The informant, “Mildred Toles,” seems likely to be Walter’s sister, Mildred, who married James Tate. In the 1940 census, the Tates, Walter Moore, and another sister, Anna King, lived at 1022 Alfred, the same address Walter gave on his WW2 draft card and that’s on his death certificate.
Most intriguing, though, is the information that Walter Moore had been “in this community” for 21 years. That puts his arrival in Detroit in 1926—the very year in which Dobie Moore was shot and his Negro league career ended.
In addition, Mark Aubrey has pointed out that Walter’s younger brother Allen is listed as a “Baseball Player” in the 1930 census:
If the Walter Moore we’re looking at was not Dobie Moore, it seems like quite a string of coincidences: 1) same name; 2) both were from Atlanta, and were the same age; 3) both were in Detroit in the 1930s and 1940s; 4) both had a younger brother who was also a ballplayer (I haven’t compiled the date, but there were not that many black men who listed their occupation as ballplayer in the 1930 census); 5) our Walter Moore arrived in Detroit in 1926, the same year in which Dobie Moore was forced to quit the Monarchs.
And if this Walter Moore isn’t Dobie, where’s Dobie? I haven’t found a trace of anyone else who could be him.
However: this Walter Moore died in Detroit on August 20, 1947. As I have noted, Dobie Moore was supposed to have been one of the pallbearers at George Carr’s funeral in Los Angeles in January, 1948. Not only that, but I found another sighting of Dobie Moore later that year, in Chicago:
(Chicago Defender, June 19, 1948, p. 10)These 1948 sightings of Dobie Moore could be mistakes. And the circumstantial evidence linking this Walter Moore to the Monarch shortstop is pretty convincing. But it would be great to get one solid link between this Walter and the ballplayer—something like a reference to Dobie’s younger brother Allen (rather than Pete), or anything giving the name of any of Dobie’s relatives, or a record or document that establishes Walter Moore of Detroit as a ballplayer himself.