Pictorial and Genealogical Record
of Greene County, Missouri

Together with Bibliographies of Prominent Men of Other Portions of the State, Both Living and Dead


JOHN K. MURRAY. No better citizens have come to Greene County, Mo. than those from Tennessee, and none have contributed more to the growth and development of this county than the native Tennesseean. Mr. Murray has been a resident of Greene County from early boyhood and during this time his career has not only been that of an upright and honorable citizen, but -of an intelligent and progressive man. He was born in Knox County, in 1829, a son of Hon. John and Sallie (Lettear) Murray, who were born in Virginia and Tennessee, respectively, both receiving limited common school educations in their youth. In 1833 or 1834 they came by ox team to Missouri, and after one year's residence in Pulaski County they came to Greene County, and located on a slightly improved tract of land in East Center township, later settling on a woodland farm on the edge of Grand Prairie, near where John K. Murray now resides. This he converted by industry, into a magnificent farm and on it his career closed in 1866. A short time after making a settlement here he was called out to fight the Indians. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, and was an active and prominent worker in the political arena, being judge of the County Court a few years prior to the opening of the Civil War. He was frequently offered the nomination of State representative, but as often refused. He was a Democrat all his life, and died when about sixty-seven years of age. He was the eldest of four sons and two daughters born to his parents, their names being: Ruma, who died at Ash Grove a few years ago, leaving a large family; James, who has resided in this section for fifty-five years, is now totally deaf having lost his hearing only a few days ago, after imagining he heard four cannon shots; Isaac, died in the Indian Territory a few years ago. He came to Greene County when a young man and here married and reared a family. He removed from here to Arkansas and later to the Indian Territory, where he died; Elizabeth is the deceased wife of Samuel Davis, who came to this State from Tennessee; and Malinda, who became the wife of Guy Leeper an early settler of this county. He died on the ocean en route to California, and his widow is now living with a daughter in Lawrence County, Mo. The wife of Hon. John Murray died in 1845, an earnest and consistent member of the Methodist Church. She was a daughter of William Lettear, who died in Tennessee, leaving a large family. After the death of Mrs. Murray, Mr. Murrav was married to Mrs. Annis McClure, a Tennesseean, who bore him one son, David, who is now in Arizona. John K. Murray is one of five sons and two daughters: James A., who is a merchant of South Greenfield, Dade County; William L., who was in the Confederate army, and is now residing in Colorado; John K.; Marshall Calvin, who died in Dade County, May 19, 1893, where he had lived some years. He was a soldier in the late war under Gen. Price, was captured at Vicksburg while on picket duty and was a prisoner at Camp Morton and other places about twelve months; L. H., of Springfield; Rhoda, wife of John McBride, of Murray township, this county, and Araminta, wife of Mr. McAllister of Colorado. John K. Murray was reared in the neighborhood where he -now lives but unfortunately received a very limited schooling, owing to the fact that be was compelled to walk three miles to a place of instruction during his early school days. At the age of twenty-one years he began farming for himself, and in 1850 was married to Miss Mary McClure, a daughter of Holburt and Annis McClure. Mrs. Murray lived only a year after her marriage, leaving an infant who also died. Mr. Murray's second marriage was celebrated in 1853, to Amanda, daughter of Theophilus and Ellen Sours, who came from North Carolina to this State in 1845, the mother's death occurring here. The father is now a resident of Texas. Mrs. Murray was born in North Carolina, and died in 1883, having become the mother of eight children. William H. (deceased); Timothy; De Witt; Pearl; Nettie, wife of William Clark of Dade County; May, wife of Philander Robinson, of Kansas; Ella, wife of F. L. Jones, and Maud. Since 1884 Mr. Murray has been married to Mrs. Dora Jones, daughter of C. C. Parrish, from Kentucky, and Margaret Parrish, who moved to this section from Indiana, Mr. Parrish being here killed by lightning, his wife still surviving him. Mrs. Murray was born in this county and has one child, Guy. When first married Mr. Murray settled on a woodland farm which he cleared and has since converted into the prosperous farm of 160 acres of which be is now the owner. He has always been a Democrat in his political proclivities and from early boyhood has been a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, as have also been his wives. Murray township, Greene County, was named for his family, as they were its first settlers and prominent in its affairs. Barbara (Julian) Murray, the paternal grandmother of Mr. Murray, was a French lady, but had resided in America from early girlhood. She was a niece of the man who built the great London bridge.

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