Pictorial and Genealogical Record
of Greene County, Missouri

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


THOMAS J. MURRAY. Among the names which have acquired prominence on the wings of Springfield's prosperity is that of the subject of this sketch, who is one of the city's most popular and capable attorneys. As he is a native of this county, having been born here December 5, 1857, the people have had every opportunity. to judge of his character and qualifications, and no young attorney of the county has better prospects. His parents, William C. and Malinda (Stone) Murray, came from Sweet Water, Tenn., to Missouri, in 1855, and settled in Greene County, Boone Township, on a tract of land covered with timber. Years of industry and good management brought their reward, and the father is now the owner of a fine farm of 360 acres, on which he has made many improvements. To himself and wife have been born nine children, as follows: Thomas J., Mahala B., William B., Harvey, Malinda J., Sarah B., Mary E., Charles and George. Both Mr. and Mrs. Murray are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and socially the former is a member of the Masonic Fraternity Lodge at Ash Grove. They are highly-respected citizens of the community in which they live, and are liberal contributors to all worthy enterprises. Thomas J. Murray, son of the above, and subject of this sketch, was born on his father's farm, in Boone Township. Although he had but the educational advantages of the district schools of his neighborhood, be gained a good practical education, for he was naturally of a studious turn of mind. Later he taught school in Boone Township. He was reared to the arduous duties of the farm, but when still quite young he manifested a strong desire to study law and began his legal studies at home in 1879, when twenty-two years of age. The practical lessons of industry gained from labor made him patient and persevering, and after diligently pursuing his studies for two years he was admitted to practice law at the Missouri bar. Without influence and with nothing to aid him except his sturdy disposition to work, he began the practice of his chosen profession in Springfield in March, 1882. This young lawyer had many obstacles to encounter, and among other things the competition of able and highly-educated attorneys, long established in practice. His sterling characteristics, grit and ability to persevere, have been well demonstrated in his subsequent career. He had a good living business from the start, and as his abilities became recognized he entered upon a very successful career. He devoted most of his attention to probate and real estate business, in which he has a large clientage, having won by his ability and integrity the confidence of the people of Greene County. He certainly deserves to be styled a self-made man, for he has risen to his present honorable position entirely by his own unaided exertions. Mr. Murray was probate judge of Greene County from 1885 to 1887, and is attorney for the Springfield National Loan and Investment Association, and is a stockholder in that company. In politics he is a stanch Democrat, and socially a Knight of Pythias, in which body he has held the office of vice-chancellor, chancellor-commander and master of the walk. He is also a member of the royal Arcanum and holds the office of vice-regent. He selected his companion in the person of Miss Sarah M. Graves, daughter of George W. and Elizabeth A. graves, and their nuptials were solemnized on May 20, 1886. One child has blessed this union, Bessie T., a bright little girl only a few years old. Both Mr. and Mrs. Murray are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, are highly-esteemed citizens and have a host of warm friends. Mr. Murray takes a foremost place among the talented lawyers of the county and is a distinguished citizen of Springfield. His course has been consistently marked by earnest purpose and useful activity, and for integrity and probity no man in Missouri stands higher.

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