Bert Clement Moore and Katherine Driggs Moore
Bert Clement Moore was born 3-16-1881 and died 11-7-1934 in Dade Co., GA, He was the son of William Alexander Moore, born 1851 and died 1925 and Margaret Recilia Echols born 12-1852 and died1931. Bert was one of nine children, the oldest son and third child. Bert married Katherine Driggs b 12-13-1889 near Temple TX, d 11-19-1965 Catoosa Co. GA,. Katherine is the only child of Job Sherman Driggs and Georgia Ann Boatman Driggs. Bert and Katherine had eight children born in Dade Co. they are: Edith Virginia Moore Logan b 6-19-1906 d 1963, Oak Ridge TN. Driggs Alexander Moore b 8-27-1910 d 9-27-1988 in Rutherford Co., TN. Norman Bernard Moore b 2-23-1913 d 1O-2-1982 Catoosa Co. Ga. Lawrence Bert Moore b 3-16-1914 d 3-22-1980 Terrence Harold Moore b 4-1-1915 d 5-28-1971 Sherman Clement Moore b 8-11-1916 d 5-7-1968 Kenneth Morris Moore b 2-20-1920 d 7-4-1965 Evelyn Dawn Moore Pennington b 1O-5-1921
Bert and Katherine’s home in New Salem was on land that had belonged to Katherine’s grandfather William Henry Boatman. Katherine’s father and mother Job and Georgia Ann Boatman Driggs lived next door. Times were hard, but with such a large family and lots of cousins, I have been told there was always something needing to be done. Grandpa Bert, Uncle Art, and Uncle Leon Moore lived within a half mile of each other. Between them there were twenty-seven children, all first cousins. The balance of Bert’s brothers and sisters lived within a few miles. Mother told me that in addition to the nearby relatives, they would often go to spend days with her uncles and aunts that also lived here on the mountain.
Uncle Vol Moore, Bert’s brother owned the property that is now Cloudland Canyon State Park. When the State of Georgia wanted the property for a state park he was offered a price he thought unfair. He was forced to sell anyway, he left this area and moved near Tampa, Fl. Bert’s youngest sister Ethel Moore Matthews and her husband Cleve also lived near the canyon, the state has yet to purchase their property, but the family is completely surrounded by the park.
Evelyn is the youngest daughter of Bert and Katherine; and my Mother. She recalls how hard her father and brothers worked clearing new ground and building the farm where her family lived. With the end of open range they built fences, often of stone and sometimes split rail. Some of these fences remain. As I walk past them, I am reminded of my past family and the good and hard times they endured. The boys never questioned their fathers orders to work, it was expected and they understood. There was also time for fun. The Moore boys built an elaborate trolley in the hollow. They used old coal mine tracks and a coal wagon from the mines at Durham, the only trouble they didn’t have any brakes: the going down was lots of fun. The stopping was always exciting. Baseball was also a favorite past time. There was a community field at what is now the corner of 136 and South Moore Road. There were more than a few good players: Dezy, Lloyd, Cortez, Herman, Homer Gene and Gilbert Moore. By the time my mother Evelyn started school in Trenton, she was one tough ballplayer. She had grown up playing baseball with the boys. She continued to play softball until she was 45.
Bert was very afraid of thunder and lighting. He had a nice cellar under his house. It doubled as the storm cellar. He would round up his family and insist they go into the cellar during stormy weather. Great Grandmother Georgia Ann would often refuse to go into the storm cellar, Poppa Bert, frustrated with her, would say “just let it blow her away then.” Bert had inherited the beautiful singing voice of the Bradfords. He taught singing school at the New Salem Methodist Church where he and his family were members. He and Katherine lived next door to Job and Georgia Ann. After Job’s death, Georgia Ann paid Katherine half of Job’s civil war and railroad pension to take care of her. My mother thinks this amounted to about thirty dollars a month. During the Depression this was a lot of money for country folks. Bert and Katherine owned the first model A in community. Bert died in 1934 leaving Katherine to care for the family remaining at home. My Mother was 13. She said back then the doctors really didn’t know, but said he died of stomach problems.
Grandmother now ruled her house and used whatever force necessary to keep her boys in line. Katherine loved to read. The bookmobile came about once a month to New Salem. She would take a bushel basket to the truck and check out a basket full of books each time. My grandmother was also an excellent cook. Louise Baker Bowen told me she always loved to go to Aunt Katherine’s to eat. Desert was always the first priority, she would prepare it and then the meal around the desert. About 1948 , electricity came to New Salem. Uncle Terrence Moore wired most of the homes here with the help of Porter Everett. Grandmother owned one of the first televisions. Her home became the gathering place for family and neighbors to watch it. About 1960 we were proud to have the installation of telephones, all were originally party lines, with several homes sharing the same line.
My Grandmother Katherine was well known for speaking her mind. She also had a habit of standing with her hands behind her back. Folks that remember Grandmother say my Mother Evelyn is just like her. Submitted by Virginia Pennington Scruggs Rising Fawn, GA