Clarence Moore

Clarence Moore

Mr Clarence Moore 1 was born in Clarksburg, Harrison County, West Virginia on 1 March 1865.

He was the eldest child of Jasper Yates Moore (1834-1907), a legal clerk, and Frances Elizabeth Reynolds (1842-1894), both natives of Virginia, and was the elder brother of Frank Reynolds Moore (1869-1954).

He appears on the 1870 and 1880 censuses residing with his family at an unspecified address in Harrison County, West Virginia; since 1890 he had made his home in Washington, DC.

Soon after completing his schooling in Dufferin College, Ontario Moore became interested in exploring and developing various West Virginia coal mining, oil, and timber properties. In 1891 he became associated with W. B. Hibbs in the formation of the banking and brokerage firm of Hibbs & Co.

He was married to Alice McLaughlin (b. 1872), daughter of Franklin McLaughlin of Philadelphia; their daughter Frances Sarah Preston was born in Philadelphia (b. 14 September 1894) and a son Samuel Preston (b. 5 July 1897) in Washington, DC. He became a widower when Alice died on 17 July 1897, not long after the birth of their second child.

Clarence and his children appear on the 1900 census living in Bethseda, Maryland and that same year he applied for a passport; at the time he was described as standing at 6' 1" and he had brown hair and eyes, an oval face with a light complexion, a high forehead and a straight nose.

Clarence was remarried in Beverly, Massachusetts on 20 June 1900 to Mabelle Florence Swift (b. 28 March 1878), a native of Lowell, Massachusetts who was well-known in social circles in Paris. The couple had four children: Edwin Swift arrived on 25 November 1901; he would be followed by Jasper (b. 30 November 1905), Clarence (b. 20 January 1910) and Lloyd (b. 29 November 1911). Edwin died on 11 January 1907.

Clarence MooreThe 1910 census shows Clarence, his wife and children living at 1748 Massachusetts Avenue in Washington, DC and he is described as a banker; listed with them are twenty servants, including a secretary, laundresses, nurses, maids and a governess. Moore was well-known in financial and social circles in Washington and further afield and his annual income was noted as $25,000. He also owned a farm in Montgomery County, Maryland, where he profitably raised cattle and horses, and had interests in real estate near Leesburg, Virginia. He was known as one of the finest horsemen in Washington and was a member of the Chevy Chase Club and New York Yacht Club.

In mid-March 1912 Moore left Washington bound for England to shop for foxhounds for the Loudon Hunt in Virginia, of which he was hunt master; whilst there he also took in the Grand National. He purchased fifty pairs although they did not return with him on the Titanic which he boarded at Southampton on 10 April 1912 as a first-class passenger (ticket number 113769 which cost £42, 8s). Also travelling with him on the same ticket was his English manservant Charles Harrington.

At the time of the collision, Moore was playing cards in the smoking-room with his compatriots and dining companions Major Archibald Butt, Harry Widener and William Carter. During the evening Moore had related tales of his adventures in the West Virginia mountains and forests, in particular the time he helped a newspaper reporter get an interview with the outlaw Captain Anse Hatfield.

The group of friends remained more or less together as the ship sank and survivors recalled his and Major Butt's heroism during the evacuation.
Clarence Moore died in the sinking and his body, if recovered, was never identified.

His widow later made a claim of $500,000 for loss of future income and $10,500 for loss of property, including $3,000 for pearl studs and $2,500 for pearl cuff links. She also claimed for loss of personal effects and other jewellery and for legal costs. Mrs Moore asked that her claim be heard under British law, in order to prevent the OSNC (Oceanic Steam Navigation Company) limiting its losses as it could under US law. Her claim was lodged in April 1913 in the District Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York. Along with many others, Mrs Moore's claim was met only on a pro-rata basis because in May 1914 the US Supreme Court ruled that British law did not apply to claims brought in US courts and OSNC was thus able to limit its liability in accordance with US law.

His widow Mabelle was remarried in 1915 to Danish-born Axel Christian Preben Wichfeld of New York City, a banker and taxicab company owner but they later divorced. She spent much time in England and Scotland where she often entertained at her home in Perthshire and later Dorset. 

In April 1927 she sold the palatial home at 1746 Massachusetts Avenue, Washington, to the Canadian Government, it would be the Canadian chancery until 1988. it now houses the embassy of Uzbekistan.

She died in London on 1 February 1933 as a result of pneumonia.

His daughter Frances (later Mrs Henri Marquisan) died in Paris in 1921. His son Samuel (known by his middle name Preston) later worked as a perfumer and was a frequent traveller, one voyage in 1924 being aboard Olympic. His son Jasper died in Duncan, British Columbia in 1969. His son Clarence attended Eton and Harvard and was married in 1932 to Joan Ashton Lindsley (b. 1913); they were divorced and he remarried in 1936 to Lorraine Graves. His son Lloyd married in 1935 to Eppes Bartow Preston, née Hawes (1903-1981) of Missouri but they later divorced.


  1. Frequently listed as Clarence Bloomfield Moore; his birth records list no middle name and census and passport records and contemporary media do not indicate that he had one. However, at the time of his daughter Frances' birth in 1894 his name was listed as Clarence Samuel Preston Moore. He is possibly confused with another famous American man, writer and archaeologist Clarence Bloomfield Moore (1852-1936).

References and Sources

Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55[279])
Walter Lord (1986) The Night Lives On: Thoughts, Theories and Revelations about the Titanic. London, Penguin. ISBN 0 140 2790
Photo: Daily Mirror, April 16, 1912, p.8 

Newspaper Articles

New York Times (16 April 1912) CLARENCE MOORE
Washington Times (16 April 1912) Clarence Moore, Who May Have Lost His Life, Well Known in Capital
Washington Times (16 April 1912) President and Friends Of Major Butt Fear He Went Down With Ship
Washington Times (17 April 1912) Moore's Partners Give Up Hope Of Hearing From Him
Washington Times (18 April 1912) MRS. MOORE AWAITS WORD OF HUSBAND
Washington Herald (18 April 1912) WENT TO DEATH WITH HIS HOUNDS
CAPT. R. [sic] H. ROSTRON Washington Herald (19 April 1912) CAPT. ROSTRON TELLS OF RESCUE
Daily Home News (20 April 1912) Jersey Women Tell Thrilling Tales
New York Times (20 April 1912) PRAISE ASTOR AND BUTT
Banker Went to His Death Like a Man
New York Times (5 December 1912) COL. GRACIE DIES, HAUNTED BY TITANIC
New York Times (2 May 1915) MRS. M. S. MOORE MARRIES
New York Times (12 October 1921) Mrs. Henri Marquisan's Funeral
Dundee Evening Telegraph (15 June 1925) Blair Castle's Tenants
Clarence Moore's widow in the society pages...
New York Times (8 December 1935) LLOYD MOORE WEDS MRS. E. H. PRESTON
New York Times (7 November 1936) LORRAINE GRAVES ENGAGED TO MARRY


Clarence Bloomfield Moore, Jr.
San Francisco Chronicle (1912) Clarence Moore (1)
Boston Globe (1912) Clarence Moore


Limitation of Liability Hearings Claim (#72) for Loss of Life and Property, by Mabelle Swift Moore, National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55(279)-L
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Comment and discuss

  1. George Nelson said:

    Does anyone know the cabin of Mr Clarence Moore and his manservant. If his cabin is not known, what deck was his cabin on. Thank you.

  2. Megan Junghanns said:

    I am doing research on Clarence Moore and have been unable to find information other then who he died with. I am trying to write a biography on him and any information on him, his family, or his life would be helpful. Thanks. Megan

  3. Dennis Foley said:

    Hi Megan: This might be of interest to you. In 1973, I had the great pleasure of having met Madelyn (Mellinger) Mann and talked at length with her. I have 2 or 3 letters (I'll have to check) from her (she was the daughter of Mrs. Mellinger who was to be housekeeper to the estate that Clarence Moore represented in Vermont ( or whas it NH?). Anyway, in her letter (1974) Mrs. Mann made clear reference to Clarence Moore as being mentor of her mother and to her and how he had alerted the two to the danger at the collision and how he escorted them to lifeboats. I will have to check. I'm... Read full post

  4. Megan Junghanns said:

    Thanks for the e-mail. Are you saying that the woman you met, her mother, was helped to the Titanic by Clarence Moore? The Clarence Moore from the Titanic lived in the Washington DC area. What is the connection to New England? Thanks again and I hope to hear that you were able to find the letters. Feel free to e-mail with whatever you can find. Megan

  5. avatar

    Phillip Gowan said:

    Hi Megan, A few tidbits on his family. Clarence had three little boys by his marriage to Mabelle Swift and despite their being orphaned, money was never a problem. Mabelle and the little ones stayed in Washington and she remarried to a Danish diplomat after a few years. The boys all attended boarding school in England and Mabelle would visit her titled friends while visiting them and even bought her own castle. The second marriage ended in divorce after about 15 years and Mabelle died a year after the divorce in England--where she had just attended the wedding of her middle son. Her... Read full post

  6. Brian Meister said:

    Dear Megan and Dennis, Madeleine Mellenger Mann and her mother were travelling to Bennington, Vermont, where Mrs Mellenger was to have served as one of the staff of the Colgate estate there. Charles Cresson Jones was the first-class passenger was a manager of sorts for the estate and had been abroad with the view to purchasing livestock for the spread. It was he, and not Clarence Moore, a West Virginian by birth, who directed Mrs Mellenger and her daughter to the boats. Dennis: I would have liked to have had the experience you had in spending... Read full post

  7. Dennis Foley said:

    Whoops! I don't know how I got the two gents (Messrs. Moore vs. Jones) mixed up but that I did! I recently came across Mrs. Mann's letters (as well as those from about 6-7 other survivors who wrote to me during the 70s) and as soon as I get some time will be glad to post here, "word for word" what Mrs. Mann had to say. If you're really interested, keep after me about this; I will be glad to do it once I find the time. I also have letters from Marshall Drew, Mrs. Bertha Marshall, Eva Hart, Steward Fred Ray, Mrs. O'Neill, Winnie McKenzie and one heck of a letter from Mrs. Snyder who rather... Read full post

  8. Megan Junghanns said:

    Brian, Thanks so much. Would you happen to know where Clarence Moore was born? And who his parents were? And the names of his children and where they were born. I am having some trouble finding information on him and his family, but I have not exhausted all my resources so I should be able to find a lot. Anymore information you can provide would be great! Thanks, Megan

  9. Megan Junghanns said:

    Dennis, I would love to see all the letters you have. Contact me personally via my e-mail() and I will give an address to send a copy to. I would especially be interested in the Mann letters. Let me know when you have returned from your trip. Megan

  10. avatar

    Phillip Gowan said:

    Megan, Clarence was born in Clarksburg, West Virginia on March 1, 1865. I have his parents' names but won't get home from work until about 7 tonight--someone else may be able to tell you off the top of their head. By Mabelle Swift he had three children, Clarence Jr., Lloyd and Jasper (all now deceased). There had also been a first marriage to Alice McLaughlin who died in 1897 and there were children from that marriage as well. I'll try to dig out the photo of Clarence's little boy tonight and scan it to you. Phil

  11. Megan Junghanns said:

    Hello. I am still working on my paper and I would love to have the names of Moore's parents. Does anyone know the name of his children from his first marriage? I believe one was named Preston, but I also believe their was another one. When were his children born(any of them)? I am getting desperate for information. ANYTHING you can send my way would be more than appreciated! Thanks...

  12. Megan Junghanns said:

    I am still looking for info. This is a list of information that would be more than wonderful to have. Thanks!!! Names of his parents? Name of his kids from his first marriage? Obituary?(I am planning to hit the Library of Congress..but not until next week) Where he married either of his wives(more Mabelle than the first)? Did he attend college and where(if he worked as a broker would he have not gone to school. I have also been told he worked as a lawyer and he would have had to go to school for that too).

  13. Pat Cook said:

    Hi Megan, Here's a bit of some stuff I've run across - hope this isn't covered in his ET bio. According to the Worcester family website, Clarence Moore married (as you know) Maybelle Florence Swift on June 20, 1900 in Pride's Crossing, Massachusetts. Maybelle was born on March 28, 1878 and, at the time of their wedding, her father was a Chicago meat packer. I also ran across a marconi-gram - written but never sent, due to the Carpathia being 'out of range' - from a Mrs. E. B. Reiting. It asks, quite simply, "Kindly advise if Clarence Moore is on board". Who E. B. Reiting is... Read full post

  14. Megan Junghanns said:

    Thank you so very much. More helpful than you could know. I gotten the impression from my research that Mabelle was from Chicago. Is there any record of their marriage(certificate)? Where was their marriage registered? How long did they live in Mass before moving to DC or did they simply get married in Mass due to her family being there?? Thanks, Megan

  15. Pat Cook said:

    Sadly, that's all I could find - regarding Maybelle (their spelling) - just the two lines on the Worcester webpage, located: Good luck with your paper, Best regards, Cook

  16. avatar

    Dave Gittins said:

    Mrs Moore signed her name Mabelle on the legal documents.

  17. Pat Cook said:

    Thanks, Dave - I kept wondering about that. I know getting the correct spelling is priority one in research, especially when one is looking up a name on the internet. You wouldn't believe the problems I had trying to find Lawrence Beesley on the 1901 British Census - for DAYS I tried EVERY spelling of Beesley I could think of! Beesly, Beasly, Beasley, Beezley and so on. Then it hit me to try 'Laurence'. Found him! Of course, in THAT case, THEY were the ones who misspelled his name. Warmest regards, O M Cook

  18. Geoff Whitfield said:

    Cook, there are some real howlers on it! I understand that it was transcribed in an Asian country to save money, hence, nobody can make head nor tale of it! Some of the village names they've come up with are just priceless!! Geoff

  19. Martin Williams said:

    Clarence Moore: Master of the Chevy Chase Hunt, was he not? This tends to suggest to me that he was something of an American 'toff' - would anybody care to add any more biographical information to what I've found here? He is mentioned in the first paragraph of Lord's 'A Night to Remember' and later makes a cameo appearance in the smoking room, playing cards as the ship sinks...but, other than that, he figures surprisingly little in the story of the 'Titanic'. I seem to remember reading that Moore shared a 'lively' table in the dining saloon with Francis Millet and Archie Butt. The picture... Read full post

  20. sashka pozzetti said:

    I just had a quick look out of curiosity on Google, and there is a picture of him on a French site, with his riding hat on. :-)

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Gavin Bell, UK
Dave Gittins, Australia
Hermann Söldner, Germany
Craig Stringer, UK
Geoff Whitfield, UK

Link and cite this biography

Encyclopedia Titanica (2017) Clarence Moore (ref: #213, last updated: 8th July 2017, accessed 18th September 2021 16:54:05 PM)

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