A Guide to the Alexander Moore Papers, 1876-1898
Born in Ireland in 1830, Alexander Moore came to the United States prior to 1861, when he joined the 13th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. Mustering out of the unit in 1862, Moore served the remainder of the Civil War as a captain and aide to Union Generals Philip Kearny and Joseph Hooker and as a general staff member. He saw action in a number of campaigns, including a notable role at the Battle of Gettysburg (1863 July 1-3). After the war, Moore was transferred to the 38th Infantry and later to the 3rd Cavalry, serving on the frontier in Indian war campaigns. He resigned from the Army in 1879.
In 1875, Moore married Mary L. Tyler, daughter of Gen. Daniel Tyler of Connecticut, a West Point graduate and Civil War veteran. Upon leaving the army, Moore moved to Guadalupe County, Texas, to oversee the development of Capote Farm, recently acquired by his father-in-law, railroad man Thomas W. Peirce, and George F. Stone of New York. Located on what was originally a six league Spanish land grant southeast of the town of Seguin, the ranch consisted of about 12,000 acres in Guadalupe County and 7,500 acres in Gonzales County. The investors spent liberally in outfitting the property for both farming and livestock activities. Under Moore’s supervision, residences and other buildings were constructed, fences installed, irrigation systems developed, and a sawmill established. By 1882, the property listed for tax assessment included almost $29,000 in horses and cattle and almost $33,000 in equipment. Daniel Tyler took an active interest in the ranch and was a part-time resident until his death in 1882 November. Moore continued to oversee the ranch and to represent the interests of the Tyler estate until the property was divided among the heirs, including his wife.
The extent of the farming activity on the property seems to have been reduced by 1884, when a large lot of the farming equipment was advertised for sale by auction, but the ranch continued to produce livestock, including purebred horses, and crops. Moore also acquired his own 14,000 acre property, the Frio Ranch, in Uvalde County, though his primary residence remained Guadalupe County. Moore continued to follow the progress of the ranch, but about 1887 the management of Capote Farm and Frio Ranch was turned over to his nephew, John Moore, who continued in that capacity until for at least ten years. Alexander Moore and his family left Texas for New York about 1887; about that time, they also traveled to Europe, where Moore had family. Moore’s interest in Capote Farm seems to have ended by the late 1890s.
Moore and his wife had one son, Daniel Tyler Moore; a second child may have died in infancy. Alexander Moore died in 1910 and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C.
Brigham, Willard I. Tyler. The Tyler Genealogy: The Descendants of Job Tyler, of Andover, Massachusetts, 1619-1700. Plainfield, New Jersey: C.B. Tyler; Tylerville, Connecticut: R.U. Tyler, 1912.
Daniel Tyler: A Memorial Volume containing his Autobiography and War Record, Some Account of his Later Years with Various Reminiscences and the Tributes of Friends. New Haven, Connecticut, 1883.
Muckelroy, Duncan Glenn. “History of El Capote Ranch.” East Texas Historical Journal 12:2 (Fall 1974): 3-21.
The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Prepared under the direction of the Secretary of War by Robert N. Scott. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1880-1900.
Weinert, Willie Mae. An Authentic History of Guadalupe County. Seguin, Texas: Seguin Enterprise, 1951.
Recording the organization and operation of south-central Texas farms and ranches, the Alexander Moore papers consist of correspondence, financial documents, livestock records, and other business-related material.
The most extensive series consists of correspondence dating from the acquisition of Capote Farm by Daniel Tyler and his partners and the arrival of Moore as manager. Letters to several suppliers, agents, and employees have been grouped by correspondent; general correspondence has been arranged chronologically. Notable correspondents include Daniel Tyler; John H. Erskine, whose family had previously owned the ranch property and who worked as a foreman; L. William Menger; John Moore, a nephew who took over many management responsibilities at Capote Farm; and Emil F. Wurzbach, another ranch employee. The bulk of the correspondence dates from 1880-1883.
The second series, financial documents, is made up largely of bills and invoices for supplies and equipment, some reflecting the original organization of the papers, with the remainder arranged chronologically. Similar documents, for Frio Ranch and Alexander Moore, are found in a large, bound invoice book with account records, receipts, checks, and other financial documents and with some livestock bills of sale and inspection records. A bound account ledger details the expenditures made during the first few years of Capote Farm’s operation. Also in the series are tax receipts and inventories of taxable property for Capote Farm and for Frio Ranch; a receipt book for payments made by Moore; checks, check stubs and bank statements; a few assorted accounting records, such as trial balances and profit and loss statements; and ledgers recording some general accounts and employee related costs.
A small amount of information about ranch livestock makes up the third series, most of it from bundles of bills of sale and brand certificates for cattle.
The final series gathers a variety of ranch and personal material such as contracts, bills of lading, printed material, and other miscellaneous items.
No restrictions. The collection is open for research.
The Alexander Moore papers have been subject to adverse conditions at times, and most show signs of water damage, which has affected the legibility of many items.
Please be advised that the library does not hold the copyright to most of the material in its archival collections. It is the responsibility of the researcher to secure those rights when needed. Permission to reproduce does not constitute permission to publish. The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming to the laws of copyright, literary property rights, and libel.
[Identification of item], Alexander Moore Papers, 1876-1898, Col 13448, Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library, San Antonio, Texas.
Gift of Jean Cheever, 2006 March.
The Moore papers were presented to the library from the estate of a deceased donor, who in turn had acquired them from an estate sale, the details of which are not known. Information from previous gifts by the same donor suggests that the papers may have part of the holdings of the Menger family of San Antonio, Texas. L. William Menger had acted as an agent for Moore in some of his business dealings and may have become the holder of his records. However, definitive information on provenance is not known.
Processed by Warren Stricker, 2006 July.
Finding aid edited and encoded by Caitlin Donnelly, 2011 March.
Detailed Description of the Collection