Dr John A Moore

Dr. John Allen Moore came to Company Shops around 1860, although he had been teaching school in Alamance County since at least 1855. [1] Moore apparently had a history of membership in secret organizations. He had at some time been involved with the Know-Nothing movement. [2] In December 1860 he became the first Worthy Master of the newly chartered Masonic Lodge in Alamance, a position he held for four years. [3] In December 1868, Moore was initiated into the White Brotherhood, although it is unclear whether the ritual took place in a shoe shop or in John T. Trollinger's barroom. [4] In addition, while a member of the legislature in late 1869, Moore had been partially inducted into the Invisible Empire, another version of the Klan. He insisted to James E. Boyd, to whom he promised information on starting an Alamance chapter, that most members of the legislature belonged to the organization. [5]

Moore's penchant for secret organizations saved state Senator T. M. Shoffner's life in January 1870. Shoffner had sponsored a bill to strengthen the governor's authority over the militia. Although the bill actually gave the governor little new power, it inflamed conservative citizens of Alamance. The Constitutional Union Guard, a group that absorbed former White Brotherhood members in mid 1869, planned to murder Shoffner and send his body to Governor Holden. [6] Dr. Moore learned of the plot from James E. Boyd on the day it was to occur. Moore was determined to prevent the slaying, in part because Shoffner's wife was pregnant, but mostly because Shoffner was a brother Mason and Moore felt an obligation to him. [7]

In his initial statement, Moore declared that he rode to Gilbraith's bridge to intercept the killers, none of whom he recognized. When Moore told the men that Shoffner was out of town, they turned back (Moore did not know it, but Shoffner really was away). Later witnesses contradicted Moore's version of the events, and under reexamination he hedged his statements. He had gone to James Bradshaw's first to solicit his aid in halting the attack (Bradshaw's CUG camp had been detailed to carry out the mission). He encountered men in Bradshaw's lane on the way, and Bradshaw told him who they were. Moore obviously knew more about the CUG than he admitted, but he did succeed in preventing the assault on Shoffner. [8]

Moore also led a full public life. On a local level, he played a key role in the community. In October 1865 he was appointed to a committee empowered to plan and build a combination church and school. The building was ready for use in 1866, and became known as the Academy. [9] Moore also served as an Alamance delegate to the state Legislature from 1868 to 1870. As the 1870 State Senate campaign peaked and the Kirk- Holden War raged, the Greensboro Patriot heaped lavish praise upon Moore, extolling him as a "sincere and devoted patriot," who was "in every respect a gentleman." [10] Moore lost the election to John A. Gilmer, but had a note printed in the Patriot thanking the free men of Alamance and Guilford Counties, claiming that he lost because of "fraud, treachery, and intimidation." [11]


[ ]1 Third Message 162.

[ ]2 Third Message 164.

[ ]3 Stokes, Durward T. Company Shops: the Town Built by a Railroad. John F. Blair, Publisher: Winston-Salem, NC, 1981, 113.

[ ]4 Third Message 161-163.

[ ]5 Third Message 210.

[ ]6 Third Message 238-39.

[ ]7 Third Message 178.

[ ]8 Third Message 165-66; SR 25-26, 236.

[ ]9 Stokes 93-94. This does not seem to be the same school/ church that Daniel Worth helped initiate.

[ ]10 Greensboro Patriot, 28 July 1870.

[ ]11 Patriot, 11 August 1870.