While researching Horatio Claude Barber, we uncovered several interesting stories related to his associates. This is the first in a series that features the people who played a supporting role in his Canadian career as a stockbroker in Cobalt and Larder Lake.
Cobalt Co-Stars Browne and Moore
Barber’s company, the Cobalt Open Call Mining Exchange opened in April, 1906. He was a director along with R.H.C. Browne; C. H. Moore of Cobalt and J.H. Hunter of Cincinnati were charter members of the exchange.
We don’t know too much about Robert H.C. Browne. He was the first editor and owner of the Cobalt Nugget as well as a life insurance agent. Perhaps most significantly, considering the “shady” nature of Barber’s projects, Browne was the police magistrate. He was also a mining. man and was one of the first to use a diamond drill rig in Cobalt, a relatively new and expensive exploration tool.
In 1919, he was hospitalized for a self-inflicted axe wound. He had been out prospecting in the bush near Matachewan, Ontario. He was fifty-five at the time. We have been unable to trace him prior to his career in Cobalt, or after 1919.
Clifton Henry Moore is a name that is better known to Cobalt historians: “Cliff” Moore was a businessman and druggist. He arrived to Cobalt in 1906 and owned several enterprises in town including a drug store and restaurant. He also owned the Cobalt Mess at 77 Cobalt Street. This building served the dual purpose of being his home base when he was in town, as well as a meeting place for his visiting colleagues and dignitaries.
Later in 1906, when J. H. Hunter built his commercial building in The Square, Moore moved his drug store to this site, known as the Hunter Block.
Click on the gallery of photos here for detailed descriptions.
Moore also made money by investing in mine exploration. He “grubstaked” numerous prospectors in Northern Ontario, including the gold fields in Porcupine. He was there in 1911 when the devastating fire tore through the region. He ran the King George Hotel at the time of the fire, , and in 1912, he had a real estate office in the newly rebuilt hotel. He was 55 at the time of his death, in his home in Cobalt.
J.H. Hunter, the man who built the Hunter Block where Moore had his drug store will be featured next. His story deserves a post of its own.
 Bureau of Mines Report for 1906, pg 31
 Brandon Daily Sun, October 14, 1919
 Maclean’s “The Fire that Wiped out Porcupine”, February 1, 1954
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Terry Grace from Amesbury and Maggie Wilson from Cobalt, in Northern Ontario have written a lively “warts and all” account of this most exceptional man, following him as he traveled extensively across the world. This illustrated book is for those with an interest in Northern Ontario heritage or aviation history in the UK.
AIRY SOMETHINGS: The Extraordinary Life of the Aviation Pioneer Horatio Barber by Terry Grace and Maggie Wilson. Available online and at local booksellers.