Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920
Biography of Susan V. Paul (Mrs. S.V.) Moore, 1853-1936
Photo credit: The Tampa Tribune, 18 Oct. 1922 (Newspapers.com)
President, Florida Suffrage League; Founder, Miami Suffrage Association; Second Vice-Chairman, Florida State Women's Party; Auditor, Florida Equal Suffrage Association; President, Housekeepers Club; Second Vice-President, Florida United Daughters of the Confederacy
By Amanda Ritter-Maggio, English instructor, University of Arkansas Community College at Hope-Texarkana
Susan V. Paul was born in Eastman, Georgia on October 1, 1853. The 1860 census lists her mother, Mary Paul, as head of the household on a farm in Jones County, Georgia with Susan and her older siblings, William, Julius, and Martha. Mary Paul died in 1865, and the 1870 census finds teenage Susan ("Susane") Paul living with John S. Stewart, his wife Mary, and their four small children in Spartanville, Georgia.
Susan married Captain George F. Cherry, a decorated Confederate veteran and widower with five children, on April 9, 1878. The couple owned a farm in Bibb County, Georgia, and George worked as a sheriff. He died on September 6, 1884 at the age of forty-nine.
Susan married again, this time to Rufus LaFayette Moore, on August 12, 1885. Susan and LaFayette, as he was known, appear to have resided in Denver, Colorado, and in Georgia before moving to Coconut Grove, Florida sometime around 1905. LaFayette worked in the lumber industry and became known as "Dry-Kiln Moore" for the lumber-drying technology he invented. It appears that the couple moved to Florida so that LaFayette could establish a Dry-Kiln lumber mill. Susan and LaFayette had no offspring, although Susan appears to have maintained relationships with George Cherry's children, who were by then grown and had families of their own.
Susan, or "Sue," as she was sometimes called in the newspapers, was quickly accepted into the Miami area social scene. She joined the Housekeepers Club (now the Woman's Club of Coconut Grove), the oldest women's social organization in Florida. The club still exists today and supports civic improvements, literacy, and the advancement of arts and culture. Susan was elected the club's president at least twice and served on its Committee on Legislation and Ways and Means Committee.
Susan was also a member of the North Dixie Chapter of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, the Royal Palm Park Committee, the Florida chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, and the Red Cross. By 1912, she was described as a "prominent society and club woman" and had her portrait published in the Atlanta Journal.
Suffrage work seems to have been nearest to Susan's heart, though. Her suffrage activism began around 1914, when she was elected the Housekeepers Club delegate to the General Federation of Women's Clubs state meeting. She began giving talks on the topic of suffrage at Housekeepers Club meetings. Her demeanor in these talks was described in the newspapers as "direct and thorough."
On May 11, 1914, several dozen women gathered at the municipal auditorium in Miami to form the Miami Equal Suffrage League. Susan attended and was elected the organization's first president. A newspaper interview of Susan after her election described her "usual spirit of ready helpfulness" and emphasized that "Mrs. Moore speaks of her literary work in newspaper fields and along other lines, which by the way have been of long standing, as if they were not one-half so important to her interest in suffrage."
By 1915, "Mrs. S.V. Moore," as she was often called in newspaper accounts, was head of "suffrage organization in her neighborhood," and organized a suffrage rally to be held at the Housekeepers Club headquarters in November of that year.
Susan was elected to represent the Miami League of the Florida Equal Suffrage Association at the Orlando conference in 1916. One newspaper account states, "Then who is going to Orlando? Mrs. Sue V. Moore of Cocoanut [sic] Grove, who has no home cares. Mrs. Moore, whose untiring and faithful work for suffrage is never interrupted by the reasons named by the householders at yesterday's meeting [sick children or husbands who objected to their wives' suffrage activism]."
In May of 1916, Susan conducted a joint meeting of the Suffrage League and Equal Franchise Department of the WCTU. She passionately urged women to contact and educate representatives and senators on the suffrage platform.
She was one of many women from Fort Lauderdale, Coconut Grove, and Miami to attend a large suffrage luncheon hosted by Mrs. William Jennings Bryan [LINK to bio sketch for Mary Baird Bryan] on January 10, 1917. Later the same year, she was elected auditor and served on the presidential nominating committee of the Florida Equal Suffrage Association. In addition, she presented an address to those gathered at the meeting; one reporter stated that "Mrs. Sue V. Moore took up the question of these two ways of gaining suffrage [either by state franchise or by national amendment], showing the course necessary to affect both, and gave a most interesting comparison of the methods by which suffrage must be obtained by the states and the practical impossibility of some state methods."
In May of 1917, Susan represented Miami at the state National Woman's Party convention and introduced the resolution endorsing the passage of a presidential suffrage bill to the Florida state legislature. According to an account in The Miami News, "Mrs. Moore is entering heart and soul into the work of the woman's party."
Susan was a speaker at the Dade County Federation of Women's Organizations meeting in February of 1918. She also hosted the president of the Florida Federation of Women's Clubs, Mrs. Edgar Lewis, in March of that same year.
After the death of LaFayette Moore in 1922, Susan moved in with her niece, Meta Pope, and Meta's children in Jacksonville, Florida. She was an active participant in several clubs and organizations through the 1920's. Susan died at home in Jacksonville, Florida on July 14, 1936. She is buried alongside her husband in Evergreen Cemetery in Jacksonville.
"About the Woman's Club of Coconut Grove." Woman's Club of Coconut Grove, 2020. https://womansclubofcoconutgrove.com/about-womans-club/
Ancestry.com. Georgia, Marriage Records from Select Counties, 1828-1978 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013. Original data:County Marriage Records, 1828-1978. The Georgia Archives, Morrow, Georgia.
Ancestry.com. Georgia, Wills and Probate Records, 1742-1992 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015. Original data:Georgia County, District and Probate Courts.
"At the Convention." The Tampa Times 15 Nov. 1912. Newspapers.com, https://www.newspapers.com/image/325775890/?terms=Lafayette%2Bmoore
"Delegates to St. Louis Instructed in Suffrage." The Miami News 05 May 1916. Newspapers.com, https://www.newspapers.com/image/301656556/?terms=mrs.%2Bs.v.%2Bmoore
"Dixie Union All-Day Session." The Miami Herald 3 August 1923. Newspapers.com, https://www.newspapers.com/image/616220345/?terms=mrs.%2Bs.v.%2Bmoore
"Equal Suffrage League Heard Valuable Program." The Miami News 21 March 1916. Newspapers.com, https://www.newspapers.com/image/297383635/?terms=mrs.%2Bs.v.%2Bmoore
Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 27 August 2020), memorial page for LaFayette Moore (1845-1922), Find a Grave Memorial no. 117228549, citing Evergreen Cemetery, Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida, USA ; Maintained by Johnny (contributor 47728023).
Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 30 August 2020), memorial page for Susan V Moore (1853-1936), Find a Grave Memorial no. 117228550, citing Evergreen Cemetery, Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida, USA ; Maintained by Johnny (contributor 47728023).
Florida Death Certificates, 1877-1939. FamilySearch.com. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6WLS-VPP?cc=1595003&personaUrl=%2Fark%3A%2F61903%2F1%3A1%3AFP33-9QD
"Georgia, County Marriages, 1785-1950." Database with images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : 30 August 2020. Georgia Department of Archives and History, Morrow.
"Housekeepers Club Current Events Class." The Miami Herald 17 Nov. 1917. Newspapers.com, https://www.newspapers.com/image/616187363/?terms=sue%2Bmoore
"Housekeeping Club Held Interesting Meeting." The Miami Herald 12 Nov. 1915. Newspapers.com, https://www.newspapers.com/image/616159354/?terms=sue%2Bmoore%2Bsuffrage
"Larkins Meeting of Dade County Women." The Miami Herald 27 Feb. 1918. Newspapers.com, https://www.newspapers.com/image/616095648/?terms=sue%2Bmoore%2Bsuffrage
"Mrs. Bryan Spoke to Large Crowd of Interested Women." The Miami Herald 11 Jan. 1917. Newspapers.com, https://www.newspapers.com/image/616270109/?terms=sue%2Bmoore%2Bsuffrage
"Mrs. Stranahan Elected Pres. Florida Equal Suffrage Ass'n." The Miami News 17 March 1917. Newspapers.com, https://www.newspapers.com/image/298725341/?terms=mrs.%2Bs.v.%2Bmoore
"Mrs. Sue V. Moore, President Franchise League is Worker." The Miami News 17 July 1914. Newspapers.com, https://www.newspapers.com/image/298218767/?terms=sue%2Bmoore%2Bsuffrage
"Mrs. Sue V. Moore to Represent Three Local Leagues at Orlando." The Miami News 01 Feb. 1916. Newspapers.com, https://www.newspapers.com/image/297364080/?terms=sue%2Bmoore%2Bsuffrage
"New Dry-Kiln." The Tampa Tribune 14 Feb. 1906. Newspapers.com, https://www.newspapers.com/image/325772355/?terms=lafayette%2Bmoore
"Officers Elected by Housekeepers for Coming Year." The Miami News 15 April 1921. Newspapers.com, https://www.newspapers.com/image/298251397/?terms=mrs.%2Bs.v.%2Bmoore
"State Branch of Woman's Party Endorses Presidential Suffrage." The Miami News 12 May 1917. Newspapers.com, https://www.newspapers.com/image/298526211/?terms=sue%2Bmoore%2Bsuffrage
"Suffragists Pledge Service to the National Government during Final Day's Session." The Miami Herald 17 March 1917. Newspapers.com, https://www.newspapers.com/image/616178878/?terms=sue%2Bmoore%2Bsuffrage
"Tampa Convention of Florida Equal Suffrage Association." The Miami Herald 19 Nov. 1917. Newspapers.com, https://www.newspapers.com/image/616041651/?terms=mrs.%2Bs.v.%2Bmoore
"United States Census, 1860." Database with images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : 30 August 2020. From "1860 U.S. Federal Census - Population." Database. Fold3.com. http://www.fold3.com : n.d. Citing NARA microfilm publication M653. Washington, D.C.:National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.
"Women's Suffrage League is a Life Organization." The Miami News 28 July 1917. Newspapers.com, https://www.newspapers.com/image/298527890/?terms=sue%2Bmoore%2Bsuffrage