William Henry Moore (judge)

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William Henry Moore
Portrait of William Henry Moore.jpg
Moore circa 1905
Born 1848
Died January 11, 1923(1923-01-11)
Partner(s) Paul Moore, Sr.
Moore in 1914

William Henry (Judge) Moore (1848 – January 11, 1923) was an attorney and financier.[1] He organized and promoted or sat as a director for several steel companies that were merged with among others the Carnegie Steel Company to create United States Steel.[2] He and his brother James Hobart Moore helped create the Diamond Match Company, National Biscuit Company, First National Bank, the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad, the American Can Company, the Lehigh Valley Railroad, the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad, the Continental Fire Insurance Company, the Western Union Telegraph Company, the American Cotton Oil Company, and Bankers Trust. Moore was an avid and expert horsemen.[3][4]


He was born in 1848. Moore's father, Nathaniel Ford Moore, was a prominent banker and merchant in Utica, New York. His mother, Rachel Arvilla Beckwith, was a daughter of George Beckwith, also a banker, a mid-18th century graduate of Yale College, and member of the original Yale Corporation.

After a few years at Amherst College, Moore sought adventure in the American West, where he became known to Sitting Bull. Moore returned to the American Midwest on Sitting Bull's advice.[5] Moore then joined the law firm of Edward Alonzo Small, his future father-in-law, and invited his brother James Hobart to join him in Chicago. After Small's death, Hobart partnered with his brother, and married the sister of his sister-in-law[6]

Moore has been described as the prototype of the 1980s leveraged buyout artist. He mocked Andrew Carnegie for knowing how to make steel and nothing about "making securities, preferred and common stocks and bonds" during the initial attempt to take over Carnegie Steel Company. After losing $1.1 million on that 90-day option, a subsequent attempt was successful with the assistance of J.P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller. U.S. Steel, Big Steel, was born.[7]

The Moores controlled several makers of primary or finished steel products. National Steel Company was among the three primary steel makers (of rails, beams, and unfinished steel) in the United States, controlling about 30% of the current capacity. In addition to National Steel, the Moores controlled American Tin Plate Company, American Steel Hoop Company and American Sheet Steel Metal. The above four corporations were among the ten that were merged to form United States Steel. The other six were Carnegie Steel Company, American Bridge Company, American Wire & Steel Company, Federal Steel Company, Lake Superior Consolidated Iron Mines, and National Tube Company.[2][8]

Moore acquired the Pearson & Sons Bakery, Josiah Bent Bakery, and six other bakeries to form the New York Biscuit Company in 1889. The New York Biscuit Company merged with a group of bakeries that had been controlled by Adolphus Greene in 1898. The company created by the mergers was the National Biscuit Company.,[9] later named simply Nabisco.

Moore was a founding board member of Bankers Trust.[10]

Moore was father to corporate director Paul Moore, Sr., founder of Republic Aviation, and grandfather to Rt. Rev. Paul Moore, Jr., Bankers Trust chairman William Moore, and great-grandfather to poet/author Honor Moore.

He died on January 11, 1923.[1] His home in Manhattan, the William H. Moore House, was added to the National Register of Historic Places on March 16, 1972.[11]


  1. ^ a b "W. H. Moore, Lawyer and Horseman, Dies. Known Internationally as a Breeder and Exhibitor of Thoroughbreds". New York Times. January 12, 1923. Retrieved 2010-11-02. William H. Moore, one of the best known lawyers In the United States and who was active in the organization of many large corporations, died suddenly last ... 
  2. ^ a b [1]
  3. ^ "Judge W.H. Moore's Entries Awarded Four Blue Ribbons. Miss Mollie Maxwell Wins in Two Classes and Mrs. Grosvenor Gets One Victory. Keen Coaching Rivalry". New York Times. May 7, 1903. 
  4. ^ "Judge Moore's Entry Beaten for Chief Trophy at Brooklyn Show Closing". california. April 12, 1999. Retrieved 2010-11-02. Keen rivalry marked the closing session of the Brooklyn Horse Show last night between Judge William H. Moore and J. W. Harriman for possession of the Brooklyn Eagle Cup for the best horses suited and driven to a gig. The trophy stands as the most prominent of any offered during the show, and has to be won three times for having the best horse in show. 
  5. ^ Presences: A Bishop's Life in the City, pp. 8-9, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 1997. pp. 8-9
  6. ^ Moore, Honor. The Bishop's Daughter: A Memoir, W.W. Norton & Company, New York, 2008. p. 126
  7. ^ Morris, Charles R. The Tycoons: How Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, Jay Gould, J.P. Morgan and Jay Gould Invented the American Supereconomy. Times Books Henry Holt and Company, New York, New York, 2005. pp. 210-211, pp. 252-254, p. 258, p. 263.
  8. ^ The Tycoons. pp.255-258
  9. ^ [2]
  10. ^ The Bishop's Daughter, p. 132.
  11. ^ National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.