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Morgan Family Pioneer Heritage
Willard A (Bill) Moore

Sixth child of John Thomas and Annie Andersen Moore


Willard "A" (Bill) Moore

Life History of Willard A. Moore

Written by his wife, Edris Moore

Willard Moore was born January 14, 1890, in Spanish Fork, Utah. He was the fifth son born to John Thomas Moore and Annie Andersen Moore. His brothers, Thomas, George, John, and Ernest were there to welcome him into the Moore family. Wesley, Annie, Ralph were born later in Clinton Valley before they moved from Utah. Also the two babies who died were born there.

Father Moore had a farm in Clinton Valley, not far from Spanish Fork, Utah. In 1897 he and other friends and neighbors heard of the great productive land that was available to homestead in Idaho. Father felt the need to improve the living conditions of his family of boys and so plans were made, and they loaded the wagon with most of their possessions, furniture, machinery, food, and seed, and with four of the oldest boys started out for Idaho. Bill was seven years old and was so disappointed that his Dad felt that he was too young to make the hard journey. Mother Moore, Wesley, Annie, Ralph, and Bill came on the train. They arrived in Shelton, Idaho October 30, 1897. They spent one winter in one room of a log house shared with Jim Angus. This log house was later torn down and moved log by log to property which Bill later bought.

Father bought 120 acres then owned by Clyde Carlyle. This is the property Ralph later bought. One hundred sixty acres were rented and later purchased and divided up between George, John, Wesley, and Bill. George, John, and Ernest bought some dry farm ground also. Tom had some holdings but spent most of his life as a sheepherder. They worked together a lot, especially in the hay. They hayed all summer and when winter came chopped the hay and sold it to sheep men and also hauled some to Iona and Idaho falls. When supplies were needed they went to Iona, the closest place, to buy food and supplies for the farm. They had lots of good times also. They liked to ride horses, hunt and fish, and play baseball. Bill liked to play catch and had a crooked finger to prove it.

Florence and Reed were added to the family in Shelton.

They had a lot of sickness, when the kids were at home, not just the common cold, but diphtheria, smallpox, scarlet fever, and measles. Ralph and Annie just about died from diphtheria. Bill use to have terrible sore throats and tonsillitis and ear infections. Finally just before Bill went on his mission, Dr. H. Ray Hatch removed them and he said the tonsils were just like leather; they had been sore and healed so many times.

The kids attended school in the one room Shelton School. Some of Bill's teachers were John Johnson, Jane Morgan, and Robert Sermon. They went through the eighth grade and then continued going there until they were too big to go anymore. Those who could afford to go attended High School in Rexburg.

As children they didn't have much money to spend. One the Fourth of July celebration, Dad would give each a quarter to spend. For Christmas they got a ball, or a pocket knife, a harmonica or maybe a piece of candy. It wasn't because the parents were stingy, but there were a lot of mouths to feed and clothes to buy. Mother knitted the socks for all the family. They went barefoot a lot in the summer to save their shoes for school and Sundays. Mother made a lot of the clothes, and they were passed down from each one until there wasn't much left but rags. Mother made large cheeses and churned butter and sold it to help with living expenses. She often went to other homes and taught the women how to make the cheese.

The mode of transportation was a horse and buggy or white-top, two-seater buggy. Everyone had a horse or many horses because they were also used to run the machinery to farm with. Sleighs were used in the winter.

Often the fences were taken down and they traveled through the snow in the fields, as it wasn't as deep there. Sometimes they went to school in cutters. The high drifts would tip the cutter over and they would get out and lift it upright again. Many miles were traveled to attend a dance or party in the sleigh or buggy. Many times the horses would take the occupants home. It was so dark and no lights to guide them.

The wards around usually put on three act dramas for winter entertainment. Dad was the drama director for many years in Shelton and people came for miles around to see them. Dad took many parts himself. He played the villain in many plays. Bill, Wes, Ralph, and Annie all took main parts.

When the First World War began, Bill served seven months in preparation to go overseas. They were ready to go when the Armistice was signed. How glad everyone was! Ralph served also, although he didn't get overseas. He served a longer time.

Bill continued to farm when he returned from the service. He served in many positions in the church: Sunday school teacher, counselor, superintendent; Scout master and counselor in the MIA. He received a call for a mission to the Eastern Canadian Mission from October 1928 to December 1930. Part of the time was spent in New Brunswick, Canada and part in Moncton, Maine. Many new members were baptized into the LDS church. The missionaries with whom Bill labored were wonderful young men and they were a great help to him. He gained many friends there and always remembered to serve in the Sunday School and was also one of the seven Presidents of Seventies of the North Idaho Falls Stake. He continued to act in this position until Shelton was changed to East Rigby Stake on July 7, 1946.

Bill began to attend the dances at Riverside Gardens just north of Rigby. Many good times were enjoyed there. It was at these dances that he met Edris Lee and her sisters who also attended every Saturday night and holidays. These dances were good clean ones. Bill and Edris started dating in February and were married September 28, 1933 in the Salt Lake Temple. They spent about ten days visiting around Spanish Fork with some of Bill's relatives.

When they returned they purchased a three room house from Zelpha Flitton which was situated where Lynn Brown's home now stands. They moved it from that area and placed it on a foundation on their property. The house movers moved it for $35. The neighbors Francis and Harris Burtenshaw went in with them to dig a common well. Before the well was dug, many buckets of water were carried from the canal close by. The only new furniture they bought was a bed and mattress. The rest of the furniture was bought second hand from Cavins Furniture store for $105. The house cost about $250. They lived in an apartment in Idaho Falls for about two months before the house was ready to move into. Edris worked at the laundry until just before Christmas.

It was the custom then to give a dance or be chivareed. Bill didn't want any of that monkey business, because that Shelton gang could be pretty rough. So they gave a dance. Marlon Rowan had an orchestra then and they had a pretty good dance. There were a few gifts brought and they carried them all home in a dish pan which was one of the gifts. They felt lucky to get that as times were very hard then. They finally got moved into their house about a week before Christmas and were very happy and enjoyed having a home of their own.

The car they owned was a Model A Ford with a rumble seat. It served many good trips for it was always full when they went to the dances. When their family started arriving, they spent more time at home. Willis Lee was born June 30, 1934 at Idaho Falls, Idaho. They were very happy to have a son. Two and a half years later another son, Stanley Ray, was born on November 12, 1936. He was born at home in Shelton. Three years later, on November 10, 1939, Donna Faye was born in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Bill loved and enjoyed each of his children and was proud of them.

When Donna was about a year old, they took the job of a custodian of the Shelton Church. They worked hard to keep it clean and attractive. The job didn't pay much at the time; only $35 per month

When Bishop William F. Burtenshaw and William J. Sperry were bishops, Bill served as the ward clerk for 12 years.

They continued to farm on their 40 acres and also rented Wes's acreage in later years, raising, hay, grain, potatoes and beets. All the family worked to plant and harvest the crops. They also had a small herd of dairy cows which they milked for many years.

Bill suffered for many years with arthritis which finally caused him to rent out the farm to Virgil Bradshaw and later to Max Cooper. Finally the farm land was sold to Dee Summers. He also suffered a heart attack and was confined to bed for six weeks. He regained his strength and was able to continue his activities.

Each of the children grew to maturity and were married. Willis married Verenna Skinner on December 3, 1955 and they were later sealed in the Idaho Falls Temple February 14, 1970. They have two daughters, Dorothy Jean and Nancy Ann. Stanley married Joyce Fowler on November 24, 1962 and were later sealed in the Logan Temple on June 25, 1973. They have two sons, Kyle and Ryan; and two daughters, Amy Sue and Mindi. Donna married Lynn Casper in the Idaho Falls Temple on March 25, 1960. They have five sons, Gary Lynn, Paul Willard, Mark E., Jeffrey Dee, Darren Todd, and one daughter, Deanna Faye.

Bill suffered a stroke August 24, 1967 and never regained consciousness. He passed away August 26, 1967 in Rexburg, Idaho. The funeral service was held in the Shelton Ward Chapel August 30, 1967, burial in the Shelton-Ririe Cemetery with military rites.

He is remembered by his family with warm memories of the happy times they shared with him. He is also remembered as the good example of a father whose life was devoted to his family and to the church.

Willard A (Bill) and Edris Moore gravestone

Click on the link above to see a picture of the gravestone for Willard A (Bill) and Edris Moore.