In the northeast corner of Bloomfield’s South Cemetery is the grave (above) of one of Davis County’s respected pioneers — Samuel Alphonso Moore (right).

Even before he migrated to Iowa in 1853, Moore had compiled quite a civic record in his native Indiana. He was born in Lawrenceburg in 1821. After his father’s death, he went to work at the ripe old age of 8 years old as a newspaper printer’s apprentice. He later worked as a typesetter, store clerk and farmed before starting the Spirit of the West, a Whig news- paper, in 1849, in Columbus, Ind. He became Columbus’ postmaster in 1850 and served in the Indiana Legislature from 1851 to 1852.

Moving to Iowa in 1853, Moore farmed for a couple of years before being elected county judge, a position he held for two years. He returned to farming, then later moved to Bloomfield, where he owned a mercantile store.

 When the Civil War broke out in April 1861, Samuel Moore enlisted in Company G, 2nd Iowa Infantry and mustered in as second lieutenant of the company. He was promoted to captain of the company in November 1861. On February 15, 1862, at Fort Donelson, Tenn., he led his company as part of the Second Iowa’s successful bayonet assault against the rebel rifle pits.

Two months later, at Pittsburg Landing, Tenn., in the battle of Shiloh, the 2nd Iowa was at the center of the Union line at a place later known as ”the Hornet‘s Nest.” Having sustained hours of withering Confederate fire the Second Iowa was ordered to withdraw. As the regiment retreated, Moore was wounded three times. He was severely wounded in each leg and fell. A young lieutenant came to the rescue and picked him up in his arms and carried him to safety under heavy fire. That lieutenant was James B. Weaver.

Moore’s wounds were so severe that he resigned from the army and returned to Bloomfield. In 1863, he and two associates started a newspaper, the Union Guard, that later was renamed the Davis County Republican. In 1863, he successfully ran for the Iowa Senate. He also served as an aide to Gov. William Stone. A year later, in 1864, he helped raise a company for the new 45th Iowa Infantry. Moore resigned from the Senate and served as the company’s lieutenant colonel. At war’s end, he returned to the quiet life of a Bloomfield merchant. He also served as Bloomfield postmaster from 1879 to 1885.

In 1901, at the age of 80, Moore was elected to the Iowa House. In his final years he served as a sergeant-at-arms of the Legislature and was a longtime member of the Pioneer Lawmakers Association.

Samuel Alphonse Moore died at home on Feb. 6, 1905.

— Rudy Evans  |