Feb. 28, 2006 – Intellectual, self-disciplined and determined were words used to describe Theovald Eric Moorehead, the second St. John native elected to the Virgin Islands Legislature. Throughout his life Moorehead continued to expand his education; he excelled in his military career and business ventures; he established himself as a man of the people.
Moorehead was elected to the Second through Eighth Legislatures, from 1956-1971. He succeeded Sen. Julius Sprauve Sr. on his retirement from public office. During his long tenure in the Legislature, Moorehead sponsored more than 50 pieces of legislation, including a resolution urging the U.S. Senate to pass what is now known as the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Moorehead was born in Cruz Bay, St. John, on Nov. 1, 1916. He died on Dec. 8, 1995, at 80 years old. He was married to the former Genieve Hendricks. The couple had one daughter, Teodora.
A believer in continuing education, Moorehead, a 1936 Charlotte Amalie High School graduate, completed several correspondence courses including one from Black Stone Law College in Illinois (1952). He earned diplomas from both Weaver School of Real Estate in Missouri (1966) and La Salle Extension University (1970).
Additionally, he was awarded certificates from Lee Institute of Real Estate in 1968 and the American College of Real Estate Consultants in 1977.
Moorehead served in the United States Army for 11 years, from 1944 to 1955, achieving the rank of master sergeant.
In 1962, shortly after the establishment of the National Park on St. John, Moorehead led a protest against a proposal by the Department of the Interior and the Park to acquire privately owned land within the Park by condemnation. Moorehead spearheaded a petition of protest which was sent to President John F. Kennedy. Moorehead went to Washington and lobbied Congress to defeat the proposed amendment.
Moorehead opened Moonie's Bar on St. John in 1956. In 1966 he opened his real estate agency, Moorehead Real Estate. In 1970 he established the Moore's Corporation where he served as president.
He was affiliated with several community and national organizations including National Association of Real Estate Appraisers, the American College of Real Estate Appraisers, and the American College of Real Estate Consultants. From 1958-1964, he served as vice-president of the St. John Corporation.
He was an elected delegate to both the first Virgin Islands Constitutional Convention of 1964 and the third Constitutional Convention of 1977. At the latter convention, he was selected chairman of the Committee on Amendments, Initiative, Referendum, Recall and Schedule.
As a senator, Moorehead's legislation focused on the growth and development of St. John. When groundbreaking ceremonies were held at Enighed Pond in 2003, residents recalled it was Moorehead who had the vision to see that St. John needed a commercial port and suggested the facility be named in his honor.
Former Sen. Cleone Creque, in her last tribute to him, described Moorehead as a humble, conservative, family man who refused attempts by the Legislature to name several locations on St. John in his honor.
Creque wrote, "He felt his contributions of so many years were known, and not done for credit."
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In observance of February as Black History Month, the Source has been highlighting a number of contemporary and historic individuals born in the Virgin Islands who have made major contributions in areas including civil rights, science, literature, sports and entertainment.