Cyrus Saunders/Sanders Moore was born the sixth and last child of James Draden Moore and Mary Francis Saunders Moore, on November 29, 1829, at or near Clear Spring, Maryland.*
The earliest public record of Cyrus seems to surface on April 13, 1853, when he registered the “James A. Magruder” to navigate the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. The “Magruder” was a class C boat, that measured 91 feet, with a breadth of 14 feet, 5 inches, and had a draught of 12 inches empty, and 60 inches loaded. While the boat “hailed” from Four Locks, Cyrus’ residence was listed as Washington, D.C.
Two and a half years later, on November 29, 1855, Cyrus married Catharine Ann McKinney, of Pleasant Township, Washington Co., Md. Cyrus may have actually been engaged in both work on the canal and as a private farmer (with his brother, Joseph) at the time of the marriage. On August 13, 1857, Cyrus and Catharine became parents to twin boys, James H. & Robert Blocker Moore.
In 1858, Cyrus took the job of lead lock tender at Four Locks. It’s possible that the family resided at Lockhouse #49 during this time. It was also within this year that Cyrus and Catherine lost the twins, both dying on December 9, and buried in St. Peter’s Lutheran Church cemetery at Clear Spring.
Having only served as lead locktender for a year, the family remained in Four Locks, but likely relocated to another residence in the village. Within that same year, the couple’s next child, James Draden Moore, was born.
On July 16, 1860, Cyrus bought the canal boat “G.P. Lloyd” (named for the President of the American Co. of coal mining fame) from Henry Thomas Weld of Mt. Savage, Alleghany County, for $1,530.00. The amount was to be paid back in installments of $45 each, for twenty trips and $35 for each subsequent trip made for the boat on the canal with freights of coal from Cumberland to Georgetown and Washington City. The trips were to be “in regular trips, with such expedition and regularity as can be reasonably done, and to receive the loads of the said boat promptly at each trip with the coal of such company as the said Weld shall direct; and to freight the same at the lowest current rates which shall be paid by the Cumberland Coal and Iron Company, the Borden Mining Company, and the Alleghany Mining Company…” Furthermore, it was stated that Weld should be prepared with the coal within twenty-four hours of the boat being reported by the captain as ready to receive her load. If Weld was not ready, Cyrus had the right “of loading wherever he chooses for that trip, provided the detention is not caused by a glub of boats in which case all must take their turn.”
On November 28, 1860 Cyrus and Catharine sold their land and home in Clear Spring (“Kindness Enlarged”*) for $800 to Mr. George Feidt (1798-1882).**
Likely while residing at Four Locks, the couple had two more children… John Howard (believed to have been named for Jonathan Hower of Clear Spring) was born in September 1862, and Mary Elizabeth, in March 1864.
Another child, Cyrus Clifford, was born at nearby Hancock, in 1866, though it’s unclear why he was born there, instead of Four Locks.
The family relocated to Martinsburg sometime between 1866-1869, possibly as the result of a career change for Cyrus, who started with the B & O Railroad, working as a conductor. Also after moving, another set of twins were born to Cyrus and Kate, in 1869 (Ida and Josephine). Ida died just over a year later.
In conjunction with his work on the B&O, Cyrus became associated with the Conductors Brotherhood, and began regularly attending conventions of this order. On December 15, 1868, he was a representative of the B&O when he attended the convention in Columbus, Ohio. At that convention, he served as doorkeeper, was elected Grand Guide, and was appointed to a committee to prepare Constitution and By-Laws. He was re-elected Grand Guide at the Chicago convention, in June, 1869; elected Assistant Grand Chief Conductor at Buffalo (Oct. 1869); became Grand Chief Conductor by the death of A.G. Black (August 23, 1870); was elected to that office at Philadelphia (St. Lawrence Hotel, Oct. 6 – 7, 1870) while one of the two representatives of Martinsburg Division 6), and presided over the fourth session at Cleveland (11/1/1871 – 11/3/1871). He received a certificate for the Conductors’ Brotherhood Life Insurance Company on June 21, 1871, which listed him as a member of Berkeley Division No. 6.
He was also listed as a conductor in the Cumberland Valley Railroad Directory from, for the years 1877 – 1878, during which time he was living at 62 N. German Street (now Maple St.) in Martinsburg. This was also the time in which the Great Railroad Strike took place, though Cyrus’ situation during this strike is unknown.
Sometime during his service on the railroad, Cyrus may have also worked for the Shenandoah Valley Railroad and it is a family story that he was the engineer on the first train into the Shenandoah Iron District to pick-up iron ore. John Howard Moore, his son, was the last to take ore out of Shenandoah.
By 1880, Cyrus changed careers once again. In the census records for that year (dated June 3, 1880), he was listed as a hotel clerk, living with his family on King Street, in Martinsburg.
Six to eight years later, it appears the family moved again… this time to Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. While there, Cyrus entered into a beer bottling business with his son, Cliff. How long the business lasted is unknown.
According to a book from the Conductors Brotherhood, it was also during this time (1888), Cyrus took employment with theHannis Distilling Company in Martinsburg.
Apparently, the family moved back to Martinsburg, as they were listed in the Martinsburg newspaper, on November 14, 1896, as having returned to their E. Martin Street address, from Harrisburg, after visiting their son, J.D. Moore, whose “child is seriously ill.” This is probably a reference to Lillian Moore, who died on November 19.
Cyrus died at Chambersburg at 3 p.m., June 18, 1904. His remains, the Martinsburg newspaper noted, arrived at that town on the “8:25 train” for burial at Green Hill Cemetery.
Curiously, ten years later, his remains were noted in the records of Green Hill Cemetery, as having been “removed” by the undertaker. The reason for removal, where he was removed to, or if he was re-interred is not known or given in the book or related cemetery resources.
As of 1915, Catherine was recorded as living in Martinsburg, at the 210 (or was it 229?) West Martin Street address. She passed away in June of that year in Shenandoah, Virginia, at the home of John Howard Moore, and was also buried in Green Hill Cemetery in Martinsburg. Her death date is not noted on her headstone, and the birthdate on the stone is incorrect.
*Cyrus had been named for his grandfather on his mother’s side, Cyrus Saunders who was originally from Loudoun County.
**”Kindness Enlarged” was the original tract of land settled in 1736 by the Prather family through patent from the King of England. Originally known simply as “Kindness”, it lay on the southwest corner of Clear Spring. Later the Jacques family visited the Prathers and entered into another tract to which they gave the name “Kindness Enlarged.” After the discovery of the abundance of iron ore on the property, the Jacques family entered into yet another tract which extended almost entirely from West Virginia to Pennsylvania. “Kindness Enlarged” was conveyed to Richard and Sarah Prather, his wife, then also Mary Moore and her six children, Elizabeth M. Moore, Joseph S. Moore, Emily Moore, Virginia C. Moore, Mary H. Moore, and Cyrus S. Moore by Denton Jacques and Sarah, his wife, George Jacques, and Sarah Jacques all of Washington County, and John Ellis and Eliza, his wife, formerly Eliza Jacques of Berkeley County, Va. Also from all children and heirs at law of Sarah Jacques, wife of Arthur Jacques, late of Washington Co, aforesaid, deceased, by deed bearing date on April 23, 1846. Jacques and Cyrus’ father, James Draden Moore, through James’ marriage to his first, wife Ann Lowe, are related.