William Folsom Moore was born in Lamar County, Texas, on October 28, 1868. He graduated from the University of Texas School of Law in 1892 and began practicing law on January 1, 1893, in Paris, Texas. Judge Leslie Hardison joined him, and the firm was named Moore & Hardison.
Their original offices were at the present location of the firm. At the time, though, the building was named the F.S. Linch Building. The Linch Building was three stories. All second floor offices, except one, were lawyers’ offices. The third floor was the Masonic Lodge. The Moore & Hardison law office was in the southeast corner of the second floor. This building and many others burned on March 21, 1916, in a citywide fire.
After the fire, Moore & Hardison were forced to relocate to temporary offices. In 1917, Moore & Hardison moved to the First National Bank Building located on the square after it had been restored. Mr. Moore’s partner Judge Hardison died in 1924. However, W.F. continued his practice and kept the offices they shared in the bank building.
In 1931, W.F. Moore’s son Hardy G. Moore joined his father in practice after graduating from the University of Texas School of Law. In 1939, W.F. Moore temporarily left the practice with his son when he was appointed First Assistant Attorney General for the State of Texas. His absence was continued in 1941 when W.F. Moore was appointed Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court. In 1942, W.F. returned to Paris, Texas, and resumed the practice with his son. They continued their practice until W.F.’s retirement in 1948.
Hardy Moore continued his practice alone until 1986 when A.W. Clem and Bill Payne, since retired, joined him. In 1990, James R. Rodgers and Judy Hodgkiss joined bringing the total number of attorneys to five. The firm’s name was Moore, Payne, Clem, Rodgers & Hodgkiss. After 64 years in practice, Hardy G. Moore retired on July 1, 1995. In 1997, the firm changed its name to The Moore Law Firm, L.L.P. J. Stephen Walker joined the firm as a partner in 1999.
In 1999, The Moore Law Firm, L.L.P., decided to return to its roots in the old Linch Building. After the fire of 1916, the Texas Hotel had been constructed on the site. The hotel was purchased in 1937 by the Frank J. Wood family who operated it for many years. During the Woods’ ownership, A.W. Clem III, father of Moore firm partner A.W. Clem, IV, leased space for a “mercantile establishment and the operation of amusement devices.” Mr. Clem’s current office is in his father’s leased space.
After Mr. Wood’s death, Mrs. Wood sold the property to Margie and Nathan Bell in 1975 who operated it as a rental facility until January of 1998. The attorneys with The Moore Law Firm, L.L.P., purchased the building at this time and began an extensive renovation process.
On January 1, 1999, the firm officially relocated and took up the new address.