Maude Wham Moore

Submitted by Charles M. Hoyt

December, 2002

Maude Wham & Curtis E. Moore were married April 9, 1905 from handwritten notes by Maude herself, at M E Lutheran Church at Odin, Illinois by Pastor , Reverand L. F. Lawrence. Witness were Elmer Wham, her brother, and Bernie Kell. This is contrary to the handwritten notes by my Mother, and her daughter, Irene M. Hoyt, that she was married on April 5, 1905 in Robinette Ill. , near Salem.

They had a child, Curtis Moore, born and died on April 5, 1906, whom I had never heard of. Maudes name was spelled by herself as Maud. Later, it was spelled Maude. Maude Moore was my Grandmother. She was running her dad, Steuben DeKalbs Farm in Cartter, Illinois. S.D. had died in 1941.I think it must have been a section. She had 70 acres of mostly, Keiffer Pears and what we called a 300 acre pasture where she ran beef cattle. At this time, she and her husband were separated. She and her husband had been railroad station agents most of her life and she was a good telegraph operator. In fact, my mother was born on the Fort Sill Indian Reservation, in 1907, where they were station agents.

The railroad needed a station agent bad at Texico, Illinois, which was the next station south of Kell, Ill., because most of the menfolk were away in WWII. Consequently, she moved her living quarters into the back of the station at Texico and lived there until the war was over. My parents , Lester and Irene Hoyt, (her oldest daughter), and their boys moved up from their 40 acre farm south of Carbondale to run the farm for her 'til the war was over. She died Feb. 14, 1948 at Herrin, Illinois.

Buried at Romaine Cemetery at the corner of Illinois State Highways 37 and 161, near Cartter, Ill, what was called the Centralia Wye.

Recollections of stories I had heard over and over of my grandmother, Maude Wham Moore . By Charles M. Hoyt- - - - - -

Maude Wham Moore and her husband, Curtis E. Moore were railroad station agents on the Fort Sill Indian Reservation in Indian Territory in what is now Oklahoma when my mother, Irene Moore Hoyt was born in 1907. Geronimo, the Apache Indian Chief was imprisoned at Ft. Sill at the time and I understood that he became good friends of Grandpa and Grandma Moore and her brothers.

From Arizona Hist Society - - - Geronimo, famous Chiracahua Apache war leader, surrendered for the fifth and final time in September, 1886. He was deported and imprisoned ( in Florida, then Alabama, and lastly Ft. Sill, Okla.) until his death in 1909.

Geronimo, after being egged on by her brothers, would go up to grandma to shake her hand. They said he was impressed by her height. She was six feet tall, very tall for a woman in that time. She was scared to death of him and he and her brothers knew it. I guess she shook in her boots every time he approached. Her brothers would ask Geronimo, ' how many white men have you killed?'. Geronimo would raise both hands with fingers out stretched nine times. Ninety white men. Then they would say, 'how many more will you kill?' He would hold up both hands one more time. Ten more men. Grandma said he had a coat which he would sometimes wear which was made entirely of white mens scalps.

Geronimo was a very intelligent old man with his own beliefs. One time he went out into the buffalo grass and hid from the soldiers. They knew he was inside the reservation but they didn't know just where. It took the soldiers three days marching shoulder to shoulder thru the buffalo grass to find him. He was taken to the St. Louis Worlds Fair of 1904 or The Columbia Exposition, as they called it and put into a cage on display like an animal. Uncle Claude, Grandma's younger brother, walked by and Geronimo saw him. He shook the bars, crying 'oh, Ft. Sill, Ft. Sill'. Uncle Claude had to go up to the cage and explain that he couldn't take him home, he couldn't even get him out of there. 

Grandma lived in her father, Steuben's newer house and we, her daughter Irene Moore Hoyt, and her family lived in the old house. Of course, she had living quarters in the back of the R.R. depot at Texico, but she must have gotten a frequent break from that, as I can remember that she spent a considerable amount of time at home in Cartter. I can remember when we boys had 25 Pekin ducks as a 4 -H project. We let them run in what we called the front barn-lot. This was about 3 acres with woven wire fencing around it and a pond of about 1/2 acre.

My mom and Grandma decided to can up a batch of peaches. I remember they used 2-quart blue, mason jars. They had a zinc, screw-on lid with a red rubber ring under it to seal. At that time, since Dec., 1942, gasoline rationing was in effect, sugar, among a lot of other things, was in a very short supply and rubber was almost non-existent. The government was experimenting with synthetic rubber and they hadn't gotten very good at it. Evidently the red rings on the peach jars were synthetic rubber, as the next day all the lids had popped up in the middle. This meant that the jars hadn't sealed and the peaches were all bad. We had a lot of peaches to get rid of and Grandma, with her 'waste not, want not' philosophy said, ' you boys take the peaches out and dump them in the hog trough. The ducks will eat them'. We did and the next thing we noticed was that the ducks were all so drunk that they couldn't even stand up. These ducks would lay on their sides or backs with their legs going slowly like they were riding a bicycle, all the while quacking slowly. They were so drunk that Grandma made us boys watch them all day so they couldn't get into the pond, get turned upside down, and drown. Strangely, the ducks all managed to survive. 

We had a chicken yard back behind her house which you had to walk thru to get to the smoke-house, where we kept our hams, bacon etc. We had a Leghorn rooster in there that was named 'Foo-foo', after an ancient Egyptian king. Now, does that make sense? We boys would tease this rooster so much that every time we got into the chicken yard he would attack us with a vengeance. His spurs were very sharp and when he flogged you with his wings, it felt like someone was hitting you with a stick. He could really bring blood to your leg. One day Grandma was going thru the chicken yard and poor Foo-foo attacked her. I can remember her running back up to her porch and coming back with her broom. She literally beat the snot out of that poor fool rooster. He was laying on his side kicking and squawking and trying to get to his feet and I thought for sure she was going to kill him. I honestly believe thats what she had in mind, but he finally got up and got away. From that day on whenever Grandma even came out into her back yard, old Foo-foo would disappear and he never ever attacked her again. When we boys gave him a chance, tho, he sure would attack us, I think for revenge. 

We sure had some good times growing up on Grandma's farm. I'm sure we had some bad times, too, but you don't tend to remember that stuff. Eddie Holt, or 'Egghead' who worked in Edgar B. Wham's store always said we boys were' wild and wooly and full of fleas and ain't been curried above the knees'.