Robert Emmet Moore was born on October 22, 1849 in Clark County, Illinois to Rev. W.H.H. and Julia Ann (Hungerford) Moore in a log cabin (Howard, p. 216). His father was a native of Tennessee and became a resident of Illinois in 1824. W.H.H. Moore was a minister for more than 50 years at the Methodist Episcopal Church. Julia Ann Moore was a native of New York state (Morton, p. 727-729). Robert E. Moore resided in various towns in Illinois until he was 21 years old (Howard, p. 216).
Robert E. Moore attended public schools in Illinois for his primary education. At the age of 15 he enrolled in the Wesleyan University at Bloomington in Illinois where he pursued a classical education. He graduated with honors in June 1869 (Howard, p. 216 and McKee). He divided his time between studying law and teaching school during these years two years. (Howard, p. 216). He started reading law at Champaign, Illinois and Bloomington, Illinois in 1871 and was later admitted to practice law in the courts of Illinois in 1871. In April 1871 Robert E. Moore settled in Lincoln, NE and continued with active legal practice. His law practice was at #4 O Street in Lincoln (McKee).
Before he had been a resident of Lincoln he was elected police judge in 1873. This was at a point when Lincoln did not yet have a jail (McKee). At this time the Moore family lived on the south side of N street between 12th and 13th streets. In 1873 Robert E Moore formed a co-partnership with T.M. Marquett and Judge Amasa Cobb, two of the most prominent members of the Nebraska bar at the time (Morton, p. 727-729). Robert E. Moore continued with this partnership until July, 1877, when he retired to enter into banking. He also served as the 11th mayor of Lincoln, NE from 1883-85. During this time taxes were lower than before. It was determined that all business in Lincoln was economically and honestly done during Robert E. Moore’s term of office. Furthermore, Robert E. Moore was elected to senate from Lancaster County three times (Howard, p. 216) in 1887, 1891, and 1893 (McKee).
In 1877, Moore associated with his brothers John and Thomas in the creation of Security Investment Company. The business dealt with investments, real estate, and farm loans. The business was located on O Street. In 1886 the firm incorporated and moved to a three-room suite (McKee). At the time of the incorporation the Moore family relocated to a new residence at the northwest corner of 14th and P Streets (McKee). For more than a quarter of a century Robert E. Moore was closely identified with the financial affairs of Lincoln, Nebraska. He served then as the seventh Lieutenant Governor of Nebraska from 1895-97 (Morton, p. 727-729 and McKee). He was an adherent of the Republican party (Morton, p. 727-729). During his lifetime Robert E. Moore was president of the Union Saving Bank of Lincoln, vice president of the Lincoln National Bank, and president of the First National Bank of Red Cloud. One of Moore’s initial investments was a plot of land northeast of Lincoln. The village did not prosper and vacated on October 22, 1875. Today Novartis Drug Company is the most visible occupant of the once could be village (McKee).
On December 28, 1874 Robert E. Moore married Emily J. (Peterson) Moore in Oquawka, Illinois (Morton, p. 727-729). Robert E. Moore and Emily J. Moore had two daughters that passed away in infancy (Zimmer, p. 69). When he passed away on December 6, 1921 Robert E. Moore left Emily J. Moore $2.5 million. In addition to this Robert E. Moore left $100,000 to the Lincoln Hospital Association in his will. The association issued a challenge to the city of Lincoln in 1919 to match Moore’s bequest. The city of Lincoln issued bonds and the hospital was built in 1925 with the proceeds. One section of the hospital was named after Emily J. Moore and another after Robert E. Moore (McKee). Furthermore, Emily J. Moore endowed a trust for the care of Lincoln’s impoverished at Lincoln General Hospital (LGH) (Zimmer, p. 69). Bryan bought LGH from the city of Lincoln on October 31, 1997. The hospitals merged and adopted the name BryanLGH. In 2012, the board of trustees authorized changing the name to Bryan Health. A current reminder of the Moore family’s impact to the city of Lincoln is in the painting by artist Allan Tubach at Bryan West. The right side of the painting depicts Robert E. Moore. The painting is on permanent display at Bryan West by the visitor elevators (Schwaninger).
If not for a wing at Bryan Health and the painting there would be practically no visual reminders of the Moore family’s impact on the city of Lincoln. The painting by Allan Tubach has helped to memorialize Robert E. Moore. One of the last remnants of the Moore family disappeared in 1950 when the family’s Queen Anne mansion was demolishing for the creation of Hazel Abel Park at 18th and E streets (McKee). Robert E. Moore built the 2 ½ story mansion in 1891. It served as apartments during World War II. Now the site of their beautiful family home serves as a gem in the Near South Neighborhood of Lincoln. The park is often used for gatherings and weddings (McKee).