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Weekly 150

Moore-Wrinkle Family: Early Developers of McKenzie

Posted 2/26/20

One family with a significant impact on McKenzie was the Moore family. The descendants of Yancey and Mary Anne (Wade) Moore were true leaders in McKenzie and Carroll County.

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Weekly 150

Moore-Wrinkle Family: Early Developers of McKenzie


One family with a significant impact on McKenzie was the Moore family. The descendants of Yancey and Mary Anne (Wade) Moore were true leaders in McKenzie and Carroll County.

Yancey was born July 11, 1799, in Person County, North Carolina. Mary Ann Wade was born on November 8, 1811, in Halifax County, Virginia.

The couple married December 20, 1827, and moved to Carroll County in 1833. Their homestead was in between Atwood and McLemoresville on a 300-acre farm. Yancey and Mary had thirteen children; eight boys and five girls: Sarah A. Moore Jones (1829–1897); Robert Yancey Moore (1831–1896); Richard Baxter Moore (1833–1883); William H. Moore (1834–1860); Eliza Jane Moore Carter (1836–1905); John Bailey Moore (1838–1912); George Wade Moore (1839–1862); Charles Wesley Moore (1841–1923); Susan A. Moore Kennon (1843–1874); James Albert Moore (1844–1864); Mary Penelope Moore (1846–1874); Benjamin Portius Moore (1848–1929).

Mary Ann died on November 6, 1848. Yancey remarried two years later to Catherine Martin. The union produced no children.

At the time of Yancey’s death in 1881, Catherine was awarded 150 acres of the Moore Farm while other tracts were sold. 81 acres were sold to James Harvey Browning, with a reservation, “One-half acre was reserved out of lot 2 for burial grounds.” J.H. Browning was the father of Tennessee Governor Gordon Browning. The late governor noted when he was six years old his family moved onto the farm and he lived there until he was grown.

As the cemetery was somewhat isolated and difficult to reach, Ben P. Moore, a grandson of Yancy and Mary A. Moore, moved all but one of the Moore tombstones to the Moore (1848-1929) lot in Mount Olivet Cemetery in McKenzie. The remains were left intact; only the tombstones were moved.

Three of the Moore children settled in McKenzie; Richard Baxter, John Bailey and Benjamin Portius. The remaining ten children settled in various portions of Carroll, Gibson and Weakley counties.

John Bailey Moore, a Civil War veteran, who lost a leg in the Battle of Shiloh, had three children who figured prominently in McKenzie’s history. Daughter, Callie Lou, married Cyrus Mitchel Wrinkle. Cyrus was a partner with Bailey’s son, Neumie Moore, in McKenzie’s largest hardware store. Cyrus and Neumie established the Commercial Bank, of which Neumie was president and Mitch was the cashier.

Another son, Elijah Fenton, a pharmacist, started his practice in McKenzie. Fenton later moved to Chattanooga partnering to build the successful Moore and King Pharmacy.

Ben Portius Moore with James Thomas Burns established the Moore and Burns Company. A dry goods store and one of McKenzie’s earlier businesses located in the town square. After the great fire of 1887, which destroyed all but one of the down business structures in McKenzie, Ben was one of the leaders in the community to construct businesses in brick along Broadway.

He built the Moore and Burns building and the grocery store just south of it in 1888. The store was known as Chandler and Montgomery and later Chandler’s. Ben was the first president of the Bank of McKenzie and served in the position for many years.

Richard Baxter Moore’s son, Richard Benjamin, went into business with his uncle at the Moore and Burns company. When his uncle’s health began to fail to the extent that he had to leave the store, “Little Ben” took his place. Ben retained his financial interest, while Little Ben served as head of Moore and Burns until his death.

John Bailey and Ben contributed greatly to the construction of the sanctuary at the present the Methodist Church. One of the last contributions of Ben was toward the construction of the McTyeire school on the campus it occupied at the time of its closure (late Webb School).

In 1883 Ben married Sarah Ellis Dinwiddie (1856-1889). The marriage produced two children: Nellie Louise Moore (1886–1886) and Nancy Hardin Moore Bateman (1887–1969). Ben’s second marriage was to Lula Douglass (1863-1969). The second marriage produced three children: Yancey Douglass Moore (1897–1973); Richard E. Moore (1899–1899); Benjamin Portius Moore (1902–1981).

Lula taught in the McTyeire School here until her marriage to Ben in August 1896. She was an active church member and conference treasurer of the Women’s Missionary Society of the Memphis Conference of the Methodist Church. She has been president of the Women’s Missionary Society of the local church. She was a charter member of the Inglenook Book Club.

Three of Ben’s children had a part in McKenzie’s progress. Nancy “Nannie” married Clifford Bateman, after a long and valued service to the community she passed away in 1969. She was prominent in the business and agricultural and business progress of the area.

Ben Junior lived in Nashville most of his adult life. In his later years, he developed the Moore Subdivision. The land was developed from his family homeplace.

The third born was Yancey Douglass “Y.D.” Moore. He returned to McKenzie following his father’s death in 1929. In his return, he established McKenzie’s theatre, which was the first continuous motion pictures as well as the first sound picture show in McKenzie. He also established the first tire retread shop at Moore Tire Service.

Next’s article will focus on Y.D. Moore and pick up on the Wrinkles.

Jason R. Martin

B.S. • M.A.Ed • MLS

Councilman, Ward II

Rotary Dist. 6760, Asst. Governor

WestStar Class of 2019

P: 731.352.3323

E: jmartin@mckenziebanner.com

Jason Martin is a life-long resident of McKenzie. He graduated from McKenzie High School in 2000; earned a Bachelor of Science in History from Bethel College in 2004; a Masters in Education from Bethel University in 2009 and a Masters in History and Humanities from Fort Hays State University in 2011.


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