Samuel Moore was not the first European-descended settler to homestead in Morgan County or Brown Township. Jacob Wetzel became the first white settler in Morgan County (1818), and William Ballard settled in Brown Township in 1820. Moore established the first trading post in Brown Township. His log cabin was situated near White Lick Creek, close to the present day location of Kroger and the Village Shopping Center. Moore made no distinctions based on color, race, or national creed; he traded with Native and European-descended Americans alike. Customers paid for his goods in silver, as well as barter items (primarily deer and raccoon skins, ginseng, bees wax, and buck horn).
As his business flourished, in 1823 Samuel Moore purchased 20 acres of land (at $2 per acre) atop a hill east of White Lick Creek and about a half-mile north of his trading post. He platted the town in 1824, which consisted of four five-acre blocks, with each block containing 16 lots (see original plat at the top of this blog; click-on the image to enlarge it). The plat was recorded on Feb. 21, 1825. The town, however, dates its origin to 1824, and this is the historically accepted date.
Asa Bales constructed the first cabin in Mooresville, and the first wood-frame business structure was built by Samuel Moore on the northeast corner to the intersection of Main and Indiana Streets. Moore conducted business there for 44 years. His goods travelled by wagon and boat across southern Indiana and even as far away as Boston and New Orleans.
In 1828, Samuel Moore married Eliza Worthington, who later founded the Methodist Episcopal (M.E.) Church in Mooresville. Below is a postcard and a flashcard (in sets of four) about the couple. If the sidebar on the right partially obscures the cards, simply right-click them and select the "full screen" viewing option.
MPL Indiana Room Treasure Trove Flashcard:
MPL Indiana Room Treasure Trove Postcard:
What would Samuel Moore think of the town he founded if he could see it today? He would be pleased to find hard-working, conscientious people committed to providing a good life for their families.
Visit the Indiana Room at Mooresville Public Library to learn more about Samuel and Eliza Moore and the pioneers with whom they settled, lived, worked, and socialized.