December 23, 1906: Death of former Duluth mayor Horace B. Moore

On this day in Duluth in 1906, former Duluth mayor Horace B. Moore “dropped dead from heart failure” inside his Chester Terrace townhouse. Moore had been born in Danville, Vermont, in 1843 and graduated Dartmouth College. He first arrived in Minnesota at Winona, where he went to work for the First National Bank. After service in the Union Army during the Civil War, he went to Allegan, Michigan, and began a career in the lumber industry and ran for state senator in 1876. According to the Duluth News Tribune, Moore first came to Duluth in 1880 to work for lumber dealer R. L. Henry before becoming secretary of the Duluth Lumber Company, which folded just before Moore became mayor. Moore had run unopposed—and somewhat reluctantly. It wasn’t his idea to become mayor; he was pressed into it by a petition that was circulated after no one else threw a hat in the ring. Shortly after the election the Duluth News Tribune reported that Moore’s priorities would be “the introduction of a sewer system, the further improvement of our streets, [and] gas and water.” (Sound familiar, Duluthians?) But while mayor Moore took on more work than that of the city. During his term he was appointed as the Federal Collector of Customs in Duluth and organized a mining concern, the Duluth Mineral Land Company, along with other prominent Duluthians and took receivership of the failed Oneota Lumber Company. The next year Moore was replaced as Duluth’s chief executive by John B. Sutphin, who had defeated Major John Upham, the man who piloted the dredging tug that cut the Duluth ship canal. Moore, who had not run for re-election, worked as customs collector for four years, after which he became the weigh master at Duluth State Grain and Weighing Department, essentially overseeing the Zenith City’s grain trade. He also helped organize the Duluth Iron & Mining Exchange, which became the Duluth Stock Exchange in 1892. Three years before his death was elected secretary and treasurer of the Duluth Board of Trade.

Horace B. Moore, Duluth’s mayor from April 1885 to April 1886. (Image: Duluth Public Library)