J. T. Moore is one of the publishers of the Pittsburg Headlight, one of the oldest and most influential daily and weekly newspapers in Southern Kansas. The Headlight had been continuously under the direction of members of the Moore family for over thirty years. Mr. Moore, besides his publication interests, is directly connected with several of the leading industrial organizations of Pittsburg and vicinity.
He was born at Paris, Illinois, May 11, 1865. His father, the later William Moore, was a veteran printer, editor and newspaper publisher, and left his impress on a number of cities in the Middle West. He was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania, in 1819, and died in Pittsburg, Kansas, in 1904. Spending his early youth in Allentown, he afterwards went west to Iowa, and for a number of years was located at Vincennes, Indiana, where he married. Having learned the printer’s trade as a youth, he was connected with various newspapers and printing establishments in many communities. At Terre Haute, Indiana, whither he removed from Vincennes, he published the first daily paper of that city, and in fact it was one of the early dailies in the Middle West. About 1855, removing to Paris, Illinois, he purchased the Paris Beacon. William Moore left Illinois about 1884, and coming to Kansas first located for a brief time at Emporia, and then became publisher of the Americus Ledger at Americus in Lyon County. From there in 1887 he removed to Pittsburg and bought the Pittsburg Headlight.
The Headlight was established in 1884 by M. F. Sears. William Moore was active editor of the Headlight until he retired in 1895. Since then his two sons, J. T. Moore and G. A. Moore, have owned and directed this large and influential paper. J. T. Moore is the business manager. The present editor is F. W. Brinkerhoff. In point of circulation this is the largest daily paper published in Southeastern Kansas. It is a daily medium of information and news, both local and foreign, in hundreds of homes in Crawford, Cherokee and Neosho counties and also in Barton and Jasper counties, Missouri. The daily circulation is 6,700. The paper is conducted on a strictly independent basis so far as politics is concerned. The company had large and well appointed plant and offices situated at Seventh Street and Broadway, and the Headlight is issued both daily and weekly.
J. T. Moore had been more or less closely associated with his father ever since early manhood. He learned the printing trade, but is a man of varied business capacity and is a controlling factor in several large enterprises. He is president of the Pittsburg Pottery Company, president of the Central Building Company, president of the Dodson Manufacturing Company and secretary of the Pittsburg Improvement Company. He is also secretary of the Moore Investment Company. This company owned a large amount of real estate in and about Pittsburg, consisting of dwelling houses and business structures and unimproved real estate.
He had long been a figure in republican politics in Kansas. He was chairman of the Republican Executive Committee of Crawford County for twenty years, had served as chairman of the Republican State Committee, was alternate at large for the State of Kansas and attended the National Republican Convention which nominated President Taft. He is a member of the Third District Republican Publishers’ Association, the Kansas State Editorial Association, and the International Typographical Union. He also had membership in the Pittsburg Chamber of Commerce, the Retailers’ Association of Crawford County, and was organizer and is now president of the Country Club. Fraternally his relations are with Pittsburg Lodge No. 187, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons; Pittsburg Chapter No. 58, Royal Arch Masons; Pittsburg Commandery No. 29, Knights Templar; Mirzah Temple of the Mystic Shrine at Pittsburg; Fort Scott Consistory No. 4 of the Scottish Rite; Pittsburg Lodge No. 1,554 of the Knights of Pythias; Rescue Lodge No. 303, Independent Order of Odd Fellows; Pittsburg Council No. 77 of the United Commercial Travelers; Pittsburg Lodge No. 56, Ancient Order of United Workmen, and Pittsburg Lodge No. 412, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.
Mr. Moore is descended from an Irish family. His great-grandfather immigrated from that country and settled in Pennsylvania, where he died. Mr. Moore was married in Walnut Township of Crawford County to Miss Rilla Huffman, daughter of Frank Huffman. Her father was a farmer and died in Crawford County in 1915. Mr. and Mrs. Moore have one daughter, Edwina, born September 30, 1900, and a graduate of the Pittsburg High School with the class of 1916.