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This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Moore, Louis Toomer

by Margaret Moore Perdew, 1991

17 May 1885–30 Nov. 1961

Louis Toomer Moore, journalist, author, and local historian, was born in Wilmington, the son of Colonel Roger and Susan Eugenia Beery Moore. He was a lineal descendant of James Moore, colonial governor of South Carolina; of Roger Moore, builder of Orton plantation; and of Maurice Moore, one of the founders of the town of Brunswick. After attending Wilmington schools, he studied at The University of North Carolina in 1902–3 and again in 1905–6, when he enrolled in the law curriculum. While on campus, he was on the staff of the Tar Heel and was Chapel Hill correspondent for the Raleigh Post, mainly handling sports news.

Moore began his professional career as associate editor of the Wilmington Evening Dispatch, remaining in that position from 1906 to 1919, when he entered private business. In 1921 he became manager of the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce and one of the city's most enthusiastic boosters; he served in that capacity for twenty years. Moore played a significant role in the work with the Corps of Engineers, resulting in the deepening and development of Wilmington's port; he also worked for the extension of the inland waterway. As chairman of the New Hanover County Historical Commission from 1947 until his death, he assisted the State Department of Archives and History in placing some twenty highway historical markers in the Wilmington area. Moore also wrote numerous articles for the press on local historical sites and personages and was in great demand as a speaker to civic, religious, and fraternal organizations.

Among his writings was a pamphlet, Beautiful Oakdale, about unusual and historical graves in the local cemetery. Other works included A History of the Carolina Yacht Club and Wilmington: Historical City. His book, Stories Old and New of the Lower Cape Fear, was reprinted a number of times, and the profits from its publication provided a revolving fund to support the publication of other works of local history.

Moore was chairman of the Two Hundredth Anniversary Pageant commemorating the founding of Wilmington, and he was one of the six founders of the Lower Cape Fear Historical Society. His collection of local historical material was added to the North Carolina Collection in the Wilmington Public Library, where it has been widely used.

On 21 November 1916 he married Florence Hill Kidder, and they became the parents of Florence (Mrs. John O. Dunn), Margaret (Mrs. William E. Perdew), and Anne (Mrs. Zack H. Bacon, Jr.).


Daniel L. Grant, Alumni History of the University of North Carolina, 1795–1924 (1924).

Louis T. Moore Collection (Wilmington Public Library, Wilmington).

North Carolina Biography, vol. 3 (1941).

Who's Who in the South (1927).

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