Sept. 21, 1887
Aged 59 years
Photo Credit: Rosa G. Gonzales
Biography and obituary
According to the stone that marks her final resting place, Mary Augusta Moore died on 21 September 1887 at the age of 59 years old. It seems that this is most likely the Mary Moore whose obituary appeared in the Corpus Christi Caller of 24 September 1887 on page 5 (column 2). This article states that she died on the 22nd of September, but this appears to be a mistake as the 21st is also the date given for her death in early city records. The early death records of Corpus Christi list Mary Moore, a 59 year old negro native of Alabama, as dying on 21 September 1887 of a “valvular heart” (Records page 32 #330). The obituary in the Caller states the following: Mary Moore, an old and faithful servant of the Moore family, died in Corpus, Sept. 22d. Aunt Mary belonged to that class of Southern servants who are fast passing away. By her kind and gentle disposition she made friends among our white as well as colored citizens, and by those whom she has served so long and well, will be remembered with affection, hard to realize by those who never had just such a one. May we all be as worthy of our masters. “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” A FRIEND.
Mary appears in the 1880 census with the family of George and Cornelia Evans. Mrs. Evans is a member of the Moore family, the daughter of John Marks Moore. It may well be that she wrote the above tribute to Mary, and it is most likely that she also provided the tombstone for one who had been more than just a servant to her. The Evans family lived the longest in the Centennial House (originally built for the Forbes Britton family). They purchased the home from the W. O. Staples family in 1880, and their descendents did not sell the house until 1936. From the time of the purchase of the house until her death in 1887, it is most likely that Mary Augusta Moore resided in or near the Evans home so that she might be available as needed by Cornelia Evans. In 1882 Mrs. Evans had electricity installed to replace the old oil and gas lighting so Mary would have been one of those who first experienced electric lighting in Corpus Christi. In the 1880 census of Nueces County (page 16) Mary is listed as single, a native of Alabama, aged about 50 years. This would fit close enough for Mary Augusta Moore whose grave marker says that she was about 59 years old at the time of her death.
Research and transcription: Michael A. Howell