When Clayton, as he was known, was five, his parents, two younger brothers, grandfather and step-grandmother, four of five Moore uncles, and two of three Moore aunts, all moved to Texas, taking the train to Lewisville. Clayton helped with the family farm near Flower Mound, raising crops to help support his aunt Sue Moore, who was 11 years older and single.
Photographs of Clayton from late 1900 or early 1901 show that he was quite a handsome man. Breathless' first cousin, Thomas Clayton Moore, says about their grandfather on page 49 in his unpublished manuscript Heroic Lives of Ordinary People, that
Sometime in the summer of 1898, when he was nineteen, he went to talk to the Bartonville postmaster, Wiley Thomas Jones, at the postmaster's home about a postal matter. While engaged in conversation, he saw a pretty 16 year old woman getting wood from the woodpile for the cookstove. He told this writer many years later that he decided then and there that that was the girl he wanted to marry. He learned that her name was Nancy Flora Jones.They were married, on August 7, 1901, "at the residence of Robert Keith, the officiating minister." according to the Denton County News, August 15, 1901, page 8, column 5.
Clayton and "Nannie" headed north to Oklahoma, eventually leasing 40 acres (for five cents an acre) near Indiahoma in Comanche County from a Comanche chief named Chebahtah. It was here, in an eight-foot by ten-foot dugout, that their first child, Thomas Gurth, was born in 1902. Besides farming cotton, Clayton also worked building fences and doing odd jobs for $10 an hour for Quanah Parker.
About a year later, the family moved to Fort Worth. Clayton worked for a carpenter, driving nails for a dollar a day, ten hours a day, six days a week. Daughter Velma was born near Lewisville in October 1903 (sadly, she died in 1910 of diptheria). After Clayton's father died young of pneumonia in 1904, the family moved back to the Flower Mound homestead to help Clayton's two younger brothers work the family farm. Daughter Ivis was born there in 1905.
Late in 1906, Clayton found a farm 14 miles west of Fort Worth, and moved his family there. Later he took a job in construction with the Swift and Company meat packer. Daughter Ruby Clayton was born here in February, 1907. When Clayton was laid off by Swift and Company two years later, he found a 20 acre farm to rent near Azle, and the family moved there in 1909. Daughter Beulah Mable was born there in March 1910.
Clayton later rented a larger place, 80 acres near White Settlement, with a log cabin near Little Silver Creek. Their last two daughters were born here, Audie Ruth in 1911, and Breathless' mother, Jewel, in October 1914. The family later moved into the "big house" on this former plantation, which was surrounded by geraniums. Jewel later said that "whenever she smelled the fragrance of geraniums, she thought of this time." (page 88).
In the summer of 1918, Clayton's cotton crop was destroyed by boll weevils, so the family followed friends to Marlow, Stephens County, Oklahoma. They bought a 120-acre farm in Bray, about ten miles west of Marlow. This is where they lived the rest of their lives. Son Gurth died of pneumonia in January 1930, and they helped their daughter-in-law by caring for his two sons at the farm in the late 1930s.
Tandy Clayton Moore died January 1, 1964, at the age of 85. He is buried in the Marlow Cemetery.
© Amanda Pape - 2011 - click here to e-mail me.