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Morgan Family Pioneer Heritage
Willard and Annie Morgan Moore

Edward and Sarah West Morgan's oldest daughter, Annie Lydia, married Willard Cook Moore


Anne Lydia (Annie) Morgan, oldest daughter of Edward and Sarah West Morgan. This portrait appears to have been extracted from a larger portrait of Thomas Morgan, Annie's father Edward Morgan, Annie's son, and Annie's grandson. Since the extraction is of high quality it was probably made at or near the time the original portrait was made, which would have been about 1910 or after because her grandfather, Thomas Morgan, who is in the portrait, died in 1915. Annie was already a grandmother when this portrait was taken. Her grandson, Lamont (Monte) Moore, who is in the original portrait, was born 2 November 1905, and he is large enough that one can estimate that this portrait was taken about 1910.


Ann Lydia (Annie) Morgan was born October 1, 1864 in Goshen, Utah. On the day she was born the family was returning from Salt Lake City to their home in Deseret. The next day after Annie was born they set out traveling by wagon and arrived home on October 4th. When Annie was four years old the family moved to Oak City, Utah and later they moved to Leamington, Utah. Annie married Willard Cook Moore in 1879.

Willard Cook Moore was born November 16, 1859, the third child of his parents Joseph and Emma Cook Moore. His mother died while he was a small child. Willard was separated from his ill father by the time he was three years old and his father died by the time he was five years old. He lived in different foster homes where he was not treated well and, at the age of 13, he ran away. He was staying with his uncle John in Spanish Fork when Thomas Morgan came to visit and he returned to Leamington, Utah with Thomas. Edward Morgan (Son of Thomas Morgan) took him in and there he found a comfortable home and worked for his room and board.

Edward Morgan's oldest daughter was Annie Lydia. She and Willard Moore were very good companions. He soon knew he loved her but had to wait for her to grow up. So he spent 7 years working for her father, until he was 20 and she was 15. He often said he was like Jacob of old who worked 7 years for his wife.

The Moore's lived in Leamington until 1881, when they joined a wagon train, along with the Edward and Sarah West Morgan, William and Lovina Ross Morgan, and James John and Amberzine Gustin Morgan families, and traveled to Idaho where they settled at Warm Creek, near American Falls, which was called Neeleyville and then later Neeley. They arrived in late fall and right away it began to snow. They had to live in dugouts, which were dug back into a hill with a roof over them. The dirt sides were boarded up, a window was made out of greased paper, and a quilt was hung up for the door.

Shortly after they arrived Willard went up the canyon to cut railroad ties where he contracted diptheria and had to return home. He exposed his own family to the dread disease and the Edward Morgan family as well. Two of Edward and Sarah West Morgan's boys died within 36 hours and Willard and Annie's oldest child, Joseph Edward (Named after both grandparents) died at age 16 months. They went to the river and gathered boards that had washed downstream to make caskets to bury the children. Willard was seriously ill but recovered. Annie never contracted the disease.

Willard Cook and John Thomas Moore Family Pictures

Three more children were born to Willard and Annie in the Warm Creek (Neeley) area, Willard C., Annie Elizabeth, and Ezra. The family apparently moved back to Leamington about 1887 because Annie Elizabeth was buried there in November 1887. They didn't stay too long in Leamington this time because the next child, Ira, was born at Freedom, Lincoln County, in the Star Valley of Wyoming. While they were in the Star Valley 2 more babies were born; Nora Ryset was born to Frank and Sarah Priscilla Morgan Ryset. A baby was born to John and Hannah Elizabeth Morgan Hadden, but Elizabeth died soon after childbirth, leaving a tiny baby which Annie Lydia and Sarah Priscilla nursed. They buried Lizzie on the banks of a swale and Sarah West Morgan took the baby. John Hadden left the valley within a short time. He came back after a few months and took the baby but the baby soon died.


In the picture above are Willard Cook Moore (left), his sister Emma Caroline Moore Hicks, and his older brother John Thomas Moore (Right).

Willard and Annie moved to Shelton, Idaho in 1891 along with the Thomas Morgan and Frank Ryset families. Willard homesteaded 160 acres where he eventually built a large one room log house. It was out of this homestead that the Shelton Cemetery was taken. Nora Moore Tyler reports that the land must have been donated for the cemetery well before the turn of the century because her twin was buried there in 1899 and there were quite a few graves there before then.

When Annie Lydia's health began to fail she and Willard moved in with her daughter Nora Moore Tyler, where she died ten months later, 6th of January, 1943. The day she was buried the casket was taken to their old home in Shelton, placed in the living room and surrounded with flowers. Willard's health also began to fail and he died April 6, 1946. He also was taken to the old home the day of the funeral.

Three of Thomas Morgan's married sons (Edward, William, and James John) and one married granddaughter (Annie Lydia and Willard Moore) took their families and left Leamington, Utah in 1881, going to Neeley, Idaho where they homesteaded. Three of these families (Edward, James John and Willard Moore) later regrouped at Leamington, Utah and then joined the Thomas Morgan families, Frank Ryset family, John Whitlock Radford families and others going to Star Valley, Wyoming in the fall of 1888 or spring of 1889. They left Wyoming and moved to the Ririe/Poplar/Shelton area of Idaho in 1891. All these families weathered really hard times, but the ones who went first to Neeley, Idaho and then to Star Valley, Wyoming, had the distinction of weathering the hardest times in both places. William Morgan stayed put in Neeley until after William's wife Lovina died in 1919, after which he rejoined the main clan (and some of his own children) in the Shelton area.

Thomas Morgan and his wives, John Whitlock Radford and his wives, Edward and Sarah West Morgan, James John Morgan and his wives, Willard and Annie Moore, and Frank and Sarah Priscilla Ryset are all buried in the Shelton Cemetery. William and Lovina Morgan are buried in the Neeley Cemetery.

The Willard and Annie Morgan Moore Life History above was taken from various family life sketches.

Children of Willard and Annie Morgan Moore

(1) Joseph Edward Moore, born 20 September 1880 in Leamington, Millard, Utah and died 28 December 1881 in Neeley, Power, Idaho of Diphtheria.

(2) Willard "C" Moore born 22 January 1883 in Neeley, Power, Idaho and died 3 September 1947 in Ririe, Jefferson, Idaho. He married first 1 June 1905 in Shelton, Bonneville, Idaho to Julia Etta Smith, born 9 July 1883 in Cedar City, Iron, Utah, daughter of Benjamin Smith and Margaret Alice klingensmith. She died 6 March 1942 in Ririe, Jefferson, Idaho. Willard married second 12 May 1947 to Sarah Ellen Wake (aka Sarah Ellen Stromberg) and had no children with her.

Willard "C" "Wit" Moore

(3) Annie Elizabeth Moore, born 13 November 1885 in Neeley, Power, Idaho and died 11 November 1887, in Leamington, Millard, Utah.

(4) Ezra Moore, born 14 February 1887 in Leamington, Millard, Utah, and died 26 December 1965 in Idaho Falls, Bonneville, Idaho. He married Violet Smith 1 December 1905 in Shelton, Bonneville, Idaho. Violet Smith was born 22 November 1886 in Cedar City, Iron, Utah, daughter of Benjamin Smith and Margaret Alice Klingensmith. She died 29 October 1961 in Grant, Jefferson, Idaho. They had a family in Shelton, Idaho.

Ezra L. Moore

(5) Ira Moore, born 10 September 1889 in Freedom, Lincoln, Wyoming, and died 30 October 1962 in Idaho Falls, Bonneville, Idaho. He married 4 December 1912 in Logan, Cache, Utah to Mary Ellen Ferguson, who was born 17 August 1892 in Logan, Cache, Utah, the daughter of James A. Ferguson and Mary Agnes Gneiting. They had eight children. She died 27 August 1969 in Idaho Falls.

Ira Moore

(6) John Moore, born 20 April 1891 in Shelton Bonneville, Idaho and died 30 May 1891 in Shelton.

(7) Sarah Emma Moore, born 22 May 1894 in Shelton, Bonneville, Idaho, and died 12 June 1930. She married 10 May 1913 to Benjamin Franklin Smith, born 7 November 1892 in Cedar City, Iron, Utah, son of Benjamin Smith and Margaret Alice Klingensmith. He died 10 February 1953 in Idaho Falls, Idaho.

Sarah Emma Moore

(8) Cora Moore (Twin) born 5 September 1898 in Shelton and died 15 March 1899 in Shelton.

(9) Nora Moore (Twin), born 5 September 1898 in Shelton and died 26 August 1984. She married 14 December 1916 in Rigby, Jefferson, Idaho to William Carlos Ross. He was born 26 February 1889 in Joseph, Sevier, Utah, the son of Don Carlos Ross and Alvira Ann Mackay. He died 25 January 1919. She married second Charles Tyler, born 24 December 1893 in Huntington, Emery, Utah, the son of Daniel Moroni Tyler and Sarah Elzina Pulsipher. He died 14 November 1982 in Riverside, California.

Nora Moore

(10) Jeannette Isabelle Moore, born 25 July 1902, in Shelton, Bonneville, Idaho, and died 2 October 1953. She married 3 April 1918 in Rigby, Jefferson, Idaho to Willard James Morgan. He was born 23 December 1898 in Labelle, Jefferson, Idaho, the son of Joseph Edward Morgan and Nellie Shurtleff. He was not a descendant of Thomas Morgan. He died 5 February 1932 in Pocatello, Bannock, Idaho. They had two children. She married second Orval H. Peterson on 5 November 1932.

Jeannette Isabelle Moore

Click on the link above to see pictures of Jeannette Isabelle Moore Morgan and her husband Willard James Morgan.

1950 Moore Reunion

Click on the link above to see a picture of a Moore reunion held in 1950 at Tautphaus Park in Idaho Falls, Idaho.

Gravestone for Willard and Annie Moore

Click on the link above to see a picture of the Willard and Annie Grave marker in the Shelton, Idaho cemetery.

Shelton Cemetery and Moore Legacy

Click on the link above to see the Grave of Alfred (Alf) Moore and to see where the Shelton Cemetery was taken out of the Moore homestead.

The Little Moore Boy Who Didn't Get To Live His Life

Click on the link above to see a picture of Benjy Moore who was killed in a horse accident and is buried in the Shelton Cemetery.

Willard Moore was like a son to Edward Morgan. He and Annie lived their entire lives close to the Edward Morgan family, Willard and Annie donated the land for the Shelton Cemetery, and the Edward Morgan and Willard Moore families are all buried together in the Shelton Cemetery. Willard and Annie were pillars of strength in our Morgan family during the hard times of the early settlement days. Willard was strong in his faith in family and in his religion. He and his father in law Edward Morgan were the ones people in the Shelton area often turned to for help in hard times.

The Moore family stands out in our early Morgan family history because they were so firm in their belief in and sustaining of family traditions. As of this writing (2006) the original Moore homestead near Ririe, Idaho is still in the Moore family. The original log home built there has been remodeled a couple of times and it now looks prim and neat. However, the original log home built by Willard Moore shortly after the turn of the century is still underneath the new coverings. The original log building is about 100 years old as of this writing and has been continuously inhabited by the Moore family since it was built.

This is not a Moore family website but a small amount of Moore family history is in order. Willard Cook Moore, who married Annie Lydia Morgan, passed the Moore homestead on to son Willard C. (Whit) Moore who in turn passed it on to Lamont (Monte) Moore, who passed it on to Alfred Moore. In 1932 Alfred Moore married Lucille Finn. They farmed the Moore homestead until Alfred became incapacitated in early 1980's, when the homestead was passed on to John Moore. Before Lucille Finn Moore died in about 2000 she supplied this Morgan family research project with a treasure trove of invaluable pictures that had been preserved in the Moore home for four generations.

There is more to the Moore family traditions (no pun intended) than meets the eye. If all our Morgan and related families who homesteaded land had passed the land on to their sons there could be a huge increase in the number of Morgan and related families that now own land. Land was a major issue in our family history. Thomas Morgan left England, where there was no hope of an ordinary farm laborer ever owning land, and came to America where he owned land, hudreds of acres of it, all his life. All of the children and son's in law of Thomas Morgan homesteaded land in America. This was the golden opportunity for Morgan families to become land owners and to accumulate wealth. But looking back over the first four generations of Morgan families in America one sees that they continually allowed land to slip away and did not keep it in the family.

Keeping land in a family is a most effective way to build wealth. The reasons are obvious. Each generation that obtains land from the generation before gets a leg up, a start from a higher economic level, with a corresponding increase in chances for success.

However, keeping land in a family is not easy. It requires a cohesive and harmonius family that can communicate and be fair and honest with each other. Obviously land cannot be passed on to all the children so there will be those children who will raise questions of fairness. But a strong family that pulls together can work these issues out. To give a simple example, if one child has gone to college and the other has stayed on the farm, they need to have a sense of wanting to each contribute to the entire family doing well rather than a sense of competition and jealously. This sense of family must be built into the children by the parents. If it is time to pass on the family farm and the children are fighting over it, the time is too late to teach the children the value of family unity.

One more issue of importance is illustrated by the Moore legacy. That is the issue of keeping family pictures, life histories, and other historical artifacts intact as a means of facilitating future family history research. When we gained access to the historical materials that had been preserved in the Moore home for almost five generations we made a great leap forward in our Morgan/Moore and related family history research. Because all these pictures and other materials were kept together they have been incorporated into our Morgan family history book and will now be of great value to future generations. Had these materials been dispersed we would never have been able to locate them all and much of historical value to future generations would have been lost.

As family history researchers, we often speak with people who are agonizing over how to disperse their family artifacts. They want to be fair to all their children so they lean toward giving some of the historical materials to each child. Our advice is, please do not disperse! Keep the collection together. Make copies and pictures to give to each child, then pick one child to pass the originals on to. Pick a child who is interested in family history. Otherwise the materials will be neglected or even lost. But keep the collection together. Otherwise, invariably, much of it will be lost to future researchers.

It is so difficult to track down family history artifacts that have been scattered all over America that most family history researchers do not have the skill or tenacity to locate them. The result is that most family history is woefully incomplete. Those cases where family history collections have been kept together have provided us with the best and most complete information we have found. Spend your life collecting family history artifacts and pictures. Then pass the collection, complete, on to someone who will appreciate and take care of it.

Edward and Sarah West Morgan Family

Click on the link above to be taken back to the Edward and Sarah West Morgan family page.