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 three 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.
The 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 fox hounds 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. 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 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.
Dave Gittins, Australia
Hermann Soldner, Germany
Craig Stringer, UK
Geoff Whitfield, UK
- 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).
Walter Lord (1986) The Night Lives On: Thoughts, Theories and Revelations about the Titanic. London, Penguin. ISBN 0 140 27900 8
Documents held by the District Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York (US National Archives)
Photo: Daily Mirror, April 16, 1912, p.8