Chub Moore

Chub Moore [1] was a Chickasaw who originally brought orphans to be cared for to Montford Johnson’s ranch. He would be a fixture in the Johnson household for years to come and serve as cook on multiple trail drives.

Moore meets Montford Johnson

In 1876, a rancher friend and neighbor visited the Johnson ranch accompanied by a First American man who introduced himself as Chub Moore. Moore called Montford Johnson “cousin Montford” even though he had never heard of the man or met him [2, p. 80].

Moore said he had several orphan relatives and since Montford Johnson didn’t seem to have a lot of help at his ranch and farm, suggested he bring the orphans there to work.

Montford Johnson agreed to take a few of the orphans, thinking they could help his wife Mary Elizabeth Johnson. In a couple of weeks, Moore returned with seven youngsters, ranging in age from 3 through 17 [2, p. 80].

Mary Elizabeth Johnson persuaded Montford Johnson’s sister, Adelaide Johnson, to take two of the children. “Granny” Vicey Harmon, also Chickasaw, who had taken over as manager of the Johnsons’ Council Grove Ranch - latter part of western Oklahoma City - took three. Mary Elizabeth Johnson kept two who, along with Moore, worked at the Fort Arbuckle Ranch. Moore became known as a loyal, hard worker for Montford Johnson until his death in 1884.

The relation of the children to Montford Johnson reportedly came through his maternal grandmother, Sallie Tarntubby or Tontubby, as the children of Julia Tontubby. There is no recorded evidence, however, that Julia Tontubby was related to Sallie Tarntubby, or that the children or Moore were actually related to Montford Johnson [2, p. 80].

[1] Chub Moore is portrayed by Danny Tracey in the Chickasaw Nation Productions Film "Montford, The Chickasaw Rancher".C. N. M. Relations, "The Chickasaw Rancher," Chickasaw NAtion Montford Johnson, [Online]. Available: [Accessed 25 10 2021].

[2] N. R. Johnson, The Chickasaw Rancher, Boulder: University Press of Colorado, 2001.