Randolph  County,  Indiana

Thomas  F. Moorman

             The name of  Thomas F. Moorman, banker, agriculturist and all-around man of affairs needs no introduction to the readers of this volume, he having for a number of decades been one of the leading financiers in this section of Indiana, one of this county's most deserving and representative native sons and one who has done much toward the later-day progress of the city of Winchester. Mr. Moorman's extensive business interests are the legitimate fruitage of consecutive effort, directed and controlled by good judgment and correct moral principles. He has forged his way to the front over obstacles that would have thwarted men of less heroic mettle, gradually extending the limits of his intellectual horizon until he is not only one of the leading business men of his county but also one of the most symmetrically developed mentally, having always been a student and kept fully abreast of the times, and one of the most influential in civic and social circles. Taken as a whole his career presents a series of continued successes rarely equalled in this locality. In the most liberal acceptation of the phrase, he is the architect of his own fortune, although springing from a family of noted bankers, yet he preferred carving out his own career with as little assistance as possible, and his entire business record has been such as to entitle him to the high esteem in which he is universally held.
            Mr. Moorman was born in Stoney Creek township, Randolph county, Indiana, May 28, 1852. He is a son of Thomas Moorman, who was born in North Carolina, March 13, 1815, and in 1821 he was brought by his parents to Randolph county, Indiana, who settled four miles west of the present city of Winchester, and were thus among the earliest pioneers of this county. They found here a wilderness, indeed, where the ring of the axe had yet been but little heard, for their neighbors were few and far between. Amid such an environment Thomas Moorman grew to manhood, knowing the meaning of hard work on the farm and he was denied the liberal education which he so much desired. In 1838 he entered land in Stoney Creek township, where he was engaged successfully in farming until 1865, when he removed to Winchester and became connected with the Winchester Bank, which connection he retained until 1878, when he became vice-president of the Farmers and Merchants Bank, with which he remained until his death, which occurred on December 23, 1905.
            On April 19, 1838, Thomas Moorman married Eunice Diggs, who was born on a farm two miles west of Winchester, April 19, 1821. She was a daughter of William Diggs, who was an early settler of this county. Her death occurred December 9, 1892. She was a woman of beautiful Christian faith and fortitude. Seven children were born to Thomas and Eunice Moorman, namely: Thomas F., subject of this sketch; Tarlton W., born April 11, 1839, died September 22, 1860; Agnes, born April 30, 1842, died October 13, 1860; William D., born August 25, 1844, died December 26, 1848; Hannah married William P. Marlatt, who became an employee of the government at Indianapolis; she was born April 30, 1848; Hiram D., born March 7, 1855; William A., born January 5, 1860, became a banker at Portland, Indiana.
            Thomas F. Moorman, of this review, grew to manhood in his native county and received his early education in the schools of Winchester, which he attended until eighteen years of age; he then went to Richmond, Indiana, for the purpose of obtaining a more extended education, but was compelled by illness to abandon the plan, and consequently he returned home to labor upon the farm, and he continued general farming until 1872, when he located in Winchester, assuming a position in the Winchester Bank. Upon the organization of the Farmers and Merchants Bank, in 1878, he was elected cashier, which responsible position he held to the satisfaction of the stockholders and patrons of the bank until the expiration of its charter, in 1898, or a period of twenty years. During that time he did much to increase the prestige and substantial growth of the institution, rendering it one of the sound and safe banks of this section of the state, and to his good management and financial experience belongs the credit of taking the bank successfully through the panics of 1882 and 1893. He has also long been interested in a bank at Union City, Randolph county, and in one in Portland, Indiana, and he is still a director in the Farmers and Merchants Bank, of which he declined to continue as cashier when the bank was re-organized in 1898. Aside from the banking business, he is also interested in agriculture, owning three large, productive and well-improved farms in Randolph county, and has considerable valuable city property. At one time he owned farming land of more than one thousand acres. His three farms, which lie in White River and Washington townships, contain over five hundred acres. Since 1908 his large agricultural interests have occupied his time and attention almost exclusively, and he has carried on general farming and stock raising on an extensive scale. In 1893 he erected the magnificent and substantial block at the northeast corner of the public square in Winchester, which is still one of the best commercial blocks in the city, and he has a beautiful home at 414 South Main street He also erected the Masonic, the Knights of Pythias and the Red Men's blocks.
            Mr. Moorman was married December 4, 1877, to Elvira A. Hiatt, a lady of many estimable characteristics. She is a daughter of A. R. and Mary A. (Clark) Hiatt, the former for many years one of the highly respected and influential merchants of Randolph county, where Mrs. Moorman grew to womanhood and received her education. Allen R. Hiatt was born February 20, 1829, and died October 22, 1910. Mary A. (Clark) Hiatt was born November 8, 1829, and died April 29, 1912. Mrs. Moorman was born near Winchester, September 21, 1851. To our subject and wife three children have been born, all of whom graduated from the Winchester high school, namely: Walter H., born March 4, 1879, married Otho F. Farlow, and his death occurred September 27, 1907; Herbert R., born December 28, 1883, married Nellie Butler, and he is an electric engineer in the employ of the New York Telephone Company, stationed at Buffalo, New York; Lester F., born November 2, 1887, married Horace Marshall; he is a rising young lawyer of Indianapolis.
            Mr. and Mrs. Thomas F. Moorman are leading members of the Society of Friends, of which he became, years ago, treasurer of the quarterly meeting, and one of the trustees of the yearly meeting, and has been a member of the board of trustees for over thirty years. Politically, he is an ardent Republican and has been deeply interested in public matters, and he served two terms in the city council. He is a thirty-second degree Mason, and has filled all the chairs in the lodges, and for two years was worthy patron of the Eastern Star. He is also a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Knights of Pythias. To show the undoubted confidence the philanthropist, James Moorman, had in him, it may be well to state that he was appointed administrator of the philanthropist's estate, which was valued at over a half million dollars, and was also elected by the testator as one of the trustees of the Orphans' Home, which is located just west of Winchester. He is a plain, unostentatious gentleman, charitable, broad-minded, genial and neighborly.
Past and Present of Randolph County, Indiana, 1914.
Contributed by Gina Richardson

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