John Raynor Moore & Gladiola Parker

Sally’s Parents:

John Raynor Moore 1892-1969 | his parents
& 1925 Gladiola (Ola) Parker 1895-1974 | her parents
of Powellsville, North Carolina

(Lived in Hertford Co just over the line at Maple Lawn.)

Mr. and Mrs. J Raynor Moore on their Wedding Day


Wedding Picture- group, May 20, 1925, Sarem, NC.
Front: J. R. Moore & wife Gladiola, Aunt Fannie Rountree, sister Julia Moore. Back: Uncle Pomp, Aunt Em) Tenn
ie Parker, Lesker Parker, Tim Parker, Uncle Bill Parker, Ruth Parker, and Aunt Venie Parker

John Raynor Moore and Gladiola Parker wed at her home in Sarem, Gates Co, NC on 20 May 1925. A wedding supper and guests were awaiting them on their arrival at Maple Lawn, Raynor’s ancestral home in Hertford Co. NC, given by his friends from Powellsville.

The next morning, Johnnie, Raynor’s mother, said to Ola, “Since Raynor is running the farm, I’m turning the house over to you.” The household included his mother, invalid father, sister, 3 brothers, the hired man and the hired girl.

Back in the woods, a mile from the mailbox is the house surrounded by many aged oaks and one maple for which it received its name. Water comes from the well located about 100 yards from his parents’ kitchen door. Kerosene lamps provided light in the evening. Wood was used in Cooking and heating. One washed clothes in big tubs on the back porch with a scrubbing board, and there was a big black pot to boil the white clothes in. The wash pot was used to make soap, wash the clothes, and also to scald the hogs, render the lard, and to prepare the chitlings at hog-killing time.


Gladiola “Ola” Parker, daughter of Tim Parker and his wife Tennie Rountree, was born on Friday, 1 Feb 1895 at Sarem, Gates County, NC. On Sundays, her family not only went to Reynoldson Baptist Church but often attended services of the Sarem Christian Church, which was just a couple of hundred yards up the road from their home.
She attended school in the old Reynoldson Institute building across from the church.

She early set her sights on a college education and enrolled the fall of 1913 at Chowan College in Murfreesboro, NC.
At the end of the year, her mother informed her she had spent all the money allotted for her education the first year.
Grandmother was always one for doing something in style if you were going to do it.
“What’s gone is gone.” Ola managed to get herself a job teaching school 1914-15 in a two-teacher school at Blue Button, where she lived with her aunt, Sally Pond. (A Sanderlin cousin was the other teacher.) With her hard-earned money, she returned to Chowan and worked her way through -graduating in 1920.

Gladiola Parker, arriving at Murfreesboro, NC aboard the mail-boat, Calumet, is standing at far right.


Going the twenty-five miles from her home at Sarem to Murfreesboro was an all day excursion. Uncle Pomp had flagged the early train to stop and pick her up in Sarem a few yards from her front door. Gladiola rode the train to Tunis; there she caught the mail-boat to Murfreesboro. A horse van met the boat and delivered them to Chowan just in time for supper.

Gladiola after graduating took a position in Middlesboro, KY

Gladiola Parker and friend 1923, Middlesboro, KY

where she taught three years losing her job because someone’s relative wanted it.
The excuse being Chowan was not accredited when she graduated.
As Chowan is accredited, she returned and earned a B.S. in 1924.

She studied the summer of ’24 at Columbia U. in New York City.

In the fall, she started teaching at Mars Hill High School at Trap in Bertie County.

The first weekend Raynor Moore attends the social “to look over the new crop of teachers.” Upon introduction to Ola, he is favorably impressed until he decided he had to step out on the porch and smoke. Ola immediately said, “Mr. Moore, I have no interest in any man who either drinks or smokes.” Raynor was in agreement that drinking was not a good thing, having experienced what it was doing to his father. But smoking was his vice and one he didn’t intend to give up, and he told her just that. The two of them parted each thinking the other a most insufferable person and vowing to have nothing to do with the other ever again.

A few weeks later Hersey Miller’s girl went home with Ola to visit her home. Hersey was to pick them up at the train station in Ahoskie and bring them back to Mars Hill. Not realizing what had exchanged between Ola and Raynor and not wanting to have two girls on his hand for the ride home, he invited Raynor to go with him. “There’s this great woman I think, Raynor, you would like.” So, Raynor and he met the train. There they were– two people who detested each other but for their friends they both felt they had to be polite to the other. After the ride back to Mars Hill, each had decided the other wasn’t all that bad after all.

The next week Raynor invited Ola to go for a ride in his Reo. Ola accepted, but her housemother insisted she go along as “chaperone”.

Soon Ola decided to take him over to Gates County to meet her parents.

Raynor had been very careful not to smoke in her presence. Crossing the Chowan River at Winton in the dark on one of those flat barge ferries, Raynor got out of the car to smoke a cigarette. Ola was frightened and cried out, “Raynor, smoke if you wish! But don’t leave me here in this car alone!”

The Winton Ferry

[Note. Just before this incident a few miles away at Parker’s Ferry, a car had rolled off the ferry into 30 feet of water on 21 Nov 1924 and five women and one man were drowned.]

After that, Romance prevailed and in May, they married –after Raynor rid himself of a West Virginia fiancee! Who was a friend of Jack & Bessie Moore, and installed a pump at the back door!

But smoke he did!

Mother managed Maple Lawn with aplomb. Car loads of relatives sometimes arrived at meal time unannounced, and Mother fed them all a gracious plenty within minutes. Mama’s Recipes.

All of her married life, she taught the Adult Class of the Sunday School at Bethlehem.

She also organized the Maple Lawn Home Demonstration Club with her neighbors and was its perennial President (Several times president of the County organization as well.)

She was grade parent year after year, often for more than one child at a time.

She sewed all our clothes. Kept a large garden. Canned most of the food we ate in winter. Raised 300 chickens each year–for eating and eggs.

Remember, it was a big old house, heated by fireplaces, lit by oil lamps and no running water; she managed it all without complaining.

“You know there was only one time I really got mad with your father. He had come up from the field early for lunch–and he was standing there watching me put the clothes through that hand wringer between the wash tubs.

‘Ola is that thing worth all that money you paid for it?’

‘All that money indeed! Just look at all that equipment you have rusting out on the front lawn and you begrudge me $10.00 for something that helps me with my work!'”

In her 50’s Mother developed diabetes–we had fewer desserts after that, but plenty of good food.

All six of her children received a college education.

Mother died 31 January, 1974 and was buried beside her beloved Raynor at the Jones Hole.

1901 Moore Brothers: Jim, Cotten, Raynor & Percy

John Raynor Moore, son of Arthur Cotten Moore and his wife Johnnie Florentine Rayner, was born 29 March 1892 at Maple Lawn, Hertford Co., NC.

Little toe-haired Raynor was doted upon by both sets of grandparents, not to mention numerous aunts and uncles. He early became his grandfather Moore’s valet and companion. His grandfather Moore died in 1906.

My father attended (walking two miles) elementary school at Powellsville in the old building at the edge of town on the Bethlehem road.
To attend High School, he would get up and do his farm chores then run the 5 miles to Trap. After school, he would run to Powellsville (5 miles) to clerk in his Uncle Percy’s store and afterward run the two miles home for the evening.
He dropped out of Mars Hill High School in the tenth grade (there were 11 grades then) as he thought Algebra and Latin silly and was misbehaving in class. “I need you here to help me farm if you cannot keep up your studies,” his father told him. And so it was.

He was somewhat jealous of his brother Jim who went on to graduate from Ahoskie High School and became a book-keeper.

His father hearing of a corn club then (1909) being organized in Hertford County involved his son in it. Raynor won the award for the best record.


When the first World War broke out, Rayner was drafted on 5 Oct 1917 and his brother Cotten volunteered to join the Marines. They both spent 18 months of the war on the front lines in France.
My father was a runner, held the rank of Corporal, serving with the 5th Division, Tenth Regular Brigade under General Pershing.

Christmas Day 1918 – Daddy’s Unit at the front
It was a quiet day that Christmas afternoon. For the picture, we all lined up in front of the trench. On Christmas Eve, some German soldiers had started singing Christmas carols in their trench and the American soldiers in our trench soon joined in singing the same tunes in English ì Then a temporary truce was called for Christmas Day.

November 11, 1918, was Armistice Day there in France, but The Fifth Division was part of the occupation force, and they remained in Europe until almost March 1919.

He received several commendations.
One for coolness under fire (“We were walking across an open square when a sniper opened fire. I dropped to the ground face down and played dead. When night finally came I just got up and walked out.”)

Another for capturing about ten prisoners single-handed (“Those Germans had been watching us, waiting for someone to whom they could safely surrender. I took a walk into the country every evening. One day as I walked by a garden wall they just rose up with their hands in the air, and I escorted them to the holding area. The war was over; we were all just waiting for the papers to be signed.”)

“Right at the very end, we were assigned a new commanding officer right out of Officer Training School. He was anxious to fight a war when the war was all over– he gave my buddy who had been through the whole war with me a direct order to do something very foolish and my friend was killed doing as he was told. So I told that damn fool kid just what he was! Getting a good man killed for–nothing.”

This is my father and his friend that was killed in front of Notra Dame Catheral.
Raynor finished his service as a private.
He was always mad that all the celebrating of the Victory was over before he got home. He was a farmer and was perfectly happy thereafter being ‘the big fish in his little pond.” img98
He rode spirited horses and later drove sporty cars.
His horse was named Jack.

He had a fine tenor voice and sang often in local productions as a young man.
He was a deacon of Bethlehem Baptist Church for over forty years.
Daddy had his grandfather’s idea of clothes and status. He had had a blue-serge suit tailor made for his wedding; he wore it for every important occasion in his life except once when his girth had grown even too much for Ola’s magic with the needle.
Never in his entire life did he own or wear trousers or overalls made of blue denim.

His daily visits to Powellsville were a legend; some came just to catch his commentary on the news at the country store. When the younger men were organizing a Lions Club, his friends said they already had a club–“the Liars’ Club” and Raynor Moore was its president as he was the greatest liar in Powellsville.
I remember once he was busy grading tobacco and didn’t go to town for three days, a delegation came out to see how bad off he was.

In the summer of 1951, while Daddy was in the hospital with his first heart attack, we had the house wired and got electricity.

In 1953 after the hurricane Hazel left the place in shambles, Daddy decided that since he had to build the porch back anyway after one of the giant trees fell on it, he might as well put in the kitchen, utility, and bathrooms Ola had been wanting.

Raynor continued to use the old toilet outside until it got really cold that winter- -and then he refused to flush after every use as that was “a big waste of water.”

Ola sometimes wished he had kept on using his grandfather’s outhouse.

For his bath he continued to carry a bowl of warm water to his bed room and took a sponge bath. He was not going to be like his friend Walter Casper who got stuck in a bath tub and couldn’t get out- -and my father died un-immersed except for the time in the creek when he joined the church.

The telephone was installed about 1958.

A third massive heart attack killed him early in the morning 21 January, 1969.

Dressed in his prized blue-serge suit he was buried in the family cemetery at the Jones’ Hole on a cold rainy day attended by hundreds.

1943: J. R., Ola, John, Julia, Jane, Helen, Sally, & Arthur

Children of John Raynor Moore and Gladiola Parker:
1. John Raynor Moore Jr. 21 Feb 1926 – 24 Feb 1926
2. John Raynor Moore III [Jr] 21 Dec 1926 – 27 Aug 1998
married Nov 1951 Cecile Ward Harris 23 Mar 1931-19 Jan 1994

2nd World War John Jr
– John was drafted early because the local draft board got him mixed up with his brother who died a few days after he was born.

3. Julia Godwin Moore 16 Feb 1929 – 21 Feb 2016
married Lewis Sellers Lawrence 1 April 1925 – 25 March 1997
4. Lydia Jane Moore 1930 –
Married Robert Abner Holloman III
5. Helen Elizabeth Moore 1934 –
Married 1st Bill Moses Britton div.
married 2nd John Zappia d. 13 Feb 2007
6. Sally Parker Moore 1937 –
Married 1958 Robert Charles Koestler their wedding day
7. Arthur Cotton Moore 25 May 1939 – 12 Oct 1998
married 1976 Hope Helig div.

Moore Family At the Parker Reunion Aug 1951: J.R., Sally, Ola, Helen, Arthur, Grandmother Tennie Parker, Jane – [My father just released from the veterans hospital after a six-week stay following his first massive heart attack. – note Mama’s concern]

Although we lived just over the line in Hertford Co, we were considered part of the Powellsville Community. We attended school there through seventh grade and went to High School in Ahoskie.

Moore Family 1961
grandchildren at last 1961

front Julia, Sellers, & John Lawrence, Debbie Moore, Cathy Lawrence; middle Raynor Moore holding Julie Koestler, James Moore, Helen Lawrence on knees, Rob Holloman, Ola holding J R Moore III, Charles Lawrence, Arthur Moore; back row Helen & Phillip Britton, Sally Koestler, John Moore, Jane & Melissa Holloman. (Harry Holloman was with his other grandparents that day)

Cousins visiting at Maple Lawn

Feeding the grandchildren

thtable2 mlthtable1
Thanksgiving dinner – two tables

the preparation

one-swing, gate, bell two-egg hunt three-summer theater

Fallen Giant – 1970 Julie helping Davie, Susie, Jane, JR, and Mike

3 thoughts on “John Raynor Moore & Gladiola Parker”

  1. Sally, I have enjoyed and learned much from you website for many years. My ancestors were Houses–George and Thomas and William. Don’t think any Houses live in Bertie County any more. But thanks to you and your lovely website and all of your research, I feel like Bertie County is part of my own personal history. Thank you so much. Rebecca House Sellers

  2. Dear Sally

    We have communicated through the ages as my family the Warrens and Winbornes are from Murfeesborough. We have visited there many times. I ran into the photos of the Winbornes while looking for info on Benjamin abridged and Martha Braswell. I am taking on DAR ad straightening them mou! I have been being a state officer and National Vice Chairman amping othersapplications etc. But the inter I am filing eight more supplements. II ave even dug up DAR Patriots via my mom. Love your Work! Happy New Year NANCY Finch Burns

  3. Enjoyed the history of your family very much! I first saw Gladiola’s name in the 1923 Middlesboro High School yearbook. I don’t have it posted to my website yet, but it will soon appear.

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