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Grace Connor Moore was the adopted daughter of Joseph A. Connor (see his page for his bio and the fight over his estate). I can't find much on her before the date of Connor’s death, beyond the numerous articles about the fight over her father's non-exsistent will. Supposedly, over the years, he'd written at least a dozen wills, but none could be found after he died. This sounds extremely fishy to me. 

In one of these articles, she's called Grace Cook, also known as Grace Connor. A curious comment, which leaves her identity open to speculation. Another of the articles on the fight over the estate mentions Grace Cook had lived with the Connors since she was a baby. The Connors had no children themselves, so it's plausible they adopted a child around 1885, when it's estimated Grace was born. What the Connors did have was a live-in sister of Joseph's, who seemed to have been there for decades. He also had two or three other half-sister's, and a niece in the picture. 

By 1910, when she was approximately 25 years old and just after the settlement of the estate, Grace married Henry Wayne Moore, either 23 or 32, depending on which source you look at; more on that below. The notice in the paper says it was announced quickly and was a surprise, and that the marriage would take place in the next week. Grace would have been a highly eligible bachelorette, worth about $100,000 thanks to the fight over the will. In 2020 dollars, that's about $2.7 million. A tidy sum like that could attract a lot of men, and not necessarily the right kind. 

I can't find anything much for Henry before his marriage, at least in Nebraska. His uncle was the assistant of President Taft, and his mother moved around in Washington D.C. circles as well, so they were socially active. I have no idea what he'd done before the marriage, and at 23 (or 32) he was still living with his mother at 5115 Capitol Avenue. The house is still extant in 2020; just about the only thing in this story that is still here. 

Moore House


After Grace and Henry were married, they spent some time in Deadwood, South Dakota, probably for a honeymoon. In June of 1911, however, just six months after they were married, Henry was killed in a car accident. It happened somewhere between Omaha and Fremont, and the entire affair is full of innuendo. Married men out joy riding after dark in rural Nebraska, young girls out without an appropriate chaperone, etc. 

The initial story has Grace and Henry having an early supper at the Henshaw Hotel with a Lemuel Hill, a friend of Henry's, and Ruth McGuire, a cashier at the Henshaw Hotel who had been asked to join them. One source calls her the "pretty cashier", clearly fueling the gossip mill. 

In one account, Grace asks to be taken home due to not feeling well; in another she goes home because of an argument. I think the latter is probably more true. Home was 708 South 29th Street, a house long torn down which is called the Connor residence in the article.  This area today has a grocery store and a Thrift World store on it.  If the house was anything like the others left in the general area, it was large and spacious, with cupolas and fancy Victorian decorations.

Ruth was still with the group, and after dropping off Grace the two men call up two other women friends, said to be from California and staying at the Henshaw, and decide to drive to Fremont for some unknown reason. In those days that would have been completely rural drive, on backroads through farmland and open fields, without any streetlights. 

On the way back, about a mile and half west of Waterloo, Henry, who was behind the wheel and had been drinking, was driving the car recklessly and at a "terrific rate" of speed. One story says they hit a dip in the road and the car overturned, another says they hit a bridge. In a scene straight out of a overwrought 50's song, the four passengers are hurled out of the car, and Henry is trapped underneath it. 

How long the victims lay strewn about the roadway after the accident is not sure. Eventually a Mayor Wolz of Fremont (no indication if he was the actual Mayor of Fremont, or if his first name was Mayor) came upon the scene. The passengers thrown from the car were still unconscious, but Henry was awake and in agony. 

Wolz flagged down a Union Pacific train that was chugging by. They got the victims on the train and took them to the Fremont hospital. Lemuel Hill had apparently regained consciousness by then, and was so distraught by the situation he’d created for Miss McGuire that he kept threatening to throw himself from the train. The four who were ejected from the car were in surprisingly good shape. 

Henry was not; they quickly decided to move him to Clarkson Hospital, in Omaha; he got there around 5pm. The doctors diagnosed a crushed abdomen and multiple internal injuries; his body was torn and lacerated and his right arm broken. Grace had been called to the hospital, and the doctors told her Henry was "probably" fatally injured. They were going to operate, but Henry was beyond help. He died that night. 

An article on his death gave his age as 32, and that he was unemployed. I question the age of 23 because of this article. The notice of Grace and Henry's wedding license is so badly scanned it's difficult to tell what his age is on it. But, you would hope that someone age 32 wouldn't be acting the way Henry had. 

The Douglas County coroner ruled the cause of death accidental. He didn't call for an inquest, which is unfortunate. We would have a lot more information about this story today if he had. 

Ruth McGuire, the pretty cashier at the Henshaw Hotel, brought a $10,000 suit against Lemuel Hill after the accident, since she had been his date and he failed to protect her when Henry was driving so erratically. The damage to her reputation had been considerable, and I don't blame her. I couldn't find anything on the outcome of the suit. 

With a common last name like Moore, I can find nothing in Nebraska on Grace C. Moore after a notice in July 1911 on a real estate transfer for a plot in the Redick subdivision; maybe she and Henry were going to build their own house. 

However, there is a Grace Moore listed as being buried in Holy Sepulchre who died in 1971. The death notice in the paper for her says she had a child, which may have been true, and also a sister, which if she was adopted from another family, may also be true though one is never mentioned. There is not enough information to say this is the same Grace Moore, but it could have been. I don't believe she is in the Connor Mausoleum, and I think Henry is, but that needs to be verified.