Charles Shoemaker Moore, Jr.
I love my grandfather. That’s not very remarkable since most of us love our grandfathers. But I never met my grandfather. In fact he died over fifty years before I was born. My only emotional connection was listening to my father and aunt speaks of their father. Theirs was a child’s view since he died before they were grown but they also had their older sister to tell about their father. That sister was twenty-six when their father died so she was able to share her memories. I wish I had asked more questions before my dad died, not the facts type of questions but more about his personality, what was their relationship and how did he look, talk, hug and more. So I’m left with the love that was handed down to me from my dad.
Charles was born on Dec. 4, 1869 in Camden, NJ to Charles Shoemaker and Fannie Elizabeth Moore. He had an older brother Franklin Thomas who was born in 1867. His father died 1874 leaving his mother to struggle raising two young boys. The boys went to live in a children’s home in Camden. She remarried a few years later. The curious thing was after she married, Charles came to live with her and her husband William Burns. Franklin went to live with William Burn’s parents. I wondered how this affected them. A few years ago I made contact with Franklin’s granddaughter. She described her grandfather as a mean man. Not being the one chosen to live with your mother may have that effect.
In the 1890-1 Camden City directory he is listed as a waterman and living at 1239 S. 2nd St. How my grandparents met I don’t know but on November 16, 1891, Charles married Margaretta Virginia
He had seven children. Caroline Grover was born on May 11, 1893. Marie Robinson was born on June 18, 1894. Charles Shoemaker, III was born on June 28, 1897. Thomas Henry was born on April 17, 1902. Franklin Thomas was born on Aug. 2, 1909. Margaretta Virginia was born on Oct 23, 1910. Earl Mackin was born on Nov. 24, 1913. Marie and Franklin both died as infants.
Charles became a Mason in 1905. He was a member of Fernwood Lodge No. 543 in Philadelphia. He completed all degrees through Master Mason during that year. Other affiliations were Tall Cedars of Lebanon No. 5, Lodge of Moose No. 111 and Engineers Union Local No. 506 of Philadelphia.
On Apr. 16, 1919 he died of bronchial pneumonia. Although this was after the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918 I have always wondered if his condition could still be from that virus since he was a healthy man of just 49 years. His residence at this time was 1450 or 1451 Mt. Ephraim Ave. in Camden, NJ. He was buried in the New Camden Cemetery, Camden, NJ in Section B Lot 337.
For me his lives on in those inherited memories, pictures and other documents. When my aunt was in her nineties and living in a nursing home because of Alzheimer’s, I brought her a framed picture of her dad to put on her dresser. As soon as she saw it her face lit up and she said, “That’s my dad. Charlie Moore they called him.” The joy she showed in that moment affirmed that he was a great dad and would have been a wonderful grandfather to me.