Poor Old Bill Moore – No One Cares
ASHS Column for July 13, 2006
According to accounts in the archives of the Escambia County Historical Society in the Alabama Room at Jefferson Davis Community College, there was a Mr. Martin Lindsay who operated a sawmill near Escambia Creek in the early 1900s. Lindsay knew of and raised a young man almost "from a waif" after his mother and father died. They were buried across the Conecuh River from Pollard and legend had it that their old grey horse was buried beside them. The boy, named Will (Bill) Moore, wound up working for Lindsay in the woods, sometimes driving the log train used to haul logs from the woods to the mill.
Now Moore already had part of one of his hands
cut off from an accident at another of Lindsay’s
mills at Morristown, but that obviously didn’t
keep him from being a good worker. One day
Bill Moore had a premonition of his death. He
told his roommates, Tom Jackson and
Lawrence Jernigan, if anything happened to
him, they were to look in his suitcase. There
they’d find some money he’d left to see he was
properly buried. In addition, they were to buy
a marble stone engraved with these words:
"Here lies the bones of Poor Bill Moore
No one to weep, no one to mourn.
Where he is, and how he fares
No one knows and no one cares."
Well, he did get killed, it seems. Jernigan later
wrote in February of 1944 of the events in
that day forty years earlier: "One day as we worked at Pollard, Mr. Jake Jernigan, foreman, came in with Bob Lindsay and the train crew full speed, whistle blowing steadily. Will Moore was dead, killed as Bob Lindsay operated his engine and Moore coupled the log cars."
Jackson and Jernigan carried out the young man’s wishes and had him buried over in the plot where his folks and the horse were, behind Bud Brantley’s place close to the road to Jay. As you can see in the accompanying photo, the marker reads just a bit differently from Moore’s request. Someone changed the last words to "No one to care."
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Another epitaph I found recently in the files reads like this:
"Here lies the remains of a tender heart
Of the fruits of life he had his part
He stood on a balance between heaven and hell
And nobody knows which way he fell."
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In another part of the same archives I found this cute little story, narrated by an unknown man:
"I was walking along side a branch through which ran a stream of
clear water. There I spied a young lady bending over the stream
washing a small garment. Oh! That was the prettiest woman! I
slipped up behind her, pulled her over and kissed her – well, that
woman got so mad!
"I said, ‘Be calm, lady, I was only doing unto others as I would
have them do to me!’"
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Several things to mark on your calendar:
July18 is our regular meeting date – 6 pm on the third Tuesday of each month. This month is Dr. Larry Walker, with a program of late 930s music, soul and jazz.
Then, on August 15, Dr. Kelly Reynolds presents a special one-man show about Henry Plant, a tycoon of the late 19
Century, who worked miracles in creating tourism for Florida. Lots of vintage photographs and stories of paddle wheeler steam boats and more. This event is sponsored in part by the Florida Humanities Council. It’s free – unless you’d care to make a small contribution toward the expenses.
is our annual Fall Festival with music, food and fun for all!
we’ll take part in Munson’s historic weekend. More details later on!
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If you’re wondering whether you can get a free tour of our museums, call 850-256-2029, 850-256-3980, or 850-256-2661 and ask to make an appointment for your personal guides. The museum is open most weekdays from about 9 am until about 3 pm. Call 256-2447 to make sure before you come, because our volunteers might not be available. Ask about the books and collectibles available for sale – they help pay our bills!