About William Henry Moore
William Henry (Judge) Moore (1848 - January 11, 1923) was an attorney and financier. He organized and promoted or sat as a director for several steel companies that were merged with among others the Carnegie Steel Company to create United States Steel. He and his brother Hobart helped create the Diamond Match Company, National Biscuit Company, First National Bank, the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad, the American Can Company, the Lehigh Valley Railroad, the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad, the Continental Fire Insurance Company, the Western Union Telegraph Company, the American Cotton Oil Company, and Bankers Trust. Moore was an avid and expert horsemen.
He was born in 1848. Moore's father, Nathaniel Ford Moore, was a prominent banker and merchant in Utica, New York. His mother, Rachel Arvilla Beckwith, was a daughter of George Beckwith, also a banker, a mid-18th century graduate of Yale College, and member of the original Yale Corporation.
After a few years at Amherst College, Moore sought adventure in the American West, where he became known to Sitting Bull. Moore returned to the American Midwest on Sitting Bull's advice. Moore then joined the law firm of Edward Alonzo Small, his future father-in-law, and invited his brother James Hobart to join him in Chicago. After Small's death, Hobart partnered with his brother, and married the sister of his sister-in-law.
Moore has been described as the prototype of the 1980s leveraged buyout artist. He mocked Andrew Carnegie for knowing how to make steel and nothing about "making securities, preferred and common stocks and bonds" during the initial attempt to take over Carnegie Steel Company. After losing $1.1 million on that 90-day option, a subsequent attempt was successful with the assistance of J.P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller. U.S. Steel, Big Steel, was born.
The Moores controlled several makers of primary or finished steel products. National Steel Company was among the three primary steel makers (of rails, beams, and unfinished steel) in the United States, controlling about 30% of the current capacity. In addition to National Steel, the Moores controlled American Tin Plate Company, American Steel Hoop Company and American Sheet Steel Metal. The above four corporations were among the ten that were merged to form United States Steel. The other six were Carnegie Steel Company, American Bridge Company, American Wire & Steel Company, Federal Steel Company, Lake Superior Consolidated Iron Mines, and National Tube Company.
Moore acquired the Pearson & Sons Bakery, Josiah Bent Bakery and six other bakeries to form New York Biscuit Company in 1889. These bakeries were merged with bakeries under the control of Adolphus Greene in 1898. The mergers created National Biscuit Company. Moore was a founding board member of Bankers Trust.
Moore was father to corporate director Paul Moore, Sr., founder of Republic Aviation, and grandfather to Rt. Rev. Paul Moore and Bankers Trust chairman William Moore.
He died on January 11, 1923.