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
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
Catherine M. Moore (1839-1911) MSS 100b
J. W. Cunningham (1857-1946) MSS 100c
Laura Moore Cunningham (1869-1963) MSS 100d
Harry S. Bettis (1864-1934) MSS 100e
Alice M. Bettis (1866-1919) MSS 100f
Bettis Family MSS 100g
Agnes L. Bettis (1905-1968) MSS 100j
Harry L. Bettis (b. 1934) MSS100k
Richard Z. Johnson (1837-1913) MSS 100n
C. W. Moore & Co. (Silver City, Idaho) MSS 100p
Carol Lynn MacGregor MSS 100q
Children and Grandchildren of C. W. Moore: Genealogical Summary