Volume 7, Number 9 - Fall 1981

Moore's Cedar Valley Store
by Kathleen VanBuskirk

Charles Moore, of Twin Islands on the southeast end of Table Rock Lake, told this story about the days during the depression when his dad owned the store in Cedar Valley, down on Long Creek.

W. T. Moore bought the store from Riley Thomason in 1922 or 1923. Moore had a going concern in the area: owned a grist mill, blacksmith shop, and had the Cedar Valley postoffice. He also owned three farms and grew tobacco in the fertile bottomland of Long Creek.

In the late 20’s, Moore used "due bills" between himself and his customers for small amounts of change on transactions. People in the area wouldn’t accept credit, both because of pride and fear of the consequences of nonpayment. Early in the depression, the banker (Charles didn’t say which one-there wasn’t a bank in Cedar Valley) came in to the store with a stack of due bills and told Moore to go ahead and give credit, then bring the due bills to the bank and he’d be reimbursed. But the people around Cedar Valley wouldn’t use the things.

However, as the depression stretched on, the storekeeper had to put folks "on the tab" more and more, and pretty soon his customers realized that they wouldn’t go to prison for nonpayment.

The depression kept getting worse, going on and on. Moore extended all the credit he could, mortgaged his farm, borrowed on future crops, to keep merchandise on his shelves, because he wasn’t getting any cash from his customers. Finally, rather than lose the farms, he closed the store.

The pride and resolve of his neighbors brought Moore back maybe ten cents on the dollar of all that credit he’d extended.

Unfortunately, Charlie Moore noted wryly, some of the non-payers’ descendants, into the third generation, are still on welfare.

Editor’s Note: This story brings comment from your editor for it was in 1955 that she bought the "Bill Moore Place." The foundation of the old post office was still there. The barn was on Sugar Creek and very unusual (to me). It was not built with 2 x 4’s. All uprights were long, peeled, straight, cedar poles. Not a one touched the ground in the barn; they were placed on solid, concrete pedestals. Across the road stood the old, unused Fairview Schoolhouse. This building was later moved and became Cedar Valley Church, located about four miles south of Hollister on Highway 65.


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