J.B. MOORE & SONS
J.B. MOORE HISTORY & FSJC INVOLVEMENT
In 1901, Jesse Burris "J.B." Moore (1870-1931) opened J.B. Moore & Sons Grocery at 1002 S. Main in Fort Scott which would later be expanded to include 1004 S. Main. Owing in part to his years spent on the farm in the Devon area, J.B. had a common touch with people and his customers, many of whom were Fort Scott High School and Junior College students from across the street. One person described J.B. as a "handsome, fine-looking man, was noted for his pleasant smiling ways." J.B. enjoyed participating in the everyday discourse between his customers that took place inside his store or on the benches out in-front where students and people from the neighborhood would often congregate. J.B. was thought of as generous, kind, and considerate and one person speculated that he gave customers credit and "probably lost a lot." J.B. was also known for his sense of humor and an occasional practical joke.
J.B. endured professional hurdles and triumphed in the face of adversity. In 1912, faced with the imminent loss of the lease on the 1002 store property (and the family livelihood) in a dispute with the building owner, J.B. quickly had a new store built on the 1004 property next door that he owned. J.B. and family moved merchandise and fixtures over one weekend and didn't lose a single hour of business operation in the process of moving to the new store. Personifying the old adage "all good things to those who wait", J.B. was able to purchase the 1002 property in 1927 and by knocking out the wall between, combined the two buildings into one store.
J.B. was also a man for all seasons. Though J.B. himself had minimal formal education, J.B. had been instilled by his mother Margaret the value of learning and education and he passed these values on to his children and, in turn, his grandchildren. J.B. was, in part, schooled by his mother and self-taught and he was said to recite poetry, quote Shakespeare, and listen to opera and classical music. J.B., the raconteur, would enthrall his children and grandchildren (four of whom he resided with) with his stories. Due in part to J.B.’s influence, a daughter and all eight of his adult Moore and Warren grandchildren would eventually attend the Junior College across the street.
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