NameWilliam James McMURRAY
Birth19 Oct 1849, Newport, Campbell County, Kentucky12, p. 303-304.,171, v. 2, bk. 1, p. 121.
Death8 Sep 1931, Wapakoneta, Auglaize County, Ohio171, v. 2, bk. 1, p. 121. Age: 81
BurialGreenlawn Cemetery, Wapakoneta, Auglaize County, Ohio171, v. 2, bk. 1, p. 121.
OccupationJournalist, Banker, Author
FatherRobert McMURRAY (-<1850)
MotherMary HURST (1818-1896)
Birth187117, p. 27.
Death4 Mar 191417, p. 27. Age: 43
BurialGreenlawn Cemetery, Wapakoneta, Auglaize County, Ohio17, p. 27.
Marriage31 May 1912, Knightstown, Indiana34, p. 670.
Notes for William James McMURRAY

Biographical Sketch (1892):12, p. 303-304. "William J. McMurray — The well-known editor and proprietor of the Auglaize Republican, the leading newspaper of this county, as exercised a marked influence on the affairs of this section of Ohio, and even of the entire State, not only professionally, but as a progressive, public spirited citizen, and has aided in guiding its political destiny, as well as in guarding and advancing its dearest interests, materially, socially, and morally. Our subject was born in Campbell County, Ky., October 19, 1849, and is the son of Robert and Mary (Hurst) McMurray, both of whom were born in England. The parents emigrated to this country when single, and were married in the Blue Grass State. They had a family of three children, of whom our subject is the youngest. He remained in his native State until reaching his eleventh year, when, in 1860, in company with his mother, he came to Wapakoneta, where he attended the excellent schools of this city. His father having died when he was only six months old, the family, subsequent to the time just mentioned, moved to St. Mary's, where young McMurray further prosecuted his studies. He always fully availed himself of all privileges of instruction, and from early life forced himself to think deeply upon that which he read. After completing his education, our subject entered a dry-goods store in this city as a clerk, which position he filled for twelve years, and at the expiration of that time abandoned his clerkship and spent the winter of 1880-81 in the West Indies, principally on the Island of Cuba. Returning to Wapakoneta, it was his intention to dispose of his real estate interests and seek a new home in the West, which project was, however, abandoned on account of his being interviewed by many of the leading Republicans of the county, and urged to publish a paper which would express their political faith. Mr. McMurray was known to have fine literary tastes, as he had for some time been a correspondent for various papers. In partnership with Robert P. Sutton, our subject established the Auglaize Republican, issued the first number in August, 1881. Two years later, Mr. McMurray became sole proprietor of the plant, his office being well equipped with power presses and the best of material. In 1887, his business became so extensive and pressing that he was compelled to have more help, and took in as his partner Mr. W. R. Duvall, now editor of the Circleville Union Herald. The partnership continued until January 1, 1890, since which time our subject has managed the business alone. At the Fourth District Republican Congressional Convention held in Lima on the 4th of May, 1892, Mr. McMurray was selected Presidential Elector, the district comprising the counties of Allen, Auglaize, Mercer, Darke, and Shelby. The Republican has the largest circulation of any newspaper in the county, and in addition to his editorial business, he is conducting a paying business as a job printer, furnishing almost all the legal printing. Mr. McMurray is a splendid journalist, and his paper is the official organ of the Republican party. In social matters, he is a member of the Lincoln Club and the Knights of Pythias. He belongs to the English Lutheran Church, and takes a great interest in the Sunday-school, being at the present time its chorister. As the editor of a prominent newspaper, he wields a marked influence in the public and political life of his paper, to the publication of which he devotes his entire time and attention."

Biographical Sketch (1898):125, p. 34. "William James McMurray, editor and publisher of the ‘Auglaize County Republican,’ was born at Newport, Ky., October 17, 1849, and was a son of Robert and Mary (Hurst) McMurray, both natives of England. His father died when he was but a small child and when he was ten years of age his mother removed to St. Mary’s and later to Wapakoneta. Mr. McMurray attended the public schools of both places until 1867, when he entered the employ of John Shawber, in whose store he remained for thirteen years. Resigning his position he spent the winter of 1880-1 in Cuba and other islands of the West Indies. Upon his return home, he, with Robert Sutton, established the ‘Republican,’ but in 1883 he purchased the latter’s interest and continued in management alone until 1887, when W. R. Duvall purchased half interest. The partnership existed until 1890, when he again assumed entire control. Mr. McMurray has not only edited his paper with ability but has been a successful publisher in the fullest sense of the term, the plant being one of the best paying institutions of the kind in the state. In 1892 he was one of the Republican electors in Ohio, and in number of votes received stood well at the top of the list. He had the honor of being chosen by the college, when it met in 1893, as messenger, to carry the returns to Washington. He has at different times been interested in many enterprises that have been beneficial to the town, and is a gentleman much esteemed by the entire people."

Biographical Sketch (1923):34, p. 665, 667-670. "William James McMurray, whose name appears on the title page of this work and to whose thoughtful editorial supervision of the historical section of this History of Auglaize County the publishers are under many obligations of gratitude, was born near Newport, Ky., October 17, 1849, the youngest son of Robert and Mary (Hurst) McMurray, both of whom were natives of England. Mr. McMurray's paternal grandparents deserve special mention in a review of this character, not only because of their own worth, but because they cared for the subject of this sketch for many years and left upon him the impress of their Spartan character and unconquerable spirit. Mr. McMurray, while a resident of Covington, spent several years of his childhood with his material grandmother and his aunt, and he reveres their memory for their sturdy honesty and Christian character. Mr. McMurray was but an infant when bereaved by the death of his father and he thus never knew what it was to have a father’s care. The father had been educated for the law and had bright prospects before him when called hence. It might properly be said that Mr. McMurray’s paternal grandfather (Robert McMurray I) favored higher education. But two of his children, however, took advantage of the opportunity thus offered, Mr. McMurray’s father, Robert, and the eldest daughter, Margaret. William J. McMurray was the last born of the children born to his worthy parents is the only child of that union now living. William James McMurray attended private schools in Newport and Covington, Ky., in his younger days, and also one term in a select school while spending a summer with an aunt near Grants Lock, Campbell County, Kentucky. In the year 1859 he accompanied his mother and sister in their removal to Wapakoneta, the elder brother having preceded them, this change having been undertaken at the request of the grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Robert McMurray, Sr. After coming to Ohio the family lived at St. Marys for several years, where William J. McMurray attended school for one year, and then came to Wapakoneta, where he lived with his grandparents, inasmuch as they wanted one of their grandchildren to remain with them for company. He attended the public schools of Wapakoneta for six years and in the spring of 1867 accepted a position tendered him as a clerk in John Shawber’s dry good store, where he served his employer faithfully for twelve years, relinquishing the e position for a period of rest. During his twelve years of service as salesman, by the practive of self-denail and frugality, Mr. McMurray has saved enough money to purchase a farm of forty-five acres near the village and thus became a real estate owner and had established a high credit for promptness in meeting obligations as well as for his responsibility. It is not too much to say that this credit and responsibility he has maintained throughout his long and honorable career in business. During his rest period, before embarking in larger business undertakings, Mr. McMurray spent much of his time reading, and was later seized with the wanderlust of his forbears. Accordingly, in the winter of 1880-1, in the company of a friend, he planned a trip to the West Indies, to satisfy a longing desire to spend a winter in the tropics. After spending some time in the southern cities, he and his companion sailed from Pensacola, Fla., for Havana, Cuba. While on this trip they made their headquarters at the Hotel Frances in Havana, making occasional trips to the interior. Mr. McMurray, in after life, has frequently spoken of the visit to this wonderful island as being one of the most interesting and profitable experiences of his life. Returning from Cuba in May, 1881, Mr. McMurray was besieged by prominent Republicans who urged him to establish a new Republican newspaper in Wapakoneta, one that would be loyal to the party in the nation. At this time he has no experience in the printing or publishing business other than being an occasional contributor to the local and city press, and besides, he has about made up his mind to locate in Birmingham, Alabama, which he foresaw was to become a large commercial city through its iron industries. The pressure, however, became so great that he reluctantly agreed to start a newspaper, fully realizing the difficulties that he would have to overcome. He secured a partner in the person of Robert Sutton, who at that time was engaged in getting out an atlas of Auglaize county. They issued the first number of the paper, The Auglaize Republican, a weekly publication, on August 18, 1881, and it has been regularly issued ever since. This partnership lasted about two years, when Mr. McMurray bought the interest of his partner and edited the paper alone until 1887, when he sold a half interest to William Duvall, a very capable newspaper man and young man of high character. This partnership continued until 1890, when Mr. Duvall sold his interest to enable him to purchase the plant of the Union-Herald at Circleville, Ohio. Mr. McMurray then became the sole owner of The Auglaize Republican, and he conducted the paper alone until 1915, when he sold the plant to William B. Morey and Charles Sumner Whiteman, the former a nephew by marriage. Mr. McMurray has never held public office. He has been the nominee of his party for various positions, but being the candidate of the minority party, he was each time defeated. At the Fourth district Republican congressional convention in Lima on May 1, 1892, he was chosen presidential elector for the district comprising Allen, Auglaize, Darke, Mercer, and Shelby counties and was elected by a large majority, while one of the Republican electors was defeated. When the electoral college met in Columbus in January, 1893, to cast the vote of Ohio for President and Vice President of the United States, Mr. McMurray was honored by being chosen the messenger to carry the returns to Washington. Arriving at the national capitol, he called on Vice-President Levi P. Morton, who received him in his private office, and he delivered to him the sealed package containing the election returns from Ohio. The Vice President was very courteous and asked him questions concerning conditions in general throughout the Middle West. Having been too young to enter the Civil war, Mr. McMurray has no military record. He served five years, however, in the Ohio National Guard as a non-commissioned officer under Capt. F. C. Layton in the 2d regiment, Ohio National Guard, and later in the 11th regiment, Ohio National Guard. Mr. McMurray has always been a staunch Republican, but has never been regarded as a bitter partisan. Although the publisher of a Republican newspaper he always respected the opinions of those who differed with him politically, and he never lost a fried that he was aware of on account of politics. His well known spirit of fairness and justice to all alike won for him the respect and esteem of all with whom he came in contact. Though never having held public office, Mr. McMurray has held many offices of trust and honor in civic and industrial organizations, which well illustrate the place he has among business men of Wapakoneta. He was president of the Business Men’s Club for a number of years and later of the Commercial, during the time the hollow ware factory and the Western Ohio shops were secured for Wapakoneta. He has been a member of the directorate for many years of various incorporated companies in which he was financially interested, and at the present time is a member of the directorate and president of the Auglaize National Bank, a member of the directorate and president of the Citizen’ Building and Loan Company, and a member of the directorate and president of the new Wapakoneta Wheel Company, one of the largest industrial establishments in the county. Mr. McMurray is a charter member of the Duchouquet lodge, No. 165, Knights of Pythias, and at the present time is a member of the Country Club. Having united with the First English Lutheran church at the age of fourteen years, Mr. McMurray has been a faithful and devoted member ever since, and for more than fifty years has been a member of the choir of the same church. He is still active in church councils and continues as a member of the vested choir, very seldom, and never unless his health forbids, being absent from the choir loft. He has also been a member of the Sunday school for the same length of time and at present is teacher of the men’s Bible class. Though having passed the meridian of life, Mr. McMurray is still active in business and civic affairs. He is in a position, however, to look back complacently on the past as years of honorable industry spent in the service of others and for civic betterment. And this service has brought its reward, for it is believed that it will not be regarded invidiously in the community to say that not only has he been honored with positions of trust and responsibility, but that he was won for himself a name which stands second to none in the county for conservatism and honesty in business and upright conduct and devotion to duty as a citizen."

1850 U.S. Census:1773 William enumerated in the household of his grandfather Robert McMurray Sr. in Washington Township, Auglaize County, Ohio as a male, age 1, born in Ohio.

1860 U.S. Census:1659 William enumerated in the household of his grandfather Robert McMurray Sr. in Duchouquet Township, Auglaize County, Ohio as a male, age 11, born in Kentucky, attended school within the year.

1870 U.S. Census:1008 William enumerated in the household of his mother Mary McMurray as a male, age 20, working in dry goods store, personal property value $300, born in Kentucky, mother foreign born.

1880 U.S. Census:1005
Auglaize County, Ohio (Duchouquet Township, Wapakoneta)
Enumerated 3 June 1880
William McMurray •• white, male, age 28, boarder, single, insurance agent, born in Ohio, father born in England, mother born in England
(Boarded in home of John and Richal Schaber)

1900 U.S. Census:935
Auglaize County, Ohio (Wapakoneta)
Enumerated 25 June 25 1900
William J. McMurray •• head, white male, born Nov. '47, age 62, single, born Kentucky, father born in England, mother born in England, editor publisher, can read, can write, can speak English
Jane E. Morey •• niece, white female, born Sep. '69, age 30, single, born in Ohio, father born in Ohio, mother born in Ohio, can read, can write, can speak English
William B. Morey •• nephew, white male, born Nov. '71, age 28, single, born in Ohio, father born in Ohio, mother born in Ohio, composition, can read, can write, can speak English
Katherine L. Morey •• niece, white female, born Dec. '81, age 18, divorced [!], born in Ohio, father born in Ohio, mother born in Ohio, can read, can write, can speak English
Andrew J. Morey •• brother-in-law, white male, born Feb. '37, age 63, widowed, born in Ohio, father born in Vermont, mother born in Ohio, can read, can write, can speak English

1910 U.S. Census:954
Ohio, Auglaize County, Wapakoneta
Enumerated April 25, 1910
William J. McMurray •• head, male, white, age 60, single, born in Kentucky, father born in Scotland, mother born in England, English is native language, publisher of newspaper, able to read, able to write, owns home free of mortgage
Jane E. Morey •• niece, female, white, age 40, single, born in Ohio, father born in Ohio, mother born in Ohio, English is native language, can read, can write
William B. Morey •• nephew, male, white, age 38, single, born in Ohio, father born in Ohio, mother born in Ohio, English is native language, postmaster at the post office, can read, can write

1920 U.S. Census:943
Auglaize County, Ohio (Wapakoneta)
Enumerated between January 13 - 15, 1920
Court Street
Will McMurray •• head, home owned, free of mortgage, male, white, 70, widowed, can read and write, born in England, father born in England, mother born in England, can speak English, bank president
Mary M. Getz •• niece, female, white, 56, married, can read and write, born in Ohio, father born in Ohio, mother born in Ohio, can speak English, housekeeper
Arthur Klipfel •• head, home rented, male, white, 44, married, able to read and write, born in Kentucky [!], father born in Ohio, mother born in Ohio, can speak English, bank cashier
Elsie •• wife, female, white, 39, married, able to read and write, born in Ohio, father born in Ohio, mother born in Ohio, can speak English
Virginia •• daughter, female, white, 12, single, attending school, able to read and write, born in Ohio, father born in Ohio, mother born in Ohio, can speak English
Arthur •• son, male, white, 11, single, attending school, able to read and write, born in Ohio, father born in Ohio, mother born in Ohio, can speak English

1930 U.S. Census:2671
Auglaize County, Ohio (Wapakoneta)
Enumerated 4 April 1930
201 Court Street
William J. McMurray •• head, owns home, home value $8,000, has radio set, male, white, 80, widower, can read and write, born in Kentucky, father born in England, mother born in England, president of bank
William B. Morey •• nephew, male, white, 57, widower, can read and write, born in Ohio, father born in Ohio, mother born in Ohio, printing establishment, works for wages, not a veteran
Mary M. Getz •• niece, female, white, 67, widow, can read and write, born in Ohio, father born in Ohio, mother born in Ohio
Robert E. Morey •• nephew, male, white, 18, single, attended school within the year, can read and write, born in Ohio, father born in Ohio, mother born in Ohio, student

1931 Memorial: "With the laying at rest in Greenlawn this afternoon of the mortal remains of William J. McMurray this city enters upon a new era in its history. It has only the memory of ‘Uncle Will’ as a guiding influence to carry on what it has come to be with his living presence an active, potent force for more than a half century. It will be hard to estimate the influence of the high principles of Mr. McMurray upon this community. Once needs only to listen to the unanimity that characterizes the many testimonials to his worth and goodness to know that he lived a life of purposeful usefulness and died at 81 years a success that does not lie in the bounds of many men to attain—to hold the universal high regard of fellow men and women with whom he had lived his entire life. One secret, perhaps, of the love and esteem in which Mr. McMurray was held and of the tributes that are his today lies in the fact that he never spoke ill of others. Sometimes he lamented the fact that men of influence in the city, his friends, directed the thought of their fellow men in channels that did not conform to the high standards which he observed, but he was no backbiter nor whiner. Neither was he a back-slapper opportunist. He was a man of conviction. He knew where he stood and his associates knew also. He thought straight, proud of the fact always that he was a 'conservative,' and his opinion was sought after and respected. He had many opponents, politically and otherwise, but there was none so far as his personal dealings, his habits or his life was concerned. A figure in politics, a factor in finance, industry and civic affairs, a news and editorial writer for more than 40 years, W. J. McMurray was primarily a church man. What fellow citizens did about that did not deter 'W. J.' from his own views about the church—nor did it keep him from his seat in the choir loft for 64 years. He knew his Bible and the doctrines of the Lutheran church to which he adhered. His church was more than the local congregation; he knew and aided its endeavors throughout North America and its missions in foreign lands. To him the cause of his Master and the spread of the Gospel through the agency of the church was all important. His religion concept never dimmed, changed, or faltered. He understood the Way—and lived by it. 'Uncle Will' did not need to die to have good things spoken of him and his character as many men do. Those who knew him well can testify to that. His exemplary habits, his unwaning enthusiasm, his courage, his generosity, his good sportsmanship, all contributed to make up the genuine lovable character that was found in him. He came to be a 'grand old man' through his steadfastness of purpose and devotion to duty in his vigorous younger years. His life might well be the pattern for many youth in the molding of his own. Mr. McMurray has gone to that reward beyond the stars, a haven towards which his thoughts, his prayers, his songs were oft directed. There's sadness here because things must go on without him. But there's new joy among the angels—genuine gladness—for 'Uncle Will' has arrived along that golden highway among them and to stay." — Rue Melching, Editor of The Wapakoneta Daily Democrat (1931).

1931 Tombstone:17, p. 27. Greenlawn Cemetery, Wapakoneta, Auglaize County, Ohio.
Wm. McMurray
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