Hilmar Moore

by Les

On Tuesday the Mayor of Richmond, Texas, died at age 92. Hilmar Moore had been Mayor for 63 years, re-elected, usually unopposed, every two years since 1949.

This is thought to be an all-time record for length of tenure as mayor in the U.S. (and probably for length of tenure of any other elective office–the record for uninterrupted tenure as Congressman and as Senator are both under 58 years) and possibly in the world.

His father, John Matthew Moore Jr. had served  as  mayor for two terms years earlier when Hilmar was first appointed (to serve out the term of someone who had resigned). John M. Moore Jr. had also been County Judge for Fort Bend County in the 1930s.

Hilmar’s grandfather John Matthew Moore Sr. was a U.S. Congressman from 1905 to 1913 after having been Texas Secretary of State (1887-91) and a member of the Texas House of Representatives (1897-99). He was one of the the group known as the Jaybirds who cleansed Fort Bend County of all traces of Reconstruction in 1890-91, ensuring that the only persons who were elected to office in the county for the next 70 years were white male Democrats.

Richmond is a town of about 12,000 and is the seat of Fort Bend County. The first settlement there was around a fort built on a bend in the Brazos River in 1822 by a group of settlers sponsored by Stephen F. Austin. Texas was then part of Mexico.