Obituary

EXECUTIVE OFFICE.            6-8-16.

ALL OFFICES AND STORES.                 New York, June 7th, 1916.

OBITUARY

Mr. William H. Moore, Honorary Vice-President of F. W. Woolworth Co., and one of the originators of the 5 and lOc business, died at his home in Watertown, N. Y. Tuesday, May 16th, 1916.

While in Watertown I dictated to the reporters of the “Watertown Times”, a brief history of my early life, when I was, clerk in Moore & Smith’s store in Watertown, N. Y. A copy of this paper was sent to each one of our stores, which no doubt you received in due time, and therefore I deem it unnecessary to go into details in a letter of this kind, in regard to my early life.

As you all know, Mr. Moore was in business in Watertown in the same corner store for 55 years. He went into the store as a boy of 10 and he worked his way up gradually until he finally became a partner in the business and when I entered the store, a green boy from the country, the firm name was Augsbury & Moore, which in those days was considered one of the best dry goods stores in Northern New York. A year afterwards, however, Mr. Augsbury sold out his interest to Mr. P. R. Smith, and the firm was known after 1874 as Moore & Smith.

Mr. Smith was an enterprising young man not much older than myself and after the firm of Moore & Smith was dissolved, Mr. Smith went into the five and ten cent business and located in Akron, Ohio. He afterwards had several stores of which he was proprietor and he was a big success in that business, and finally retired several years ago. He is now residing at Asbury Park, N. J.

After the firm of Moore & Smith dissolved, Mr. Moore decided to go into the five and ten cent business and give up the dry goods business entirely. Mr. Moore was successful and also had another store established in Schenectady, N. Y. Both of these stores were turned over to the new corporation of F. W. Woolworth Co. in 1912. Since that time Mr. Moore has been out of business.

I do not believe there was any person that ever lived in Watertown that was thought more of than Mr. Moore. He was very reliable honest and charitable, as he established many charities in Watertown and his funeral was attended by the best people in the city, including Judges of the Courts and Officials of the City. Mr. Moore will be missed in Watertown as much as any man that ever lived there.

Both Moore and Smith were very kind to me when Istarted in the 5 and 10c business and both of them gave me encouragement on the start, while everybody else was discouraging me. I would probably never have left Watertown, and every manager that reads this letter, should remember that had it not been for Mr. Moore and Mr. Smith, there probably would never have been a permanent 5 and 10c business in this country. today and none of us should ever forget where we got our start in business.

Long before the 5and 10c business was ever heard of, while I lived on the farm, I was looking and watching for an opportunity to better myself and after I had spent several years as a clerk in the dry goods store in Watertown, I was very much discouraged, because the opportunity that I was looking for never came.

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EXECUTIVE OFFICE.                  6-8-l6          2.

ALL OFFICES AND STORES.                 New York, June 7th, 1916.

It has been said, to young men, don’t wait for an opportunity but create one yourself. Now, I tried to create an opportunity myself when I left the farm to go in the dry goods business, but the real opportunity was never offered to me until the beginning of the 5c counters, for they were nothing more than small counters in the dry goods stores at that time.

Mr. Moore encouraged young men to start 5c stores and several young men from Watertown who had money enough to make the first purchase of stock went into the business. Finally I decided that my opportunity had come to make a start in the world and. through the encouragement of Mr. Moore, I made the start, and of all the men that left Watertown in 1879 when the 5 and 10c fever was at its height, everyone of them made failures and gave up the business. I considered I made a failure myself, because the profits were so small the first year I did not consider it a big success and in 1887, the 5 and 10c store idea was given up throughout the country as a failure and those who didn’t make a financial failure turned the business into a sort of department store selling all priced goods and eventually most of these that went into that enterprise made a failure also.

I was led to believe that there was more money by increasing the lines of goods to high priced goods, the same as the others were led astray, but I soon afterwards found my mistake, as my sales did not increase and people did not understand why a 5 and 10c store should sell higher priced goods, so finally I confined myself to 5 and 10c goods only and then the business commenced to improve.

Mr. Moore confined his new store in Watertown, (by the way, it was located on the same corner where he used to be in the dry goods business) to 5 and 10c goods only, with financial success.

Mr. Moore was such an honorable man, that notwithstanding the fact that he was practically bankrupt, with a good opportunity to make a financial failure, he made up his mind he would live long enough to pay all his creditors in full, which was a great pleasure for him that he was able to do it.

Socially Mr. Moore was a very agreeable man to be with. Many a time we took fishing trips to the Thousand Islands, as he was a great fisherman and he never felt so happy in his life, as when he was located in a little row boat with his hook and line out in the water} ready to catch a fish.

He attended a good many of the conventions of the managers of our company and he probably enjoyed them as much as anybody. He was not very great on making speeches, but whatever he said was right to the point and he lived long enough to see the 5 and 10c business grow into the largest retail business in the world and that was just as much satisfaction to him as to anyone else connected with the business and he was always proud of the men connected with our company and he was always willing and anxious to give them encouragement and some of the successful men today were brought up under his generalship.

Many a young man he has encouraged in the business and it seems strange that within thirteen months, our corporation has lost four of its greatest men. First, Mr. Carson C. Peck, who died April 1915, then Mr. S. H. Knox, who died in May 1915, then Mr. C. C. Griswold, who died in January 1916. All of these men were among the founders of the busi

EXECUTIVE OFFICE.               6-8-16     3.

ALL OFFICES AND STORES.                      New York, June 7th, 1916.

ness. Mr. Peck formerly lived in Watertown and was clerk in a dry store of A. Bushnell & Co. Mr. Knox was formerly my partner in Redding, PA.and afterwards partner of several stores, until he purchased my interest and then he made a wonderful success in the business. Mr. Griswold was a poor boy when he entered the store in Albany to learn the business under Mr. Gage, and he gradually grew up to become one of the greatest men this business has had and now the real founder of the business has passed away, Mr. W. H. Moore.

Yet notwithstanding this fact and although these men are a great loss to the company, our business is still forging ahead and unless we had the wonderful organization we have, this business could not succeed This is not a one man business or a two man business, as there is material and brains enough left, even if all the founders of the business should die, to carry on the business successfully in the future. Yet we men in the New York Office certainly miss these four great men.

We hear about great men that have not accomplished half as much as these four men have accomplished, yet there are long obituaries in the paper and big head lines, but what have they done. They have had some political job and they have been at the head of some organization and they have not accomplished as much as these four men have accomplished – yet, because a man happened to make a success in the mercantile career, he is not considered in the estimate of the public and newspapers, as accomplishing so much as some man who has been speculating in Wall Street and made a financial success.

Now, these four men not only made a financial success, but their home life was ideal – they had strength of character and they worked for something besides dollars and cents – they worked for their own good reputation, which really counts more than dollars and cents.

No one ever heard of Mr. Moore getting mad or disagreeable to employees or anyone else – he had a kind word for everybody.  If he did not like a person, he would keep his mouth shut and he would say nothing against anybody. He was always ready to praise those that accomplished and did good in this world. He certainly had a beautiful character and an enviable disposition that few men have.

I trust I shall not be called upon to write another obituary for years to come, as this is the fourth one I have been obliged to write within the last thirteen months.

In conclusion will say that as the President of your Company, we extend our heartfelt sympathy to Mr. and Mrs. Louis Moore and Mr. and Mrs. Larned, and other relatives in this hour of their bereavement.

 Yours truly,

F.W.WOOLWORTH.

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