At 4 o’clock on the evening of Dec. 17, 2012, Evalyn Wendt Moore was sworn into office and, in turn, made history.
Moore stepped into the shoes of her late husband Hilmar Moore — 13 days after his passing — to finish his term and became the first woman to serve as mayor for the city of Richmond.
She was sworn in by Fort Bend County Commissioner Richard Morrison, her right hand on the Bible of her late husband, a man she learned from during 28 years of marriage.
Hilmar had been the Richmond mayor for 63 years — a national record — and to assume his role, Moore said is a privilege.
“I feel honored,” she said.
“I also feel that the residents of Richmond, who re-elected my husband every two years, want stability and time to adjust to his absence.”
From the day she was sworn in, Moore knew the responsibilities before her.
“This transition that we are going to make, going from 63 years of Hilmar to this new one, is going to be made much easier because of our administration, our department heads and all of our dedicated supervisors. I think it’s going to work out great,” Moore said after taking the oath of office.
“We’re going to continue to make Richmond a nice place to live, raise a family, work and retire.”
Despite this fact that this is her first time serving as mayor, Moore is no stranger to civic work — it’s in her blood.
Her parents, Billie and the late Jack Wendt, are known for their local, state and national civic leadership and her maternal grandfather served as a Fort Bend County judge.
Add to that her own contributions.
Moore has served the city, county and state through roles such as president and as a docent of the Fort Bend County Museum Association, a trustee of the Southwest Cattle Raiser’s Association and an officer in the Richmond Garden Club.
She is active in the Friends of the Fort Bend County Historical Commission and was also the incoming president of the OakBend Hospital board, but she had to step down from the board when she accepted the mayoral position.
And for years Moore has also been extensively active in the rice farming industry with her sisters.
Her term will end in May and until then Moore said she, along with the city commissioners, are focused on challenges facing the city.
“Some of these challenges are critical water issues, infrastructure issues, transitioning to the new city charter, annexation possibilities, and complying with the new planning and zoning article,” she said. “The citizens of Richmond are wonderful, and I feel that they will be patient with us as we transition into this new period of Richmond’s history.
“I cannot say what the future holds, there are always surprises, and one must be prepared,” Moore continued.
“The citizens of Richmond should know that they have a mayor and city commission who are working hard for them and continue to strive for their well-being.
“Citizens should also know that when they encounter an individual concern I am available to talk with them, or meet with them, and will attempt to resolve their issue,” the mayor said.
“In addition, the city has a capable and dedicated administration, as well as various department heads, and we all work together to bring value to the residents for the services we provide.”