Jonathan Fairbanks and Clyde Edwin Tuck

Past and Present of Greene County, Missouri

Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens


THOMAS MURRAY. Recurrence to the past, with reflections and associations which make it appear in life-like review before our mental vision, will continue as "long as the heart has sorrows, as long as life has woes" to be a source of satisfaction; and especially when our personality and former friends, happily interwoven in some pleasant incident, will the picture thus reflected be more pleasing. These reminders, however, often vanish and pass away with the life of the participants when no landmarks remain to serve as a background for the picture engraved on the tablets of memory, the impressions of which are but remodelings of others. To preserve these from oblivion before they have lost their distinguishing originality is the work devolved upon the writer of local history and biography. These both fail in their mission when they fail to preserve the life features connected with their trust. Biography, more than anything else, commands the most interested attention for the reason that it is a record of those who in times gone by, traveled the thorny pathway of life as companions, acquaintances, friends or relatives. To preserve from forgetfulness the simple story of their experiences and record their acts, however uneventful, is a task attended with much pleasure and fraught with great good to humanity. Especially is this the case when the subject, like that of the well remembered pioneer engineer whose name forms the caption of this article, has led a useful and honorable life.

Thomas Murray was born in Ireland in 1842. He was a son of Thomas Murray, a native of the Emerald Isle, where he grew up, attended school and was married, and from there immigrated to America when comparatively young and located in Clyde, Wayne county, New York, and when about forty years of age he was killed on the Erie Canal in New York. His family consisted of six children, all of whom are now deceased.

Thomas Murray, of this sketch, was a child when his parents brought him to the United States from Ireland, and he grew to manhood in the state of New York, receiving a limited education in the common schools of Wayne county, that state. When a boy he worked awhile on the Erie Canal, later began working for the Pennsylvania Railroad Company as fireman out of Meadville, Pennsylvania, which position he held two years, then came West and located at Pacific, Missouri, when the St. Louis & San Francisco Railroad Company was being built in that part of the state, and there he began firing for this company. This was about the time this road was being built into Springfield. Later he was promoted to engineer, and he removed from Pacific to Springfield. He remained a locomotive engineer the rest of his life and was in the service of the Frisco system for a period of forty-six years, during which he was regarded as a capable and trustworthy engine driver. He found but a straggling village when he first came to Springfield, and he saw the place grow into the important city it is today. He was married in St. Louis in 1872, to Julia Hailey, who was born in 1849. Her death occurred in 1895. She had received a common school education, and she was a member of the Sacred Heart Catholic church.

To Thomas Murray and wife four children were born, namely: Ellen is deceased; J. D., our subscriber, is mentioned at the close of this sketch; Julia is deceased; Thomas is also deceased.

Politically, Thomas Murray, the immediate subject of this sketch, was a Democrat. He belonged to the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, having been a charter member of the Springfield branch of the order. He was a member of the Sacred Heart Catholic church. His death occurred at the family residence in Springfield on September 12, 1908, at the age of sixty-six years.

J. D. Murray, son of our subject, was born in Pacific, Missouri, November 19, 1876, and he was an infant when his parents brought him to Springfield, in which city he grew to manhood and was educated in the ward and high schools. After leaving school he worked eighteen months as machinist apprentice in the north side Frisco shops, later was sent out on the road as brakeman for the Frisco out of this city, and was in the service nine years as freight brakeman. In 1907 he met with misfortune, losing a limb which incapacitated him for further road service.

J. D. Murray has remained unmarried. Politically, he is a Democrat. He belongs to the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He is also a member of the Brotherhood of Trainmen.

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