Phoebe Catherine (Hemenway – Murphy) Moore (1828-1911) Obituary

March 5, 2018 0 Comments

Ogle County Republican

September 1911


Pioneer Lady Passed From Life In this City Wednesday Last.

Died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Edwin E. Reed in Oregon Wednesday morning Sept. 6th, Mrs. Phoebe Catherine Moore, aged 82 years.

In the death of Mrs. Moore, Ogle County loses one of the last limbs that bind it to its parts. She came of patriotic stock. Two of her ancestors were Revolutionary soldiers and her father was a Virginia abolitionist who voluntarily freed his slaves and who married a Vermont school mistress.

This father, James Murphy came to Illinois in 1817 and settled near Paris in Edgar County and there met Phoebe Bromley who was teaching school at Terre Haute. As a result of the union which followed Phoebe Catherine was born December 21, 1828. Her father was a man of ardest convictions and of an energetic nature, and was proud to be known as an abolitionist in a community which was greatly opposed to the sentiment. He engaged in a number of speculative venutres and at one time possessed forty acres of ground in the heart of Chicago which he thought of so little consequence that he traded it for an old stock of merchandise. His daughter distinctly remembered thieving visits of the Indians while he was occupying temporarily this part of Chicago. He also opened one of the first hotels in Clinton, Iowa and established saw and carding mills at various points in the state.

Attracted by the descriptions of wayfare of the Rock River Country they came in 1842 to Ogle County settling near the present site of Watertown in Nashua touwnship where at that time John Carpenter, D. B. Stiles, and Major Chamberlin were living. Her father built presumbably the first carding mill in Ogle county near there on Willow Creek (a creek which was given its name by Mrs. Moore.) Remains of the mill and dam can still be seen a short distance north of Honey Creek. Her father died on the homestead he had entered here in 1850.

His daughter taught school several years in what is now Stephenson County and in 1847 was married to Benjamin E. Hemenway, a younger brother of Capt. Luke Hemenway, a wealthy New York ship owner who spent his summers here at his home he had built at the then called “Point Bluff,” now the seat of Col. Lowden’s country place. Here was born her daughter Lillian Beulah, now the wife of Edwin E. Reed.

On the death of Mr. Hemenway in 1850 she returned to the homestead near the present site of Honey Creek and was married to James C. Moore Feb. 16, 1851. Of this union three children were born of whom only one, Phoebe Idelle, now the wife of Prof. J. C. Langemak of Sturgeon Bay, Wis. survives. Eva and Marian Grace married brothers, Parley A. and Edgar A. Hurd and lived in the eastern part of the counry but only their children are left to mourn the loss of Mrs. Moore. Besides her two living daughters, fourteen grandchildren, and eleven great grandchildren are hostages to posterity.

Just before the civil war the family moved to Vermilion County where Mr. Moore enlisted and served through the war. Since his return and death in 1871 Mrs. Moore has made her home with her daughters. As could be expected from her ancestry, Mrs. Moore was always a person of bright active mind and of decided convictions. She was of a cheery disposition, a ready talker and writer, both in prose and verse and always had implicit faith in the promises of the Bible. She was an Adventist in belief.

The funeral services were held at the home of her daughter, conducted by Elder G. Eldred Marsh. She was laid to rest in the beautiful cemetery at Daysville but a short distance from the scene of her childhood, and where the bodies of her father and the husband of her youth are at rest.

Submitted by Orvill Paller

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