Basil Moore, a well-to-do farmer of Bois Brule Township, Perry County, is a native of the county, born in 1844. He is a son of James J. and Cecelia (Manning) Moore.
James J. Moore was the first male child baptized in St. Mary's parish, and received the name of the missionary priest who baptized him. His father, James Moore, wife and brother, Richard, removed from Eastern Maryland, and located in Perry County in 1790, two miles north of Perryville, where he secured a homestead of 640 acres of land from the French Government. Among the early settlers, the Moores were prominent and were members of the first Catholic Church built in this vicinity.
At that time the Indians were numerous and the settlers were protected by an organized force composed of a part of their number, of which Richard Moore was captain. One evening on returning after drilling his company, and feeling very soldier-like, he and his brother, James were feeding the pigs when a large panther came out of the brush and caught one of them. Capt. Richard seized the hatchet and sprang to the swine's rescue and while the panther was sucking his blood, with Spartan courage dealt him a blow that forever ended his panthership. He measured nine feet from tip to tip.
The children of James Moore, Sr., and wife were sons: James, William, Ignatius and Thomas; daughters Sabina Rice (Sister Lucy), Mrs. James May and Mrs. Rhodes. These children were left orphans at an early age, and the court bound all the sons as tradesmen. The second daughter entered a convent, and after spending a long life as as a teacher died at an advanced age. Thomas entered the community of St. Vincent of Paul, and died after being ordained deacon. The remaining brothers and sisters married and reared families.
After James J. Moore was married he settled on a quarter section of land two miles east of Sereno, when he reared his family. His children are Thomas J., who married Theresa Hagan; Martin V., who graduated in the St. Louis Medical College in 1869, after which he practiced medicine in Perryville until death relieved him; William V., who became a priest of the order of St. Vincent of Paul, and is now located in New Orleans; James J., who married Charlotte Duvall; Basil; Hillary, who wedded Matilda Layton; Theresa, wife of Thomas Burgee; Elizabeth, wife of Lucius Hughey; Alfonso L., who married Gertrude Seemes; and Matilda, who married Albion Miles, and after his death became a Sister of Charity.
Basil remained at home with his parents until the age of twenty-two years, when he entered college at the Seminary of Our Lady of Angels, Suspension Bridge, Niagara Falls, N. Y. and remained there four years and a half. Returning home he taught school until 1872, when he was appointed deputy county assessor, and in November 1872, he was elected county surveyor, and served four years.
In 1873, he was commissioned notary public, and served four years, after which he located on a farm, and has since given his attention to agriculture. His farm contains 213 acres of fine land, under a good state of cultivation. Mr. Moore stands foremost in the advancement of education in his district of which he is a clerk and a member of the school board.
He married Emma Burgee, daughter of Judge Joab W. Burgee, by whom he has a family of seven children - six sons and one daughter. They are Martin V., Basil, Leonidas, Henry, James, Lucius and Mary.
In 1874 he was appointed administrator of Dr. Martin V. Moore's estate and in 1876, he and his brother Thomas J. were appointed executors of his father's last will.
The Goodspeed Publishing Company compiled a series of histories of various counties in the U.S. in the late 19th century. The information in the History of Southeast Missouri, published in 1888, was provided by the contemporary residents of Perry County and her neighboring counties. The biographies are a valuable source of genealogical information, despite a few minor inaccuracies. We are glad to present the transcribed biographies here for anyone researching Perry County's history.
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