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Moore, Elizabeth Finley (1894–1976) - Local History

south carolina historical columbia

Elizabeth Finley Moore was born in York, South Carolina, on January 29, 1894, to David Edward Finley, a congressman, and Elizabeth (Gist) Finley. From 1910 to 1911 she studied at Winthrop College in Rock Hill, South Carolina. In 1914 she obtained an A.B. at the College for Women in Columbia, South Carolina. She married Walter Bedford Moore on July 19, 1916. In 1926 Moore became a charter member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). From 1934 to 1936 she chaired the History-Graph Committee, and from 1936 to 1938 she chaired the Columbia Sesquicentennial Historical Marker Committee. Moore helped select fifty sites in Columbia and Richland County for marking and wrote inscriptions and the guidebook. From 1940 to 1967 she was on the committee to save Columbia’s Hampton-Prestol House. In 1950 she and her husband helped bring historical memorabilia and Renaissance art (her brother David E. Finley was the first director of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.) to the Columbia Museum of Art. She was also a member of the advisory committee of the state DAR and helped place the South Carolina battleship silver in the governor’s mansion. In 1952 she chaired the committee to preserve Fort Moultrie.

In 1960 Moore founded and became director of what would later be called the Historical Columbia Foundation. As director she was responsible for preserving historical homes such as the Boylston home, the Horry-Guignard House, “Lace House” (Caldwell Mansion), and the boyhood home of Woodrow Wilson. She was also instrumental in obtaining funds from the state for the acquisition and restoration of Rose Hill in Union County, South Carolina, home of William Henry Gist, the state’s Secessionist governor, which became a state historical park. She helped prevent the encroachment of the grounds of the State Capitol and the conversion of the state Historical library (circa 1850s) into a cafeteria.

In 1960 Moore became founder and member of the executive board of the Confederation of South Carolina Local Histories Societies. It consisted of over thirty societies and a membership exceeding 7,000. From 1960 to 1966 she was also advisor to the South Carolina Confederate War Centennial Commission and in 1964 was a board member of the Palmetto Outdoor Historical Drama Association, which produced plays on the Revolutionary era. In 1968 she received a citation from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Elizabeth Moore died in Columbia on November 17, 1976.

Moore, Melba (1945–) [next] [back] Moon of the Wolf

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