December 19, 1917: Death of Irving Moore, namesake of Duluth’s Moore Memorial Building

On this day in Duluth in 1917, Irving Moore—namesake of Duluth’s Moore Memorial Building—died of pneumonia while serving in the Navy in New London, Connecticut. He had contracted the disease while serving on a submarine chaser off the Atlantic Coast, patrolling for German U-Boats. Moore was the son of Duluth’s Watson S. Moore, a grain trader who at the time was serving as the Secretary of the U.S. Food Administration in Washington, D.C. Irving Moore, according to the Duluth News Tribune, “was one of the most widely known young men in Duluth” and was attending Yale University when he joined the navy. The Moore Building stood at 312 West Superior Street—between the Alworth and Torrey buildings—and was known as the King Building until 1918 when Watson Moore purchased it. He immediately donated it to the city to act as the first home of the city’s new City Welfare Council, recently organized by Mayor C. R. Magney. The building would also serve the “further centralization and systemization of war activities,” which included helping soldiers returning home from the war. The city hired architect Frederick German to remodel the building’s interior for its new purpose and at Watson Moore’s request it was renamed in honor of his son. The Irving Moore Memorial Building was torn down in 1966.

The four-story Moore Memorial building stood between the Alworth and Torrey buildings. (Image: Zenith City Press)