THE MURDOCH FAMILY trace their lineage to one John Murdoch, a native of Scotland, who came from Carlisle, Penn., to North Strabane township, Washington county, in 1778. His third son, Alexander Murdoch, was born in 1770, on the home farm near Carlisle, where his earliest boyhood was passed. He accompanied the family to Washington county, and when a young man purchased the Canonsburg mills, together with a large tract of land adjoining them. From these mills he loaded two large flat-boats with flour and saddlery, landing them safely in New Orleans; then returned on horseback through the unbroken wilderness. In 1803 he was united in marriage with Elizabeth, daughter of Rev. Matthew Henderson, of Chartiers township. In 1809 he received an appointment, from the governor, as prothonotary of the court of common pleas of Washington county, serving in that office until 1819. Upon acceptance of this position he sold his property in Canonsburg, and, moving to Washington, in 1822 erected a house which is now a part of the "Hotel Main." He resided there until 1828, during which time he was engaged in mercantile enterprises, then purchased 400 acres known as the "Morganza tract," located two miles from Canonsburg. In 1828 he and his family moved to this place, and he died in 1836; his widow passed her last days in Canonsburg, where she was laid to rest in March, 1863, at the age of eighty-three years. They were the parents of eleven children, of whom are named: Mary M., widow of Hon. J. L. Gow, of Washington; Mrs. Sarah B. Musser, of Nelsonville, Ohio; Mrs. E. W. Wilson, of Moberly, Mo.; Anna, also living in Moberly, Mo.; and Alexander a lawyer of Washington, Penn. The latter practiced law with his brother-in-law, J. L. Gow, and in April, 1861, received the appointment, from President Lincoln, as United States marshal of western Pennsylvania. After serving one term he was again appointed, remaining two years, and, in March 1869, was selected, by President Grant, to again fill that position, which he resigned in December, 1872. His son, John H., is a lawyer and a credit to his father.
Text taken from page 132 of:
Beers, J. H. and Co., Commemorative Biographical Record of Washington County, Pennsylvania (Chicago: J. H. Beers & Co., 1893).
Transcribed April 1997 by Neil and Marilyn Morton of Oswego, IL as part of the Beers Project.
Published April 1997 on the Washington County, PA USGenWeb pages at http://www.chartiers.com/.
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