William Preston More
By Karen Cuccinello 5-2019
I was contacted by Karl More, of Ohio, who wanted to learn more about his great grandfather William who spent some time in Stamford. William was in Stamford about 20 years.
William was born probably in Roxbury, NY August 1866 to Liberty Preston and Ruth Ann (VanDyke) More. He had five siblings: Frank, Patrick, George, Clyde and Rosetta. They grew up mostly in Gilboa. William attended the Stamford Seminary in the academic department 1884-1886.
William married Mary Angeline Kinch (she mostly went by Angie in the census reports) on May 4, 1887 in Kingston of Stamford, NY. They had four children: Ruth Florence (Mrs. Charles Cadmus) 1888-1978; Robert Leonard 1891-1973; Grace Rosetta 1892-1893 and George Liberty 1894-1960.
While in Gilboa William was a farmer and was elected the Gilboa Commissioner of Highways in 1893. I believe they moved to Stamford about 1895 after their fourth child was born and after his father’s (who had died in 1889) farm was sold in April 1895. His mother Ruth, brother Clyde and sister Rosetta had previously moved to Stamford as they were in the 1892 Stamford census. Both William and family and Ruth and children were in the 1898 enumeration for Stamford Village living separately.
In January 1897 William leased the rooms in the Wood building, formerly occupied by the Recorder and opened a billiard room. An advertisement in the February 13, 1897 Stamford Mirror stated that you could get an oyster lunch, oysters served in any style, at his billiard parlors. The next month an oil stove took fire in W. P. More’s billiard parlors causing slight damage. I do not know if he still owned the billiard hall when he went to New York for a job interview with the Wagner Palace Car Company in October 1897.
Interesting tale from September 17, 1898 (Stamford Mirror)- One night recently Mrs. W. P. More, who resides on Delaware street, had a little experience which speaks well for her bravery. About ten o’clock a man knocked at the back door and demanded admittance. Mrs. More asked the stranger what he wanted and he replied that he would tell her when he got in. She told him to go away or she would shoot him. He declined to go and Mrs. More took a revolver which was in the house, poked the nose through a broken pane of glass in the window and took aim. She could see nothing but the fellow’s coat tails, but that was enough. She aimed at them and fired. It is reported that the intruder “lit out” at the first shot and it is an open question whether he has stopped running yet. He left a good felt hat behind him.
In the 1900 Stamford census William lists his occupation as conductor for railroad; in 1905 he’s a clerk and 1910 he’s a conductor again. In 1903 he and James McArthur were appointed village policemen.
January 22, 1904 (Catskill Mt New) – Stamford- William More formerly employed as conductor for the Pullman Parlor Car Company, was called to Cleveland recently as a witness in a damage suit against the Big Four road. The village of Stamford made contracts with W. P. More and J. Hamilton for space for bill boards to be used by the Opera House in March 1904.
In 1906 he returned to his former position with the Pullman Car Company as conductor after working for D.C. Hoagland for several years. Also in 1906 his wife returned from McDowell’s Millinery school, in NYC, and brought with her a full line of millinery goods. I suspect the family was living in Stamford until about 1912 as their youngest son George was still in school at the Stamford Seminary then. In 1915 they are in the Union Hill, NJ census. They continued to spend some time in Stamford until they sold their house on Harper and Main Streets to Omar H. Edwards in 1919.
Mary Angeline More died January 7, 1930 in NJ. and William died July 18, 1837 in New London, CT at his daughters. He had recently retired from the Pullman Company.
The family is all buried in Roxbury except for George who is buried in Canandaigua, NY.
Photos courtesy of Karl More. The Stamford Village Library history room has a few “More” genealogy books.