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Moore, William Dalgety (1835–1910)

by John K. Ewers

This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 5, (MUP), 1974

William Dalgety Moore (1835-1910), pastoralist and businessman, was born on 30 August 1835 at Oakover on the Upper Swan River, eldest son of Samuel Moore and his wife Dorothy, née Dalgety. His father, a brother of G. F. Moore, had arrived in Western Australia in 1833. At 15 William entered the office of the surveyor-general, J. S. Roe, but resigned in 1854 to take a position on a station held by Hamersley & Co. in the Irwin River District, later becoming its manager. In 1858 he joined a party led by F. T. Gregory to explore the Murchison and Gascoyne areas. In 1862 Moore abandoned pastoral activities and moved to Fremantle, where he went into partnership with J. H. Monger. In 1867 he established the firm of W. D. Moore & Co. which still carries on business under that name, his active association with it lasting until 1900. On 19 July 1860 he had married Susanna Dora Monger and after her death he married Ann Gallop on 20 February 1879; he had twelve children by the first marriage and six by the second.

Moore was active in political and civic affairs as well as commerce. He represented Fremantle in the colony's Legislative Council from August 1870 to May 1872, and in 1890-94 was a nominee in the first Legislative Council under responsible government. He was briefly treasurer of the Fremantle Town Council which replaced the Town Trust in 1871. In that year he served on the committee formed to investigate the construction of a deep-water jetty at Fremantle, and in 1892 was a Legislative Council representative on another committee set up to study C. Y. O'Connor's proposals for an inner harbour.

While manager of W. D. Moore & Co. he conducted pearl-fishing at Shark Bay in 1877-87, built a flour-mill at Fremantle known as the Phoenix because it 'rose from the ashes' of one that had been burned down, established mercantile houses at Cossack and Roebourne under the name of the North-west Australian Mercantile Co., owned a timber-mill at Quindalup in the south-west and later bought the Osborne Hotel. He was a member of the Chamber of Commerce and its president for ten years, and a director of a number of companies. For many years he owned Cheriton, a station property near Gingin, the vineyard Millenden in the Upper Swan and near-by Oakover, where he had been born. He died at Fremantle on 22 April 1910, survived by five sons and nine daughters.

His youngest brother Samuel Joseph Fortescue was born on 3 April 1846. After service under the surveyor-general he was a grazier and store-keeper at Dongara in 1867-1901. He retired to Claremont and represented Irwin in the Legislative Assembly in 1904-14 as well as holding several civic posts. He died at Claremont on 9 May 1921.

Select Bibliography

  • W. B. Kimberly, History of West Australia (Melb, 1897)
  • J. K. Ewers, The Western Gateway (Fremantle, 1948)
  • R. Oldham, ‘The reminiscences of William Wade’, Journal and Proceedings (Western Australian Historical Society), 6 (1962)
  • West Australian, 23 May 1910.

Citation details

John K. Ewers, 'Moore, William Dalgety (1835–1910)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/moore-william-dalgety-4237/text6837, published in hardcopy 1974, accessed online 25 October 2014.

This article was first published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 5, (MUP), 1974

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