L to R, standing: A. A. Moore, Jr. Ethel Moore, Stanley Moore
seated: Annie Moore, A. A. Moore, Jacqueline Anne Moore, Carmen Moore. front: Margaret Moore. Image courtesy Eastland-Adams-Woods-McClure-Moore family archives.

Ethel Moore (March 6, 1872 – October 4, 1920) was a social worker and founder of the Oakland Social Settlement. She was one of the trustees of Mills College beginning in 1915. 1 Moore was a supporter of women's right to vote, and served as a member of the playground commission, becoming a nationally recognized expert. 3 And she was the founder and director of the Alameda County Public Health Center. 11

Moore was born March 5th, 1872 in Oakland to Albert Alfonso Moore and Annie Jaqueline Hall (Moore). For most of Ethel's life. she lived with her parents on 6th Avenue. She graduated from Oakland High School. After attending UC Berkeley for two years, she went to Vassar College in New York. 4

As a trustee at Mills, she was instrumental in bringing Dr. Aurelia Reinhardt as president of Mills. She was on the buildings and grounds committee, and was largely responsible for the remodeling of many buildings and the construction of two new dorms. 10

Interesting note about her sister, Jacqueline: she married into two prestigious Bay Area families. In 1904, she married John Joseph Valentine, Jr., son of Wells Fargo Bank president John Joseph Valentine, and they had four children. After the children were grown, John died in 1953. Jacqueline then married Rudolph Schilling, son of spice company magnate August Schilling.

Death and Legacy

Moore died in 1920 at the Stanford University hospital in San Francisco following surgery, 2 and is buried in Mountain View Cemetery along with members of her family. Her sister Jaqueline is buried in the Valentine family plot.

At a memorial for Moore, Dr. Aurelia Reinhardt said: "No woman in our community of Oakland or in our great commonwealth of California is a better example to young women of the accomplishment of unostentatious life." 7

Immediately following her death, there were proposals to name a school or playground for her. 8,9 The board of education even overturned their previous decision to not name schools for "local personages." There was also a proposal to build and equip a children's unit for the Alameda County Public Health Center bearing her name. 11 Ultimately two buildings were named in her honor, including Ethel Moore Hall, a dormitory at Mills College, and the Ethel Moore Memorial Building (currently unused; owned by Oakland Unified School District and was used an administration building.)

Moore is one of the 20 women featured as part of the Sigame sculpture.

CC SA-BY Our OaklandCC SA-BY Our Oakland

Links and References

  1. Miss Ethel Moore Vassar Miscellany News November 3, 1920
  2. Miss Ethel Moore Called by Death Sacramento Union October 6, 1920
  3. Mayor Reappoints Former Commissioner San Francisco Call April 16, 1910
  4. Journal of the Association of Collegiate Alumnae 1920
  5. Ethel Moore, Woman Leader, Is Dead in S.F. Oakland Tribune October 5, 1920
  6. Home of Ethel Moore Filled With Mourners at Funeral Oakland Tribune October 6, 1920
  7. Miss Ethel Moore The Vassar Miscellany News November 3, 1920
  8. Ethel Moore Oakland Tribune October 6, 1920
  9. Women Aid Plan to Name School For Ethel Moore Oakland Tribune October 10, 1920
  10. Death Takes Noted Woman of Oakland San Francisco Examiner October 6, 1920
  11. $85,000 Sought For Memorial to Ethel Moore Oakland Tribune November 21, 1920
  12. Oakland School to Be Named After Ethel Moore San Francisco Examiner October 12, 1920