.
Monday -16
Cloudy, did not rain until in the afternoon, the sun shone out some but was quite cool. The river is pretty well up today from the storm. Will gave me $4.25 and I sent my assessment on Life policies to Elkhart, Ind. $4.00, cost 7 cents, stamped envelopes 7 cents. I met several comrades and had a friendly chat, Mr. Parker among them. I took dinner with Lute’s again. I came home then. Harvey came with me. I brought a pair of Will’s shoes to put 1/2 soles on and try my hand. Rained on us before we got home, found Mame well. Bro. Arnold came out early this morning and he and John went out hunting again, and was 1/2 past 5 when they returned just worn out. Bro. Arnold had a grey squirrel, a quail and a native pheasant and John had nothing. Bro. Arnold stopped for supper and rested before he started to town. Mr. Starmer brought me 1975 pounds of baled hay (15 bales) $7.90. I am to pay as soon as I can get the money. (by Mar 15th if not before). John went to Edenbower to church at night.

January Tuesday -17 1899

Cloudy, but had some sun shine during the day. We rigged a pulley block and hauled the hay up stairs. Carl Palm came this forenoon to see John, He came out last night to town, he stayed until after dinner. John went back to town with him, he goes on out to Grants Pass tonight. Harvey went back with John. I put 1/2 soles on Will’s shoes and sent them back with John. I did not get a fancy job as it was the first. John brought back a pair of Harvey’s, also one of Laura’s for me to fix. I went over to see Mr. Wyley, he is feeling first rate. Rained while I was over there. John went to a meeting again tonight, are going to hold meetings all week.
Wednesday -18
Cloudy, south wind, the sun shone out some and was pleasant. I had John hitch up and we tried plowing again here at home. I worked a while but just completely played out, the plow does bad is so heavy and clogs up as bad, then would gather about 10 pounds of the mud on each foot so I had to quit. Let John try it, I can’t do it with that plow if it is never done. Mr. Parker said a steel plow would work all OK, that he had one that would go all right he thought. Mr. Giber let John have his plow afternoon and it worked better. I put a half sole on my everyday shoes, also some on Harvey’s and made a good job of both, have got the hang of the work. We all went to evening service at Edenbower chapel this PM, had an earnest sermon of gospel truth, will have afternoon meetings as well as evenings, was a pleasant evening for night service.
Thursday -19
Cloudy and cool, wind south, prospect of rain. I sent John up for Mr. Parker’s plow, but when he brought it, the rust was quite bad on it so I put it in the barn and went over got one from Mr. Briggs. He did not like to loan it, but did let me have it. I brought it down and we found it would work OK in the black mud, is a steel plow. I worked it awhile and could plow it without using me up, but let John use it. He and the team get along very well. Began to rain about 3 P.M. and soon stopped our work. Mr. Gibler worked on for some time. Mame went over to see Mrs. Jenny this P.M.
Friday -20
Cloudy, but cleared up and was nice day. John plowed and ought to have finished but he is very slow and did not get done. I went down to Roseburg this forenoon, all was reasonably well, except Harvey. I think he is taking the measles. Mother is feeling quite well for her. I took dinner with Lute’s folks. I took down two dozen eggs got 22 1/2 cents = 45 cents cash. I got 1 pound of tea 50 cents and 1 roll butter 50 cents at Barker & Co. on acct. I rec’d a letter from G. A. Harding of Oregon City. I came home before night. We all went down to church at night, had a very interesting sermon. Not many out, four came out for prayers, meetings will be continued through next week.

January Tuesday -17 1899

Cloudy, but had some sun shine during the day. We rigged a pulley block and hauled the hay up stairs. Carl Palm came this forenoon to see John, He came out last night to town, he stayed until after dinner. John went back to town with him, he goes on out to Grants Pass tonight. Harvey went back with John. I put 1/2 soles on Will’s shoes and sent them back with John. I did not get a fancy job as it was the first. John brought back a pair of Harvey’s, also one of Laura’s for me to fix. I went over to see Mr. Wyley, he is feeling first rate. Rained while I was over there. John went to a meeting again tonight, are going to hold meetings all week.
Wednesday -18
Cloudy, south wind, the sun shone out some and was pleasant. I had John hitch up and we tried plowing again here at home. I worked a while but just completely played out, the plow does bad is so heavy and clogs up as bad, then would gather about 10 pounds of the mud on each foot so I had to quit. Let John try it, I can’t do it with that plow if it is never done. Mr. Parker said a steel plow would work all OK, that he had one that would go all right he thought. Mr. Giber let John have his plow afternoon and it worked better. I put a half sole on my everyday shoes, also some on Harvey’s and made a good job of both, have got the hang of the work. We all went to evening service at Edenbower chapel this PM, had an earnest sermon of gospel truth, will have afternoon meetings as well as evenings, was a pleasant evening for night service.
Thursday -19
Cloudy and cool, wind south, prospect of rain. I sent John up for Mr. Parker’s plow, but when he brought it, the rust was quite bad on it so I put it in the barn and went over got one from Mr. Briggs. He did not like to loan it, but did let me have it. I brought it down and we found it would work OK in the black mud, is a steel plow. I worked it awhile and could plow it without using me up, but let John use it. He and the team get along very well. Began to rain about 3 P.M. and soon stopped our work. Mr. Gibler worked on for some time. Mame went over to see Mrs. Jenny this P.M.


Friday -20

Cloudy, but cleared up and was nice day. John plowed and ought to have finished but he is very slow and did not get done. I went down to Roseburg this forenoon, all was reasonably well, except Harvey. I think he is taking the measles. Mother is feeling quite well for her. I took dinner with Lute’s folks. I took down two dozen eggs got 22 1/2 cents = 45 cents cash. I got 1 pound of tea 50 cents and 1 roll butter 50 cents at Barker & Co. on acct. I rec’d a letter from G. A. Harding of Oregon City. I came home before night. We all went down to church at night, had a very interesting sermon. Not many out, four came out for prayers, meetings will be continued through next week.

January Saturday -21 1899

Rained some during the night and was threatening, so that John did not go out to plow. I was not doing much, went down to afternoon meeting, not many out, but a good time. Bro. Cotton done the talking. There was services again at night and a good meeting. The young people did not behave very well, throws a damper on the meeting when such things take place. Mame and I both went at night.
Sunday -22
Cloudy in the morning but cleared away and was a fine day. John went down to town to services in the morning. Mame and I went down to hear Bro. Pogne, he preached at 11. There was not many out, but, there was a good meeting. I did not go back at 2:30P.M. Mame went, said quite a number was out from town to hear Bro. Cotton. Bro Pogne came home with…

Missing part of the January 22nd entry and the January 23rd – 27th entries.

Saturday -28
Foggy and chilly, not much wind. John did not feel so well this morning so I went and plowed this forenoon. By keeping the team steady going I finished by noon. All that I will do until get some sowed, unless should rain. Afternoon Mame and I went to town. I wanted to see if I could get a harrow. I stopped to see if I could borrow a steel harrow from one of the neighbors but they would not let it go, so I made inquiry in town but did not find any suitable on hand. I took two boxes of apples to Will, Laura went down to Clackamas this morning. I took some corn down and had ground into meal and brought it back, paid 15 cents for the grinding. Found all reasonably well at the boys’ homes. Mother is feeling good. I took down two doz. eggs to Barker & Co. I rec’d credit for 40 cents for them and got two sacks of flour from them on acc. $1.60, I got soup bone 15 cents, codfish brick 20 cents cash. The wind changed to the north and was quite cool in the afternoon. I brought my sack of potatoes home that I got down at Oregon City when I was there. My garden seeds have arrived.
Sunday -29
Clear and was a beautiful day, the greater part of the time the sun shone out fine. John went down to church. I thought I would go but Mame could not go and I did not like for her to stay home alone all day. Afternoon I went over to see Mr. Wylie. The boy Walter is just getting over the measles. Mr. Wylie is feeling much better, his neck is about well. Neighbor Snowstein was making garden all day, ground is getting in good shape to work.

The MOORE Family Tree

Marquis Lafayette Moore
Born: 8/27/1838
Died 9/26/1931
Married: Sarah A. Brown
Born: 09/06/1842
Died: 09/03/1916
Children:
William M. Moore
B: 02/21/1868
D: 10/11/1919
Luther B. Moore
B. 01/09/1870
John W. Moore
B: 01/24/1879
James Moore
B: 11/09/1880
D: 12/12/1881

This  installment of the Diary of  Marion L. Moore is from the Spring 2004 Issue of the UMPQUA TRAPPER.  More installments and relevant pictures are available in other issues including: Summer 2004, Fall 2004, Winter 2004, and Spring 2005. Click here to find out how to get your issue of the Umpqua Trapper!

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