John J. Dunphy
21 min readApr 6, 2020


Photo by author

The Moores of Madison County, Illinois: A Pioneer and Civil War Saga


John J. Dunphy

(Originally published in Springhouse Magazine 33:6)

Situated along present-day Illinois Route 140 in Madison County, the Wood River Settlement was one of the earliest pioneer communities in southwestern Illinois. This settlement, which consisted of a few widely-dispersed log cabins, was the site of the Wood River Massacre in 1814, when a woman and six children were murdered by members of the Kickapoo tribe. Two of the victims were the oldest children of Abel and Mary (Bates) Moore. This tragedy, the worst Indian depredation that southern Illinois suffered during the War of 1812 when the British urged tribes to attack American settlements, marked the last Native American reprisal against pioneers in Madison County.

The Wood River Massacre occurred on Rattan’s Prairie, which included the land between the east and west forks of the Wood River. Rattan’s Prairie was named for Thomas Rattan, an Ohioan who settled in the area in 1804. The two forks unite a short distance south of Rattan’s Prairie, and the Wood River meanders its way to the Mississippi. Lewis and Clark established Camp River Dubois at the mouth of the Wood River in 1803 and wintered there before embarking on their epic journey west in the spring of 1804. The fertile soil between the Wood River forks attracted other pioneer families, and a small community known as the Wood River Settlement took root.

The Moore family, which included Abel and Mary Bates Moore, relocated from North Carolina to Kentucky in 1802. According to research conducted by the General George Rogers Clark Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, which serves Madison and four other Illinois counties, this move was prompted by the friendship of the Moore and Bates families with Daniel Boone. In the spring of 1808, the Moores began another journey under Boone’s leadership, this time for Missouri. Abel and Mary were accompanied by their two children as well as Abel’s father, John Moore, and Mary’s father, William Bates, both of whom were veterans of the American Revolution. The party also included Abel’s brothers, George and William as well as the family of William Bates. Upon reaching Ford’s Ferry on the Ohio River, Abel and Mary Moore, their children and the Bates family parted company with Boone and decided to journey to the Illinois country. John Moore and his two other sons traveled on to Boone’s Lick, Missouri, where John soon died.

Abel, Mary, their children and the Bates family eventually reached the present-day site of East Alton in Madison County. Abel “pitched his tent, but was so annoyed by the mosquitoes that he removed to a higher elevation, where later he improved a farm,”according to an 1894 Madison County history. That “higher elevation” was Rattan’s Prairie. The three Moore brothers evidently had made a pact to reunite following the death of their father. Abel Moore built a signal fire on the bank of the Wood River every day for two years to let George, William and their families know his location. The brothers were overjoyed upon finally reuniting. The Reagan family, which was also destined to play a major role in the settlement’s history, arrived at Rattan’s Prairie with the party of George and William Moore. The Moores comprised such a strong presence in this pioneer community that it was sometimes referred to as Moore’s Settlement

On Sunday, July 10, 1814, Reason Reagan decided to walk the three mile distance from his home at the Wood River Settlement to the nearest church, which was a Baptist congregation that met near the present location of the Vaughn Hill Cemetery. He left his wife, Rachel, and their two children, seven-year-old Elizabeth, nicknamed Betsy, and three-year-old Timothy at the cabin of Abel and Mary Moore, where he thought they would be safe. According to Tom Emery, who has researched this event, Rachel was pregnant at the time. Abel Moore was then at nearby Fort Russell. Most adult male residents of the Wood River Settlement served in the Territorial Rangers. Abel Moore had attained the rank of captain. Both his brothers were accomplished gun-makers and supplied the Territorial Rangers with firearms.

At about 4 p.m., Rachel Reagan started home with Elizabeth and Timothy. She also took with her the two oldest children of Abel and Mary Moore, eleven-year-old Joel and eight-year-old William, as well as the two children of William Moore: John, age ten, and George, age three. Rachel wanted to harvest some fresh green beans from her garden to serve with the Sunday supper that was to be held at the cabin of Abel and Mary Moore. An eighth person began the journey to the Reagan cabin: fifteen-year-old Hannah Bates, who was the sister of Mary Bates Moore. Hannah developed a painful blister on her foot and returned to the Moore cabin. It was later determined that the teenager turned back less than 300 yards from where Rachel Reagan’s body was later discovered. Several men, who were walking through the vicinity about the time that Rachel Reagan and the six children left the Moore cabin, later stated they heard a cry or moan. Without investigating, they hurried to the nearest blockhouse for safety. Such quick action probably saved their lives.

William Moore returned that day from Fort Butler, which was near present-day St. Jacob in Madison County. When evening fell, William journeyed to his brother’s cabin to inquire about his missing children. After being told that John and George had left with Rachel Reagan and had not been seen since, William and his wife, Polly, embarked on a frantic search, each taking a different path. When calling for the children, William stumbled over something in the darkness. To his horror, he discovered a child’s body. Without even attempting to identify the corpse, he hurried back to Abel and Mary Moore’s cabin to warn everyone that a band of marauding Indians was in the area. He urged them to take cover in the blockhouse on his farm. They insisted, however, on accompanying him as he left to find his wife.

Meanwhile, Polly had been riding her horse over the trail when she spotted someone who appeared to be asleep on the ground. Unable to recognize the person in the darkness, she began calling out the names of the missing children in an attempt to draw a response. Dismounting, she approached the figure and discovered the mutilated corpse of Rachel Reagan, who was Polly’s sister. Three-year-old Timothy, barely conscious and covered with blood, was lying next to his mother. The child stirred and gasped, “The black man raised his ax and cut them again.” Polly quickly remounted her horse and rode to her cabin, where she heated a pot of water to boiling. She had no weapon to protect herself. If the Indians invaded her cabin, she was prepared to throw the boiling water at them as a desperate, last-ditch attempt at self-defense. Fortunately, she was soon discovered by her husband and the search party.

The terrified settlers spent an anxious night in the blockhouse of William Moore, waiting for the Indian attack they felt was imminent. Around 3 a.m., they sent John Harris, who lived with Abel and Mary Moore, to Fort Russell, which was a few miles northwest of present-day Edwardsville, to seek help. Nine men, under the command of Captain Samuel Whiteside, arrived at dawn and assisted the families in their search for the victims’ bodies. Abel Moore returned to the settlement with them. A path linking the cabins of the Moores and Reagans terminated at the west fork of the Wood River. The bodies were discovered along this path. All had been tomahawked to death, scalped and stripped of their clothing. Timothy Reagan, who had spoken to Polly last night, was still alive. In an address delivered before the Illinois State Lyceum on December 6, 1832, the Rev. Thomas Lippincott, a Madison County pioneer who knew Abel and Mary Moore, stated that the child “was sitting near its mother’s corpse, alive, with a gash, deep and large, on each side of its little face.” Timothy died later that day.

It was decided to bury the victims on some nearby land that the pioneers had been using as a graveyard. The bodies were hauled to their place of interment on rough sleds drawn by oxen. They were buried in three adjacent graves: one for Rachel Reagan and her children; the second for William and Joel; and the third for John and George. Since there were no coffin-makers among these settlers, the seven corpses were interred with boards laid beneath, beside and above their bodies. This pioneer graveyard is now Vaughn Hill Cemetery, located on Illinois Route 111, about mid-way between the cities of Bethalto and Wood River.

Whiteside vowed to kill the murderers and set out in pursuit. Although a captain in the Territorial Rangers, Abel Moore was permitted to remain at the settlement to comfort his wife and bury their two children. The weather was hot, and the rangers’ horses often gave out and fell beneath their riders. Two days after leaving the Wood River settlement, Whiteside and the rangers caught up with the Indians in present-day Morgan County near a creek that empties into the Sangamon River. Some of the Kickapoos had climbed a cottonwood tree to keep watch. When Whiteside’s militia was spotted, the Indians scattered. Whiteside’s men then split up to give pursuit. One militia member, James Pruitt (sometimes spelled Preuitt), wounded one of the Native Americans in the thigh from a distance of thirty feet. When the Indian took refuge at the top of a fallen tree, Pruitt’s brother, Abraham, shot him. The warrior died before he was able to fire his rifle at the Pruitts. Upon searching his shot pouch, the brothers discovered the scalp of Rachel Reagan. Of the ten Indians in the party, only one escaped death. According to Volney P. Richmond in “The Wood River Massacre: A Reliable and Trustworthy Account,” which was published in the January 8, 1899 edition of the Alton Evening Telegraph, this stream henceforth became known as Indian Creek “in honor of the event.” The creek bears that name to this day.

Although the victims of the Wood River Massacre had been avenged, the tragedy continued to have lethal repercussions. Later that year, a territorial law was enacted that provided a $50 reward for any Native American, dead or alive, who entered a pioneer settlement. The law further provided a bounty of $100 for any man, woman or child taken prisoner or killed in Native American territory.

I wasn’t aware of this incident in the history of the Moore settlement until I read an account posted by Bev Bauser on Madison County ILGenWeb, her Madison county history page on Facebook. Abel Moore had established a distillery on the Wood River. Two of this distillery’s employees, William Wright and Eliphalet Green, got into a fist fight on Christmas Eve of 1823. Green who according to Bauser’s account was considered “half-witted,’ endured quite a beating. Thoroughly enraged, and determined to get revenge, Green loaded his gun and fatally shot Wright in the right side of his body.

Green journeyed to Edwardsville and sought out Squire William Ogle to surrender himself. Ogle jailed Green, which meant that he now became the responsibility of Sheriff Nathaniel Buckmaster. Green was tried for murder at the Edwardsville Courthouse on January 13, 1824 and found guilty. Bauser stated that Green was even ordered to pay for the cost of the rope that would be used to hang him. It would be the first execution held in Madison county.

Before sunrise on February 12, 1824, Green was taken by Buckmaster to a location on the Cahokia Creek bottom near the bridge on the Springfield Road. Bauser noted that this public execution drew quite a crowd, including some Native Americans.

Green was buried near the site of his execution. Bauser stated that Perez Mason, a local resident, supposedly guarded his grave to protect Green’s body from body snatchers. Mason later had the corpse removed and reburied in his private cemetery. Bauser doesn’t say why Mason was so passionate about the fate of Green’s body.

Two of the principals in this incident later figured prominently in Illinois history. Nathaniel Buckmaster, Bauser noted, moved to Alton in 1835 where he served as the postmaster and warden of the Illinois State Prison. John Reynolds, who served on the Illinois Supreme Court, presided over the trial. Reynolds would later become the fourth governor of Illinois.

William Moore and his family moved to Pike County, Illinois in 1830. George Moore took his family to Independence, Missouri in 1837. Abel and Mary Moore, however, remained at the Wood River Settlement. Their tenth — and last — child was Franklin, born on September 2, 1826. Franklin attended a school taught by pioneer educator Sophia Loomis that was held in Abel and Mary Moore’s cabin. He later enrolled at Shurtleff College, a Baptist school founded by missionary John Mason Peck and located in nearby Upper Alton. He married Talitha Elliott in 1846 — the same year that both his parents died just a day apart from each other. Mary was 60, while Abel was 63. Such longevity was remarkable by the standards of the mid-nineteenth century — especially given the hardships and danger of life on the frontier. They were buried side by side on the site of their original log cabin and commemorated by a crude tombstone that bore only the initials of this pioneer couple. That tombstone still stands, although it is overshadowed by a large, modern grave marker that was erected by local historians.

Abel Moore died on February 9, 1846 “in the 63rd year if his age, and the 38th year of his Christian life,” according to an article in the February 14, 1946 edition of the Alton Democratic Union newspaper that Bev Bauser posted on her Madison County ILGenWeb page. The reference probably means that Moore experienced a dramatic conversion to evangelical Christianity at age 25. The article affirms that Abel Moore was “an honest man” as well as “a man of most exemplary habits, of persevering industry, of sound common sense, and a great public spirit.” The writer also warmly praised Mary Moore. “Of Mrs. Moore it may be said that no human being ever labored with more untiring industry, or with a more unceasing devotion to the welfare of her children.”

Franklin and Talitha decided to build a life for themselves in Wood River Township, which then included the village of Upper Alton. Franklin cleared some land and began farming. He also operated a saw-mill on the Wood River for several years. The couple had six children, one of whom died during the Civil War. When the war broke out, Moore affirmed his loyalty to the Union by participating in a daring venture that crippled the secessionist cause in Missouri and helped to arm Union troops.

Secessionists in St. Louis, which is located just down the Mississippi River from Alton, stood poised to seize that city’s federal arsenal. These secessionists relished the irony of Union troops being slain by firearms that had originally been intended for their own use. Captain Nathaniel Lyon, commander of the arsenal, realized the tenuousness of his position and sent a messenger to Illinois governor Richard Yates to suggest that its firearms and ammunition be removed and sent to Springfield for issue to the Unionists, who were gathering in that city in response to Lincoln’s call for volunteers to put down the rebellion. Yates agreed and without even bothering to contact Washington for official approval, delegated the task of rescuing the arsenal’s weapons to Captain James Stokes.

After coming to Alton and chartering the steamer The City of Alton, Stokes slipped down to St. Louis while disguised as a civilian and gained entrance to the besieged arsenal. He then had the arsenal’s telegraph operator contact an Alton telegraph operator with a message for Leander Mitchell, the captain of the The City of Alton. Mitchell was instructed to be at the St. Louis riverfront at 11 p.m. to receive an arms shipment from the arsenal. After pressing into service every man inside and outside the arsenal who was loyal to the Union, Stokes ordered the first of the firearms to be removed and loaded onto another moored boat. The secessionists saw what they thought was their opportunity to hijack those coveted firearms. They seized the guns and made off with them — just as Stokes had hoped!

The wily captain had ordered that the first firearms to be removed should be some five hundred decrepit flintlock rifles that had least seen service during the Mexican-American War. Time-consuming to load and possessing limited range, flintlock rifles would compose a limited danger in Confederate hands. While the secessionists were running away with these almost-useless antiques, the arsenal’s defenders began loading the modern, more lethal weapons onto The City of Alton. Franklin Moore was aboard that vessel and gave an account of that crucial arms transfer in his autobiography.

I had hauled a load of lumber that day for the boat and went to the office to get my ticket. John J. Mitchell was there and beckoned me. He said to me in a low tone: “We are going down to the St. Louis arsenal to-night to get the arms stored there. Don’t you want to go along?” I answered “Yes.” I was told to keep mum, take my team home and return to the boat at night. I carried this out all right. Many of Alton’s best men were there with us. J.J. Mitchell, S.A. Buckmaster, James Powrie and others I do not recall. We went down to the arsenal and captured the watchmen. No soldiers were within. The remainder of us stayed on the boat. They returned and told us to come on. We were told where we could find the ordnance. We carried for several hours and loaded the boat with muskets, cannons and ammunition. We returned to Alton about daylight next morning. The cargo was loaded on cars by citizens who gathered at the landing, and sent to Springfield.

From History of Madison County, Illinois. Illustrated with Biographical Sketches of Many Prominent Men and Pioneers.

By 7:00 a.m., the contents of The City of Alton had indeed been loaded and safely locked into cars of the Chicago and Alton Railroad: 10,000 muskets; 100 new rifles; 500 revolvers; 110,000 musket cartridges and several cannons. Moore had helped the North win a crucial victory and could have rested on his laurels during the Civil War. His devotion to the Union, however, compelled him to enter the conflict. Although heavily in debt, Moore left his livelihood to raise an independent cavalry unit in Upper Alton on July 4, 1861 that he named the Madison County Rangers in honor of his father’s service with the Territorial Rangers. Its members assumed responsibility for providing their own horses, weapons and other equipment. Moore formally enlisted on July 20 in Upper Alton. He led his men to Camp Butler, which was located east of Springfield, where the Madison County Rangers were mustered into the Union army on August 12 as Company D of the Second Illinois Cavalry. An 1882 Madison County history states that Company D had “no abiding place but operated from the northern border of the Confederacy to the Gulf. It first saw action in the Cape Girardeau area, where it battled Rebel forces under the command of Jeff Thompson.”

James Webster, a Confederate bushwhacker, drew a bead on Moore during a skirmish in Tennessee, but his rifle misfired. Moore then charged the bushwhacker, who fully expected to be cut down by the Yankee’s sword. Instead, Moore took the young rebel as a prisoner. Webster later took an oath of allegiance to the Union and was released from custody. In a strange twist of fate, Webster eventually moved to Alton and became an employee of the city. He completed the repudiation of his Confederate past by becoming a staunch Republican.

At least eleven members of Company D died during the war, three of whom were killed in action. These three privates — Christian Commell, Albert Jordan and Alonzo McCurdy — fell at Coldwater, Mississippi in 1863. Corporal Andrew J. Dale went missing in action on February 23, 1864. Moore was wounded by a rifle ball on August 27, 1862 but returned to active service just a week later. He was promoted to major on July 11, 1864. When Company D’s term of service expired in the summer of 1864, it was reorganized and continued in active service until the end of the war. The record shows that Moore’s men killed over 100 Confederates and took more than 1,200 prisoners. They also captured about 1,000 horses and mules as well as enemy munitions and other equipment. The Madison County history concluded that “None in the service experienced greater hardships or made a better record than Company D.” Regarding Moore, this history noted that “Such were the services he rendered his country on the battle-field, that he received the soubriquet of ‘Fighting Frank.’ “ Moore and his Madison County Rangers were mustered out on November 11, 1865.

After the war, Moore returned to farming in Wood River township. In 1876, four years after the death of his wife, he purchased for his home the Old Rock House in Upper Alton, one of the most historic buildings in southern Illinois. Owned by abolitionist Thaddeus Hurlbut in 1837, the Old Rock House that year hosted the founding convention of the Illinois Anti-Slavery Society. It also served as an Underground Railroad station. Like many Union veterans, Moore became a Republican Party stalwart. The impoverished farmer of years past became a man of means who owned a portion of the family farm on Rattan’s Prairie, a farm on Woodburn Road and no small amount of real estate in Upper Alton.

Thirteen years after the war’s end, Moore’s old Company D suffered a belated casualty. The June 27, 1878 edition of the Alton Evening Telegraph carried this brief notice:

Major Frank Moore’s famous war horse which carried its gallant rider through five years of campaigning from the beginning to the close of the Civil War died last Friday, aged 21 years. The horse was wounded seven times while in service. Faithful Old Tom was buried on Sunday morning at ten o’clock in the bottom near Shield’s Branch, just west of Upper Alton. The funeral cortege consisted of about forty people. A few volleys were fired over his grave.

Tom, the horse Franklin Moore rode during the Civil War, is depicted in this old sketch. From History of Madison County, Illinois. Illustrated with Biographical Sketches of Many Prominent Men and Pioneers.

Moore enjoyed reminiscing about his service but was troubled by the possibility that Company D might have been deprived of a triumph that would have secured its place in history. The August 3, 1888 edition of the Alton Evening Telegraph carried an article that noted:

Maj. Frank Moore says that after the surrender of Lee’s army to Grant, in April, 1865, he was in command of the 2nd Illinois Cavalry in pursuit of Jeff Davis. Near Eufaula, Georgia, his regiment belonging to Gen. Grierson’s brigade was ordered back. Had this not been the case the major has no doubt but that his force would have captured the arch traitor within two days, for soon after the retrograde movement commenced Wilson’s cavalry was met, a detachment of which, following the same route Maj. Moore had intended taking, apprehended the fugitive chief of the Southern Confederacy.

The old warrior remained in touch with his men through annual reunions. The Telegraph in 1881 noted that Moore and 54 of his cavalrymen met at Bloomington for a reunion of veterans that featured an appearance by Ulysses S. Grant. He also held “campfires” each year on his birthday and invited Civil War veterans to attend and share their memories of the conflict. For the 1904 campfire, Moore extended invitations to Col. J.Q. Morrison, commander of the Fourteenth Mississippi Infantry during the Civil War, and Col. Vance Cobb of Mississippi. The Telegraph noted that “Major Moore and Col. Morrision’s command had often fought each other on the battlefield, and as they know the personal bravery of each other, they are especial friends and have been so since the close of the war, even before it was closed.” Morrison and Cobb had journeyed north that year to visit the St. Louis World’s Fair, which gave them the opportunity to attend Moore’s campfire.

Unfortunately, this was Moore’s last campfire. He died on July 12, 1905 at the Old Rock House. Since his home wasn’t large enough to accommodate the hundreds of mourners who wished to pay their final respects, Moore’s coffin was placed in the same yard where the campfires had been held for so many years. Moore was buried in Oakwood Cemetery (now known as Upper Alton Cemetery), where representatives of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization composed of Union veterans, conducted a graveside service. A number of Company D veterans were in attendance, some of whom served as honorary pallbearers.

Moore had always taken pride in the care of his property and evidently wanted to make certain that his eternal resting place was properly maintained as well. His will stipulated that his son, Frank, a Chicago newspaperman, erect over his grave a monument that must not cost less than $500, which is about $12,000 in today’s money. Frank was also required by the terms of the will to visit his father’s grave at least twice a year to make certain the monument was in good condition.

If Franklin Moore had lived just a few years longer, he would have seen his two siblings and the other victims of the Wood River Massacre commemorated by his family. On September 11, 1910, the twenty-one grandchildren of Abel and Mary Moore who lived in southern Illinois formally dedicated a monument to Rachel Reagan and the six children. This twenty-foot monument, constructed of concrete, was placed on the trail that once linked the cabins of the Reagan and Moore families in the Wood River Settlement and can be viewed today on Fosterburg Road. It was erected under the supervision of Dr. Isaac Moore, a son of Major Franklin Moore. Frank Moore served as master of ceremonies at the dedication. The event was well attended. The Alton Evening Evening Telegraph reported that “The wagon road was choked with buggies and automobiles for a long distance in the neighborhood of the monument, and there were many who went on foot to attend the dedication.” Another monument to the victims was erected by historical reenactors in 1980 on Illinois Route 140 and stands just 100 yards from the grave site of Abel and Mary Moore.

For some years, there has been a poignant memorial to the massacre victims in the Alton Museum of History and Art — the original tombstone for Joel and William, which was hand-carved by their bereaved father. The inscription reads: “William & Joel Moore were killed by the Indians July 10, 1814.” According to an article published in the Spring 2007 edition of the Alton Museum of History and Art’s newsletter, the stone had been removed from the Vaughn Hill Cemetery by the Moore family at some undetermined point in the past, when the Moores discovered that the boys’ grave was not being properly maintained. The family then donated the stone to a museum in Springfield, where it was either lost or discarded. Brenda Kelley of Riverton, Illinois found the grave marker on July 10, 1979 — the 165th anniversary of the massacre — in her backyard while digging out shrubs. She believed the stone might have been in dirt that had been hauled by a previous owner to fill the yard. The marker was returned to southern Illinois, where the Alton Museum of History and Art, the Wood River Heritage Council and the City Cemetery Commission of Wood River all recognize its unique historical importance.

On March 26, 2007, local resident Kay Stobbs Massey donated to the Alton Museum of History and Art the original tombstone for John and George. Massey’s parents discovered the tombstone in their home in the 1970s. It had been placed on top of the limestone foundation wall. Unfortunately, it is only a portion of the grave marker, and much of the inscription is missing. The capital letters appear to read:


While both tombstones certainly possess historical significance, this writer prefers visiting Rattan’s Prairie to see the original grave marker for Abel and Mary Moore. Not on display in any museum, it still rests where it was placed in 1846 by the grieving children of this pioneer couple. In addition to marking their grave and the site of their first cabin, this primitive tombstone also serves to commemorate the long-vanished Wood River Settlement and the courageous pioneers who carved it out of the wilderness. May they never be forgotten!



“Major Moore’s Next Campfire.” Alton [IL] Evening Telegraph, August 4, 1904.

“Major Moore Surrenders In Last Battle.” Alton [IL] Evening Telegraph, July 12, 1905.

“Major Moore’s Funeral.” Alton [IL] Evening Telegraph, July 14, 1905.

“Major Moore’s Will Probated Today.” Alton [IL] Evening Telegraph, September 5, 1905.

“Monument to the Wood River Massacre.” Alton [IL] Evening Telegraph, August 23, 1910.

“Large Crowd At Monument Dedication.” Alton [IL] Evening Telegraph, September 12, 1910.

“Dr. O.P.S. Plummer Is Dead.” Alton [IL] Evening Telegraph, December 26, 1913.

Emery, Tom. “Wood River Massacre was a bloody event in War of 1812.” The AdVantage, August 20, 2019.

Huber, Don. “There’s another head stone.” The [Alton, IL] Telegraph, February 25, 2007.

Jung, Katherine. “Museum gets second massacre stone.” The [Alton, IL] Telegraph, April 21, 2007.


(no author given) History of Madison County, Illinois. Illustrated with Biographical Sketches of Many Prominent Men and Pioneers. Edwardsville, Illinois: W.R. Brink and Company, 1882.

(no author given) Portraits and Biographical Record of Madison County, Illinois — Containing Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens of the County, Together with Biographies and Portraits of all the Presidents of the United States. Chicago: Biographical Publishing Company, 1894.

Dunphy, John J. Abolitionism and the Civil War in Southwestern Illinois. Charleston, SC: The History Press, 2011.

Eddy, Thomas Mears. The Patriotism of Illinois. Chicago: Clarke and Company, 1865.

Norton, W.T., editor. Centennial History of Madison County, Illinois and Its People, 1812–1912. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, 1912.


Massey, Kay Stobbs. “Kay (Stobbs) Massey’s Story of the 2nd Moore Stone.” Unpublished paper housed in the archives of the Alton Museum of History and Art.


Note: There are many conflicting accounts of the Moore Settlement, the Wood River Massacre and the career of Major Franklin Moore. If some of the facts presented here contradict my earlier writings on these subjects, it is because more trustworthy material has come to my attention.



John J. Dunphy

John J. Dunphy owns The Second Reading Book Shop in Alton, IL USA. Google him to learn more about this enigmatic person who is such a gifted writer and poet.