Mooresville’s First Family

Esther Jane “Jennie” Moore (22 Nov 1848-17 Aug 1881) John Robert McNeely (20 Jan 1840-17 Nov 1902)
Esther Jane “Jennie” Moore (22 Nov 1848-17 Aug 1881) John Robert McNeely (20 Jan 1840-17 Nov 1902)

On March 3rd 1873, the small village known as “Moore’s Siding” was Incorporated by an act of the North Carolina General Assembly into the Town of Mooresville. The Charter had been organized by Mr. John F. Moore, his son in law Mr. John Robert McNeely, Mr. Isaac Harris, Mr. Robert McPherson, Mr. John V. Melchor, & Mr. Joseph A. Templeton.

Much of the land for initial development & also given for civic use came from John Franklin Moore (08/13/1822- 7/26/1877). Mr. McNeely was appointed as the 1st Mayor of Mooresville until the general election in which Mr. Harris became the 1st elected Mayor of Mooresville. Mr. & Mrs. John Robert McNeely had 2 sons, Samuel Egbert McNeely & Clarence Pharr McNeely.

C. P. McNeely, who is noted as the “First White child born in Mooresville” served as mayor on several occasions in the early 1900’s & his home still stands as one of the most majestic in Historic Academy Street.

Several Grandchildren & Great Grandchildren of this couple still live locally, including Asa McNeely of Salisbury, Mark McNeely, Thurston McNeely, Lucy Hastings, & Margaret Curtis, all of Mooresville. Mr. J. R. & “Jennie” McNeely are buried at Centre Presbyterian Church.

Photo provided by another Grandson, John Robert McNeely of Boone, NC.

Contributed by Mac Herring, BA, RN, CHPN is a local Historian, member of Phi Alpha Theta National Honor Society of Historians, former Co-Chair of the Mooresville Museum, a Mooresville Town Commissioner, and a Hospice Nurse.

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