MOORE, JOHN WARREN, cabinet-maker; b. 12 Sept. 1812 in Moores Mills, N.B., sixth child of Tristram Moore and Thankful Foster, and grandson of William Moore, head of the Cape Ann Association from New Hampshire which settled in Charlotte County, N.B., in 1785; m. 7 May 1833 Mary Louisa DeWolfe in St David Parish, N.B., and they had two sons and five daughters; d. 13 Nov. 1893 in St Stephen (St Stephen-Milltown), N.B.
It is not known where or with whom John Warren Moore apprenticed, but he was presumably learning his trade in 1829, when he gave his future wife a birch bentwood box with her initials carved on it. Two cabinet-makers, Nathaniel Sweet and Thomas J. Caswell, were in business in the St Stephen-Milltown area around that time, and Moore may have apprenticed with one of them.
In 1833 Moore set up his own workshop in St Stephen. After a few years he moved to premises on Water Street, where he produced a great amount of furniture until the late 1870s. At the peak of his production he had as many as eight apprentices in addition to the journeymen cabinet-makers in his employ. By 1851 Moore had expanded into New England, having opened a workshop and ware-room across the St Croix River in Calais, Maine. He continued to operate these premises until at least the early 1870s.
In July 1852 Moore’s shop on Water Street was destroyed by fire, although most of the furniture and other goods were saved. He quickly re-established himself on Water Street, but he sold his house and bought a much less expensive one so as not to incur debts in restarting his operation. Some time in the early 1850s Moore entered into a partnership with George Moore in a cabinet and furniture factory at Moores Mills. The partnership was dissolved in September 1856.
At some point Moore added ship and school furniture to his complete line of household furniture. He sold caskets and coffins throughout his career but, unlike many contemporary New Brunswick cabinetmakers, never was an undertaker. He also imported items of furniture, chromolithographs, and steel engravings, which he sold from his ware-rooms.
Moore’s second son, Harris, apprenticed with him and joined the business in 1870, after which it was known as J. W. Moore and Son. Edward, his eldest son, lived in Calais and had a financial interest in the company in the 1870s. After Harris’s death in 1883 the firm was sold to H. E. Purington. For a number of years prior to his death, Moore was a semi-invalid and spent his time repairing furniture. He was an active freemason, and was buried with masonic honours.
Charlotte Land Registry Office (St Andrews, N.B.), Registry books, K: 123. NA, RG 31, C1, 1851, St Stephen, N.B. PANB, MC 71; RG 18, RS148, I1. Calais Advertiser (Calais, Maine), 1 Jan. 1851, 18 April 1883, 15 Nov. 1893. New-Brunswick Courier, 25 July 1852. St. Croix Courier (St Stephen [St Stephen-Milltown]), 14 Oct. 1865; 11 Feb., 11 Oct. 1867; 14 April 1870; 18 Jan. 1871; 23 Nov. 1893; 16 Nov. 1895. McAlpine’s Charlotte County directory . . . (Saint John), 1886–87. N.B. directory, 1865–66. C. [H.] Foss, “John Warren Moore – 1812–1893, cabinet-maker,” N.B. Museum, Journal (Saint John), 1977: 5–15.