JAMES M. McMURRAY, one of the prosperous rising young agriculturists of Donegal township, comes of that rugged Scotch-Irish race, of whom it is said that wherever members of it are gathered together there are sure to be found men of large character, imbued with the fundamental principles that abide in the race love of civil and religious liberty. Samuel McMurray, his paternal grandfather, was born about the year 1762 in County Down, Ireland, and was there married to Margaret Brown, who was born in 1765, also a native of Ireland, by whom there were seven children, all born in Donegal township, Washington Co., Penn., as follows: James, Ann, Eliza, John, Margaret (married to John Rees), Mary (married to John Erskine), and Jane (married to Samuel Barr), all now deceased, John being the last of them to "cross the river." After his marriage Samuel McMurray and his wife came to the United States, landing in Philadelphia, whence they proceeded to Washington county, same State, settling on the farm in Donegal township, which our subject now owns. Here he passed the remainder of his busy life, dying February 18, 1849.
John McMurray, the fourth child born to Samuel and Margaret (Brown) McMurray, first saw the light in 1804 in Donegal township, this county, and here his boyhood days were passed on his father's farm, his education being received at the somewhat primitive subscription schools of the period. In 1852 he was married to Margaret Boyd, who was born May 12, 1813, in Hopewell township, this county, a daughter of James Boyd, and to this union were born two children, viz.: William (deceased), who was a farmer in Independence township, and was married to Kate Armstrong, and James M. After his marriage John McMurray settled on a farm in Donegal township, near where his son now lives, situated about one mile east of West Alexander, and here followed general farming up to the time of his death, which occurred February 7, 1867, after which event his widow removed to the borough of West Alexander, where she is still living at a ripe old age. He was a prominent Republican, and held numerous township offices. As a farmer he was eminently successful, being possessed of superior business capacity and sound judgment, and by the time of his decease he had accumulated considerable property.
James M. McMurray was born December 13, 1854, on the farm he now owns and lives on, in Donegal township, and where he received all his instruction in agriculture, his education in the meantime being received, during the winter months, at the common schools of the district. On the death of his father he moved to West Alexander with his widowed mother, and after a residence there of about three years returned to the farm, where he has since remained, successfully following his life work. On September 27, 1877, Mr. McMurray was married to Augusta Slater, who was born November 3, 1857, a daughter of David Slater, of Ohio county, W. Va., and by this union there are two children: Lizzie A., born July 1, 1878, and James W., born July 14, 1881, both living at home with their parents. In his political predilections Mr. McMurray is a Republican, and has held several township offices, such as school director, but does not waste time on politics. He is progressive and popular, and has a bright future before him.
Text taken from page 975 of:
Beers, J. H. and Co., Commemorative Biographical Record of Washington County, Pennsylvania (Chicago: J. H. Beers & Co., 1893).
Transcribed March 1997 by Neil and Marilyn Morton of Oswego, IL as part of the Beers Project.
Published March 1997 on the Washington County, PA USGenWeb pages at http://www.chartiers.com/.
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