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Wyatt Moore Collection

 Collection — Box: Small Collections 2
Identifier: 2008.066

Scope and Contents

This collection includes documents and visual materials related to Wyatt Moore and Caddo bateaux. Many of the slides, photographs and negatives appear to have been created by James Conrad, possibly for the book Every Sun That Rises.


  • 1976 - 1988


Conditions Governing Use

Items in this collection are protected by applicable copyright laws.

Biographical / Historical

Wyatt Algernon Moore was born on October 2, 1901 to William Henry “Black Bill” and Lizzie Hanna Bunner Moore. He had four younger brothers and one sister. Moore attended school until he was fourteen and then he began working on timber rafts on Caddo Lake. He married Ona Belle Hayner in 1925 and they had two daughters: Gloria Moore Clark and Martha Moore Brown. Ona Belle died in 1986. Moore retired in 1966 and died on August 24, 1993.

During his lifetime, Moore was known for his deep knowledge of Caddo Lake and of boatbuilding. Among many other jobs, Moore often worked as a fisherman, moonshiner, and boatbuilder. During his lifetime he built more than 180 boats, many of them Caddo bateaux. The Caddo bateaux is unique to the Caddo Lake area and possibly evolved from Cajun fishing boats. Caddo bateaux were especially popular in the 1920s and 1930s before the rise of motorboats. Caddo bateaux are simple boats that can be constructed in less than a week and include skegs and a built-in fish box and minnow well.

In 1985, Every Sun That Rises was published. This book tells the story of Wyatt Moore in his own words, with editing by James Conrad and Thad Sitton. During the creation of this book, Wyatt Moore gave an oral history and came out of retirement for a weekend to build his last Caddo bateau, which was documented on film.


.25 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donor unknown. Possibly donated by James Conrad who took the photographs.

Wyatt Moore Collection
Josephine Rickman
January 14, 2022
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections, Waters Library, Texas A&M University-Commerce Repository