The Moore, Seltzer, Lash, and Miller families lived in Womelsdorf, Pennsylvania and Redlands, California. The men on the Seltzer-Moore side of the family worked largely in the livestock trade, and often worked together in their horse-and mule-trading businesses. William Michael Seltzer Moore inherited William Groff Moore's Kentucky mule business for a time, when his father moved the family from Pennsylvania to Redlands, California in 1895, possibly for health reasons. Once in Redlands, William Groff Moore purchased the local newspaper the Redlands Daily Facts.
Scope and Content
Boxes 1-3 contain correspondence, organized alphabetically by the last name of the sender. The correspondence contains letters sent to Rebecca Lash Miller by J. A. Heagy, her longtime suitor. The correspondence, dated between 1861 and 1865, describes the couples courtship, secret engagement, and break up. Heagy was studying to be a minister, and Miller's parents actively discouraged their relationship, possibly on the grounds that Miller possessed little wealth. The letters could be of use to a scholar interested in the culture of 19th-century courtship, perhaps particularly the interesting literary genre of the love-letter. Heagy's demonstrative and lengthy missives negotiate a fine balance between making love with paper and pen and confronting the practical, business side of marriage. The correspondence also includes letters from Maria N. James to Dr. John P. Moore, dated between 1869 and 1871. The correspondence between James and Moore is that of friends, though perhaps not strictly. James' letters betray her jealousy over Moore's time spent with mutual female friends in company, and James' laments that the two of them will never be more than friends. James works in secretarial positions, and often wishes she had more time to be sociable and be seen. Again, these letters might be of use to scholars interested in the history of 19th century courtship and love (though this was strictly flirtation, it is clear that James feels deeply for Moore). The largest series of correspondence in the collection are the 53 letters from William Groff Moore to his son William M. S. Moore, between the years 1884 and 1897. The letters begin when William M. S. Moore is still in school, and these are generally filled with the news and gossip of their town, (Womelsdorf, PA), and advice about career training and his son's studies. Often, William G. Moore writes about the family business trading Kentucky Mules, and it is clear that he hopes his son will inherit control over it one day. The business-related letters cover everything from managing hired help to traveling for work, and as the years go by, business is increasingly a topic. The correspondence tracks William G. Moore's travels west in the mid-1890s, and his eventual choice to move his family to Southern California. By 1895, William G. Moore had purchased a house in Redlands and majority ownership of the local newspaper, the Redlands Daily Facts. He had turned the mule-trading business over to his son. These letters might be a rich source for scholars interested in late-19th century migrations to southern California. They chart a long process of decision-making as Moore moved his money, family, property, and business goals across the continent. There are 3 boxes of ephemera and documents. The boxes contain a large number of legal and professional documents like property deeds and mortgages, business accounts and ledgers, and receipts. There are also a number of graphic items, largely postcards and photo albums relating to the Moore family's time in Redlands, California. Some groups of note are Michael Seltzer's business papers, relating to his horse-trading business, the postcard collection of Southern California landscapes, houses, vegetation, and orchards, and the business papers of Siebert and Moore.