(Based on information provided by Margaret J. Anderson and articles included in “Briceville the town that coal built” by Marshall McGhee and Gene White)
The Reverend John Thomas Moore was born May 1, 1840 in the town of Douglas on the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea. When his father died, the entire family estate was left to John’s oldest brother. John ran away from home at age 12 and sneaked aboard a ship not knowing where he was headed.
Rev. John Thomas Moore
John worked as a cabin boy and then jumped ship as it pulled into harbor in Pennsylvania. He married Eliza Jane Neese in 1870 in Wythville, Virginia, where he worked in salt and coal mines. He met her while boarding at her father’s inn. They soon moved to Coal Creek where he owned land and they eventually had seven children.
In the late 1880s, he donated land and materials and helped build the Methodist Church in Briceville. He later donated land and materials when the First Baptist Church of Briceville was built by a contractor, R. L. Luallen, at a cost of $750. He was Pastor of both churches at different times for many years. He also worked as a coal miner to support his family.
Rev. John Thomas Moore was a longtime member of the International Order of Odd Fellows (I.O.O.F) and on December 2, 1889, he donated property to the Briceville I.O.O.F to erect a building for their meetings, which became known as the Odd Fellows Opera House and Lodge.
When he died on January 10, 1910, services were held at the First Baptist Church and the I.O.O.F. Lodge and he was buried in Briceville Methodist Church cemetery.
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