Lee County Biography


David Murray, an honored resident of Nelson Township, is a noble type of the virorous Scotch race, many of those sons have sought homes in the United States, and are to-day among the most valued and loyal citizens of this country. Mr. Murray has for a long time been counted as one of the most sagacious and well-to-do of the general farmers and stock-raisers of this section of the county, where he owns two fine farms, which arc complete in their appointments, one located on sections 26 and 27, Nelson Township, comprising one hundred and sixty acres of land, and the other situated on section 33, Harmon Township, consisting of one hundred and twenty acres.

Our subject was born in Ayreshire, Scotland, not far from the home of the poet Burns, December 5, 1838 and is a son of Gilbert and Jennett (Mulrick) Murray. His parents were born and bred in Ayreshire, being of pure Scotch blood,and were descendants of some of the old families of their native land. They inherited the superior qualities of their race and were earnest, honorable and hardworking people. They reared a large family of children, but as they shared the poverty of their countrymen, much was required of their offspring, who were early sent away from home to look alter themselves, and never but twice were they altogether under one roof tree. The Hrst of the family, of whom there were eight sons and five daughters, to come to the United States, were the two older boys, John and Gilbert. They came hither in 1858 and settled in Connecticut, where they were joined by their parents and other members of the family in 1855, after a voyage of five weeks and four days on the ocean in a sailing vessel. The father and mother passed their remaining days in that New England State, living to be old people, the former dying in New Jxmdon County, in the town of Norwich, in 188fi,at the age of eighty-one; and his wife dying in June, 1891, aged eighty-two years. They were strong in their religious beliefs, clung tenaciously to the Presbyterian faith, which was so dear to their fathers from the days of John Knox, and they were active workers in the church. Of their thirteen children but one son and one daughter are dead.

David Murray was but a boy when the family came to dwell in the United States, and though "Auld Scotia" is still dear to his heart, as it is to every true-born son of its rugged soil, he has come to love the land of his adoption with an ardor scarce surpassed by those native and to the manor born, holding its institutions and form of government in profound admiration, and speaking of it as "the most glorious country on earth," to quote from one of his talks on the subject when he referred with pride to the good fortune that had attended the family since they landed on these shores.

Our subject left Connecticut, where he has spent the first few years of bis life in this country, in 1858, with a determination to establish himself in the groat and growing State of Illinois, and since then has lived in the townships of Harmon and Nelson, in this county. Good fortune has smiled upon his venture, and as we have seen, he has acquired a handsome property. He first located in Harmon Township, and in time became the proprietor of a well-improved farm of one hundred and twenty acres in that place, upon which he lived sixteen yean. In the fall of 1888 he purchased the farm in Nelson Township, which has since been his home.

Mr. Murray was unmarried when he came to this county, but ho was subsequently wedded in Dixon to Miss Helen Burn ham. She is a native of New Hampshire, born, reared and educated among the beautiful hills of the old Granite State, and she is well endowed with the fine virtues of the good old New England stock from which she is descended. She came to Illinois in young womanhood with her parents Samuel and Mary (Godfrey] Burnham, who made their home in Dixon until they passed from the scene of earth when full of years. The household of our subject and his amiable wife is completed by their two children, Frank B. and Hattie F., who are bright and well-educated young people. Mr. Murray is just, fair-minded, thoughtful and frank in his disposition, and, with his wife, enjoys the cordial good-will and friendship of the entire community. They are attendants at the Lutheran Church, all good causes finding in them generous support. In his political relations our subject is a Republican, who is stanch in his fealty to his party. He has been an incumbent of local offices, and has always encouraged public improvement.

Portraits and Biographical Lee County IL 1892

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