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The Moore-Cunningham-Bettis Collection:
 A Guide

With biographical sketches of members of the family by Carol L. MacGregor, Ph.D.

A Web edition of the printed guide published by Boise State University in 1992

Copyright Boise State University, 2004

The C. W. Moore mansion on Warm Springs Avenue, Boise, Idaho,
home of five successive generations of the Moore-Cunningham-Bettis family, pictured here not long after its construction in 1891.
(Photo 105)

The Moore-Cunningham-Bettis collection documents the activities of a family prominent in the business, social, and civic life of Boise, Idaho, since the 1860s.  The papers came from the Moore-Cunningham mansion on Warm Springs Avenue, the family home since 1891.  The collection includes letters, personal papers, business records, memorabilia, and photos from four generations, beginning with C. W. Moore (1835-1916), founder of Idaho’s first chartered national bank. The earliest papers in the collection date from the 1850s; the latest from the 1970s. Together, the collection fills 16 boxes and occupies approximately 9 feet of shelf space.

The collection is divided into subgroups formed around individual members of the family. The largest of these subgroups, comprising the bulk of the collection, pertain to four individuals: C. W. Moore, the family patriarch; his daughter, Laura Moore Cunningham (1869-1963);  Dr. Harry S. Bettis (1864-1934), a dentist who married another of C. W. Moore’s daughters; and Laurence Moore Bettis (1895-1976), C. W. Moore’s eldest grandchild. Other family members—children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren of C. W. Moore (and their spouses)—are represented by smaller groups of papers. The collection also contains some records of the C.W. Moore and Company banking agency in Silver City (1870s) and letters to Richard Z. Johnson relating to Boise school matters (1880s).

The personal, ranching, and banking interests of the family figure prominently in the collection. C. W. Moore was one of the founders of the First National Bank of Idaho, later known as Idaho First. Succeeding generations maintained the family interest as shareholders, officers, and directors. Several family members also engaged in ranching. The collection also includes many personal letters exchanged by family members as well as correspondence with friends and associates. The largest body of personal papers belongs to Laura Moore Cunningham, one of the leaders of the Boise civic and social life during the first half of the twentieth century. Her papers shed light on her civic and philanthropic activities, education, travel, and personal and literary interests.  

The Moore-Cunningham-Bettis collection was donated to the Boise State University Library in 1989 by Carol Lynn MacGregor, who lives in the Moore-Cunningham mansion and whose children are great-great grandchildren of C.W. Moore. As an intern in the Special Collections Department, Ms. MacGregor processed the collection and wrote the biographical sketches for this finding aid. Many of the personal details in the biographical sketches were related to her by her late father-in-law, Laurence Moore Bettis. She tape-recorded a series of interviews with him in 1975; those tapes, however, are not part of the collection.

The Moore-Cunningham-Bettis collection is open for research, by appointment, in the Special Collections Department of the Boise State University Library. Several small portions of the collection are closed until the year 2014: papers relating to the estates of Andrew and Agnes Little; Laurence Moore Bettis’ papers relating to the change in management of the Idaho First National Bank in 1961; Laurence Moore Bettis’ tax returns; and Carol L. MacGregor’s letters to Laurence Moore Bettis. Donated along with the Moore-Cunningham-Bettis collection was a large volume entitled “Ledger No. 1, First National Bank of Idaho.” Dated 1873-1874, it was among the family records in the Moore-Cunningham mansion. It is shelved as manuscript collection MSS 101.

The name of the bank founded in Boise by C.W. Moore in 1867 (First National Bank) was changed to Idaho First National Bank during the 1930s.  Both names are used in this finding aid.  When the Moore Financial Group (the Boise-based holding company that owned the bank) acquired out-of-state banks in 1989, the name was changed to West One.  In 1995 West One became part of U.S. Bank, with headquarters in Minneapolis.

            Collection number: MSS 100
            Inclusive dates: ca. 1855-1974
            Collection size: ca. 9 ft. in 16 boxes
            Copyright: Retained by heirs
            Processed by : Carol L. MacGregor and Alan Virta, 1989-90.




Outline of the Collection


Laurence Moore Bettis and his father, Dr. Harry S. Bettis, at Giza, 1928

Photo 124, Moore-Cunningham-Bettis collection


Listed below are those individuals whose papers make up the Moore-Cunningham-Bettis collection, together with summary information about their papers. Biographical sketches and fuller descriptions of the papers can be found at the links.

C. W. Moore (1835-1916)    MSS 100a
 Papers, 1889-1915. 9 folders. 
    Autobiography, letters to family members, and other personal  papers.

Catherine M. Moore (1839-1911)  MSS 100b     
 Papers, ca. 1855-1911.  6 folders.
    Wife of C. W. Moore.
    Personal Papers.

J. W. Cunningham  (1857-1946)     MSS 100c 
    Papers, 1898-1946.  9 folders.
    Son-in-law of C. W. Moore; husband of Laura Moore Cunningham.
    Personal and bank papers.

Laura Moore Cunningham (1869-1963)    MSS 100d
    Papers, ca. 1885-1974.  6 boxes.
    Daughter of C. W. Moore.
    Personal, literary, travel, and civic papers.

Harry S. Bettis (1864-1934)     MSS 100e
    Papers, 1914-1932.  2 boxes.
    Dentist; son-in-law of  C. W. Moore.
    Chiefly ranching records.

Alice M. Bettis (1866-1919)      MSS 100f 
    Papers, 1890-1919.  2 items.
    Daughter of C. W. Moore; wife of  Harry S. Bettis. 
    Letter and eulogy.

Bettis Family   MSS 100g
    Papers, 1910-1948. 4 folders and 1 volume. 
    Letters of Mary Louise Bettis, sister of Harry S. Bettis, and other papers.

Laurence M. Bettis (1895-1976)
    MSS 100h 
    Papers, 1930-1976.  3 boxes.
    Grandson of C. W. Moore.
    Chiefly ranching papers. Also some bank papers (closed until 2014)

Agnes L. Bettis (1905-1968)  MSS 100j 
    Papers, ca. 1928-1957.  2 boxes.
    Wife of Laurence M. Bettis. 
    Chiefly  financial papers for herself and for the estate of her parents. Estate papers closed until year 2014.

Harry L. Bettis (b. 1934)    MSS100k 
Papers, 1950-1971.  2 folders.
    Son of Laurence M. Bettis.
    Chiefly letters relating to his trip to Hong Kong in 1954.

Other sons and daughters of C. W. Moore      MSS 100m 
    Miscellaneous papers of  MarionCrawfordAnna, and Raymond Moore, children of  C. W. Moore. 7 folders.

Richard Z. Johnson (1837-1913)    MSS 100n
    School file, 1881-1883. 7 items.
    Lawyer; trustee of Boise schools.
    Letters to Johnson about Boise school matters.

C. W. Moore & Co. (Silver City, Idaho)   MSS 100p
    Records, 1873-1879. 4 volumes.
    Agency of First National Bank of Idaho.
    Letterbooks and statements of accounts.

Carol Lynn MacGregor   MSS 100q
    Papers, 1970-1974.  2 folders. 
    Former wife of Harry L. Bettis. 
    Chiefly letters to her father-in-law, Laurence Moore Bettis.
    Closed until year 2014.


Central Idaho Stock Growers' Association ledger, 1884-1887   MSS 100r


Children and Grandchildren of C. W. Moore:  Genealogical Summary

Special Collections • 1910 University Drive • Boise, ID 83725-1430 • Phone: 208-426-1204 • Email: Archives