Moore worked for newspaper, then started his own

Published 6:09 am Saturday, August 25, 2018

Joseph Scott Moore, an 1876 Centre College graduate and attorney, apparently was more interested in journalism than being an attorney.

He was employed by The Kentucky Advocate and for a time had his own newspaper, according to The Advocate archives. While at The Advocate, Moore was known for his column of “Laertes.” He wrote about various subjects and got letters from the public concerning matters in the community.

One woman asked him why he did not write his view of marriage and divorce in the column. The only reply he could make was: “never having been married, consequently, never divorced.”

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Moore also wrote about trips he took across the Bluegrass and gave his impressions of different places and people he met along the way.

Camp Nelson National Cemetery was the topic of one of his columns in July 1889.

He remembered when the remains of those killed at the battle of Perryville were taken to the cemetery.

“The coffins, which were crude boxes, were taken up at Perryville, and fifteen or twenty placed in a government wagon and hauled to the place where the dust now reposes.

“Many of the coffins had partially decayed when moved, but in those times no loving hands were near to administer the last rites of burial to the noble patriots who laid down their lives for their country.

“The funeral procession which took the dead from Perryville to Camp Nelson consisted of a long train of army wagons and no mourners.”

Begins newspaper

Moore and W.B. Nichols began publication of a new newspaper in Danville in October 1888. It was called the Olive Branch, after one of the first newspapers printed in Danville. It was non-partisan and local. It was only published a couple of years.

The Advocate called the experience of the two young men in the “newspaper line will enable them to get up a good, readable paper,” and gave its blessing for their success.

Heads west

After getting a law degree, Moore moved to California to see if his health would improve. He suffered from consumption.

He came home in 1880, then went to New Mexico in 1887 searching again in hopes of improving his health. He was in Las Cruces when he wrote home to say his health was improving.

Moore returned home from New Mexico in the spring of 1888.

After he returned to Danville, he wrote:

“Danville is a delightful place to live. Coming back to it from the West there is something in its look and tone that affects my spirits like wine. We many not have the dash and the individual independence and the elegant repose of Western cities, but we have the flavor of life in completeness.”

He worked for the local newspaper as editor until he died on Oct. 15, 1890, of consumption when he was 35 years old.

In Moore’s obituary, The Advocate said he had many noble traits of character and a heart that was warm and generous.

Col. E. Polk Johnson of the The Frankfort Capitol newspaper, called Moore a man of gentler spirit who loved his fellow men, especially his friends.

“He was charitable to the faults of others, ready to excuse them, and to speak a gentle word when it might turn away wrath or trouble for another,” Johnson wrote.

Danville native

Joseph was born June 16, 1855, in Kentucky. He was a son of William J. Moore, an insurance, dry good merchant and a mule trader, and Elizabeth C. Moore. William was a native of Pennsylvania, and Elizabeth was born in Kentucky.

William and Elizabeth’s other children were William and Carrie, according to 1890 census records.

Joseph Moore is buried in Bellevue Cemetery.