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Allen Murray

MURRAY, Allen.— The life story of Allen Murray is that of a man of average endowments, who came to Illinois in the promising but unsettled days of 1836, and who, as a hatter and agriculturist, worked out his destiny with intelligence and forethought. In the interval between his arrival and his death, November 8, 1880, he arose from small beginnings to a comfortable competence, and what is better still, to the abiding esteem of his fellowmen. Born June 5, 1809, in Jefferson County, N. Y., Mr. Murray was a son of Henry Murray, born in the same State and county May 17, 1783. Henry Murray was reared on a New York farm and, in youth, learned the shoemaker's trade, which he followed many years. During the second struggle between America and England in 1812, he laid aside the tools of his trade to wield the arms of the soldier, during a part of his service being located at Sackett's Harbor, N. Y., where, in May. 1813, the Americans, under Brown, repulsed the British under Provost. Mr. Murray married Lucinda Ball, also born in Jefferson County. He received a grant of land for his military services. He came to Illinois in 1838, two years after the arrival of his son Allen, and with the latter lived and conducted general farming until his death, September 10, 1866. He had been a widower many years, his wife having died in New York, May 21, 1823. He inherited many of the traits of his Scottish ancestors, whose early representatives allied their fortunes with the pioneer days of New York State.

Allen Murray was educated in the public schools of Loweville, Jefferson County. N. Y., and, following the example of his father, became a tradesman, serving an apprenticeship to a hatter. He subsequently engaged in the hat business in Albion and Rochester, N. Y., and in 1836 came to Macomb, Ill., where he worked in the manufacture of hats for O. C. Wilson, who had an establishment in Macomb at that time. In 1838 he bought land in Schuyler County and engaged in farming with his father, in 1872 retiring from active life, and thenceforth making his home with his daughter, Mrs. Applegate, in McDonough County, where his death occurred November 8, 1880, and that of his wife September 8, 1887. Mrs. Murray, formerly Sarah A. Marvin, was a native of Franklin County, Vt., born January 28, 1809. She was a daughter of Elihu and Thankful (Barnard) Marvin, natives of the State of Massachusetts. The marriage of Mr. Murray and Miss Marvin occurred January 6, 1835, in Rochester, N. Y., and of this union there were two children. Of these Francis C. died February 22, 1856, and Lucinda H. is the wife of James T. Applegate, of McDonough County, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this work.

Mr. Murray was a quiet, unostentatious man, the soul of business and private honor, and the recipient of many warm and lasting friendships. Possessing no political aspirations, he yet was a stanch supporter of the Democratic party.

Source: The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of McDonough County, compiled by Dr. Newton Bateman, and Paul Shelby, 1907, volume 2, page 963, extracted 12 Sep 2019 by Norma Hass.

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