HON. MILES C. MOORE. – The gentleman whose name gives title to this brief memoir was born April 17, 1845, in the little village of Rix Mills, Muskingum County, Ohio, where his well known and widely respected parents resided. When he was twelve years of age, the family removed to Wisconsin, where for six years he attended school at Bronson Institute, a seat of learning conducted under the auspices of the Methodist church.
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Inspired with a spirit of adventure, through a perusal of the explorations of Bonneville, Frémont and others, and desiring to better his fortune, he resolved to brave the dangers and hardships incident to a trip across the plains and come to the Pacific coast. Accordingly, in 1863, he joined a party en route to the newly discovered gold fields in Montana. After a few weeks spent in the mines, he continued journeying westward until he reached Walla Walla. There his finances gave out. Being among strangers, the situation was not the most pleasant to contemplate. Without giving it much of a review, he sallied forth with the endeavor to secure employment without other recommendation than that which his face and general bearing would portray. Messrs. Kyger & Reese, to whom he applied, believing they recognized in him a worthy young man, gave him a clerkship in their mercantile house. So well did he fulfill his part, and so firmly did he gain the confidence of the public, that he was enabled not long thereafter, at the age of nineteen years, to embark in business on his own account. His successful career affords an illustration of what can be accomplished by any young man combining the attributes of pluck, perseverance, honesty and intelligence.
While he affiliates with the Republican party, he has never been an office-seeker in the general acceptation of the term, and when a candidate for political preferment, it has been at the instance of his friends. Prior to 1877 he served two terms as a member of the city council of Walla Walla, and in that year was elected mayor. In March, 18889, he was appointed governor of Washington Territory. This high honor was not bestowed upon him through his own solicitation, but by the general desire of those who knew his worth and popularity. His administration of the office has proved him to possess ability of high order; and his every act has met with the hearty commendation of all, irrespective of party. In the selection of the last chief executive of that commonwealth under territorial conditions, a more fitting one could not have been made. The following comment from the Tacoma Ledger voices the common sentiment concerning his administration: “Of all the able governors this territory has had, beginning with Isaac I. Stevens, who was a distinguished soldier, engineer and political leader, no one has brought to this office more intelligence, grace and dignity, than Governor Miles C. Moore.”
In 1873 he was united in marriage to Mary E. Baker, daughter of the late Doctor D.S. Baker of Walla Walla, a pioneer of 1847, and well known and widely respected as one of Washington’s most able and enterprising citizens. With their three bright boys they live a tranquil life in their beautiful suburban home at Walla Walla.