Thomas Moore, early Colorado mineral dealer and lapidary, was born in Perry County, Ohio on May 6, 1831, the son of Sarah Chapin Ballou and John Kerr Moore, a marble cutter. He married Susanah Harriet Wickham (b. 1838 in PA) in Marion County, Iowa in 1857, and together they had nine children; by 1880 his 19-year-old son, Thomas Jr., had already become a lapidary in the family business. Tracing his movements, his daughter Leila Ada was born in Indiana in 1858, his next five children were all born in Illinois between 1860 and 1872, and his last two children were born in Colorado between 1874 and 1878; the family resided in Colorado Springs as of the 1880 census; by 1885 they had moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico. Thomas Moore (Sr.) fought in the Civil War in 1862-1865 and died in Santa Fe in 1890. His son, Thomas Jr., continued in the lapidary (and mineral?) business in Colorado Springs at least through 1897.
Thomas was listed as a "lamp manufacturer" in Bloomington, Illinois, on the 1870 census. But by 1878 he and his family were living in Colorado Springs, Colorado where he advertised as the "Rocky Mountain Lapidary." As a lapidary he offered native and foreign gems (including Colorado diamonds) cut to order, and jewelry items made from native gold. But he also sold gold and silver ore specimens and other mineral specimens, "furnished to public and private cabinets, cheaper than at any other place in the West." In the Colorado Springs Daily Gazette (1878) he billed himself as the "Rustic Museum and Lapidary" ("Everything pertaining to a first class museum kept constantly on hand"); gem cutting and "gypsum carving" were among his specialties. "Call at rooms in Barton & Hodgman's block on Huerfano Street, east end."
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[Citation format for this entry:
WILSON, Wendell E. (2017)
Biographical Archive, at www.mineralogicalrecord.com.]
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