H. Miles Moore, 1826-1909
H. Miles Moore was born on September 2, 1826, in Brockport, Monroe County, New York. Both of his parents died prior to his first birthday, and his grandfather, the Deacon Levi Smith, raised Moore. He obtained an education in Brockport’s common schools and, thereafter, attended and graduated from Union College in Schenectady, New York. Moore went on to study law at the law office of Selden and Jewett in Clarkson, New York, and completed his studies with the law office of C.M. Lee and L. Farrar in Rochester, New York. In 1848 Moore was admitted to the New York bar and shortly afterward went to Louisiana where he remained until 1850, practicing law and running a plantation there.
In 1850 Moore left Louisiana for western Missouri. He settled in Weston and opened up a law office. He also became the editor for the newspaper, Weston Reporter. In 1854 the Kansas-Nebraska Act passed, and Moore decided to move to the nearby town of Leavenworth, just across the Missouri River in Kansas Territory. Immediately thereafter he assumed the position of secretary of the Leavenworth town company. During the course of his life, Moore remained a one of that city’s staunch supporters and promoters.
While in Louisiana Moore had been a slaveholder and in sympathy with Southern policy, but the outrages committed by the proslavery men in Kansas soon turned him against the “peculiar institution.” Quickly he identified himself with the free-state men and the principles and policies they espoused. In 1855 he became a delegate to the Topeka Constitutional Convention and subsequently was elected attorney general under that free-state document. In 1858 he served the people of Leavenworth as a member of the territorial legislature.
Once the Civil War began Moore entered military service in the Union army.
He served in 1861 as judge advocate with the rank of lieutenant colonel on James
H. Lane’s staff, then as acting colonel of the 5th Kansas Cavalry Regiment,
followed by an appointment as captain to the commissary of subsistence for Kansas.
After the war Moore remained active in politics. In 1868 he served as a house member in the state legislature. Then he was elected for three consecutive terms as Leavenworth city attorney, and for many years, thereafter, he served as a member of the Leavenworth school board. H. Miles Moore died on August 7, 1909, the result of an accident involving a runaway horse.
Portrait and Biographical Record of Leavenworth, Douglas and Franklin Counties, Kansas. Chicago: Chapman Publishing Company, 1899.
“Biographies of the Members of the Free-State Legislature of 1857-1858.” Kansas Historical Collections, 1907-1908 10 (1908): 212-213.
The United States Biographical Dictionary. Kansas Volume. Chicago: S. Lewis and Company, 1879.