Moore, William H.

Moore, William H. (Henry)

(1848–1923) capitalist; born in Utica, N.Y. Admitted to the bar in Wisconsin, he moved to Chicago to practice corporate law (1872) but he left law to work at corporate mergers and stock manipulation with his brother, James Hobart Moore (1852–1916). In 1890 they merged several cracker manufacturers into the New York Biscuit Company and engineered a price war with the American Biscuit and Manufacturing Company that resulted in the brothers' monopolistic National Biscuit Company (1898). They formed the American Steel Hoop Company (1899), the American Sheet Steel Corporation (1900), and several other metal-based companies; when these were absorbed into the United States Steel Corporation (1901), the brothers became immensely rich. The Moores then had themselves elected to the board of directors of the Chicago, Rock Island, & Pacific Railway (1901) and undertook a series of dubious transactions; by 1914 the once healthy Rock Island was in receivership. An investigation by the Interstate Commerce Commission (1916) charged the Moores, among others, with looting the railroad, and William was ejected from the board. In retirement he raised horses, becoming a four-in-hand driver of international renown.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.