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William Henry Harrison Moody, of Claremont, a retired shoe manufacturer and one of the wealthiest and most prominent men of New Hampshire, was born here, May 10, 1842, son of Jonathan Moody. His father made shoes by hand, employing several men in his business. Jonathan Moody took a lively interest in military matters throughout his life. A tenor drummer of reputation, he was always in demand at military training and at muster.
The subject of this sketch, the seventh child in a family of eleven, was named for President William Henry Harrison. When fourteen years old, he entered the shoe factory of Russell W. Farwell, of Claremont, to learn the business; and he continued with that firm four years. In 1861 he enlisted in Troop L, New England Cavalry, served for a few months in the Civil War, and was then honorably discharged. In the fall of 1862 he engaged as travelling salesman for a large shoe jobbing firm in Boston, and was very successful in selling goods all over the country. His employers took him into partnership in 1867, when the firm name became McGibbons, Moody & Raddin. His capital was little more than ability and knowledge of the business. In 1873 he became a partner in the firm of Crain, Moody & Rising, who established a shoe manufactory at Amoskeag, N.H., employing one hundred hands, and making shoes for the Western and Southern trade. After a Nashua, where they remained about seven years. Then the shoe manufacturing firm of Moody, Estabrook & Anderson was organized. Mr. Moody’s relations with this firm continued until the spring of 1896, when he retired, selling his interest to his partners. The manufactory became the largest of its kind in the country, its business amounting to about two millions of dollars per annum. The goods are sold wholly to jobbing houses in the South and West. The firm has an office and warehouse in Boston. Mr. Moody, well known among the leather people of that city, is a Director in the National Shoe and Leather Bank there. Since he went to Boston, he has acquired one of the largest fortunes in the State. His deep interest in the welfare of his native place, with his generous support of everything for the advantage of the town, has made him one of the most prominent and popular men of Claremont. He is the owner of the property of the Hotel Claremont, where he spends most of the winter months. The hotel is one of the best and largest in the State.
In 1878 Mr. Moody bought what was known for many years as the Mann farm of eighty-seven acres, located about a mile south of the village. To this farm he has constantly added; and the farm contains to-day six hundred acres, the larger part of it pasture. At a great expense he has erected a magnificent series of buildings, making it one of the finest properties in the State. As a relief from business cares he is interested in the breeding of fine horses, and the possessor of a large number of thoroughbreds. Mr. Moody has spent some time abroad for the benefit of his health, but Highland View affords him pastime and diversion such as he can find nowhere else. He has expended thousands of dollars annually in the improvement of the estate, and has thus added to the wealth, importance, and beauty of his native town, for which he has always had a strong affection.
Mr. Moody was united in marriage to Miss Mary A. Maynard, daughter of Levi P. and Lorana (Orr) Maynard, the former being a native of Bath, Me., and the latter of Bowdoinham, Me. Through his remarkable success in business he has been able to do much for his townspeople in different ways, and has proved himself by his generous acts one of the most liberal and philanthropic of men.