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John Murrie


For many years has been engaged in general farming on section 10, Newport Township, is a native of Scotland, and was born in Perthshire, November 22, 1816. His father, David Murrie, was born in the same house, as was also the grandfather. David Murrie owned and operated a small farm and was also a pit sawyer, making lumber in the old way. He lived and died in his native land. His wife, whose maiden name was Mary Brown, was also born in Scotland, and died in 1824, two years prior to the death of her husband. In their family were eleven children, of whom four came to America. One sister, Mary, wife of Joseph Bower is living in Smithland, Iowa; David died in Millburn, October, 30, 1886; Helen was the wife of Thomas Horn, and died in Newport Township, August 21, 1879. We find our subject beginning work at the age of ten years, herding cattle during the summer months, while in the winter season he attended school, where he acquired a fair education. He was a young man of twenty-five years when he crossed the Atlantic with the determination to try his fortune in America. He landed at New York on the l9th of January, 1842, and in May of that year, went to Kenosha, Wis. Soon afterward he settled in Benton Township, Lake County, where he remained for two years, when he removed to a farm on section 10, Newport Township, now his home, a part of which land he had entered from the Government. No improvements had been made, the entire tract being in its primitive condition, but he at once began clearing it, planted crops and in the course of time where was once a barren waste appeared fields of waving grain. Many valuable improvements were added, both useful and ornamental, and in pointing out the best farms in Lake County, the Murrie homestead would be mentioned among the number. It comprises one hundred and eighty three acres of valuable land in the cultivation of which our subject has become a well-to-do man. When he reached Kenosha he had only $100 in American money and a Mexican quarter. The former was paid for his land and the quarter was the only coin which he had for two years. Little money was circulated in the Western country at that time, as groceries and dry goods were taken in exchange for the products of the farm.

On the 3d of October, 1845, in Newport Township, Mr. Murrie was united in marriage with Jane Murray, who was born in Glasgow, Scotland, January 24, 1827, and was a daughter of William M. and Nancy (Riley) Murray, both of whom were born in Ireland, removing thence to Scotland. Twelve children were born unto John and Jane Murrie. Nancy, the eldest, was the wife of John Bonner, and died April 27, 1872; Helen, who is now the wife of Norton B. Brunning of Boone County, Iowa; William, died April 6, 1859; Melvina, now the wife of Charles Gorham of Rockefeller, who carries on four large butter and cheese factories in Lake County; Mrs. Elizabeth J. Bonner, of Fremont, Neb.; Catherine, wife of John Bonner, a resident farmer of Millburn, Ill.; John A. died November 7, 1885; Edward J. died May 20. 1861; Laura L. wife of Albert C. Corris, of Russell, Ill.; David, Robert Grant, and Freddie A., are single. Of the three last named the two first operate the home farm, thus enabling their father who is in advanced years, to live a retired life; Freddie A. the youngest of the family is living in Nebraska.

On becoming a citizen of America, Mr. Murrie supported the Democratic party. Later he voted with the Whig party, and in 1856, supported Fremont for President, since which time he has been a stanch Republican. However, he has never sought office, preferring to give his entire attention to his business interests and the enjoyment of home life. For thirty-five years he and his wife have been identified with the Baptist Church of Newport, in which he has served as Deacon for some time. Both are active workers and consistent Christian people, who are held in high regard by all who know them for their many excellencies of character. Almost half a century has passed since Mr. Murrie came to the county, and the greater part of that time has been spent upon one farm. He has left his home but seldom, one of his trips away from Lake County being to revisit his native land, where he spent some months in 1871. Mr. Murrie has led a busy, useful and honorable life, winning the confidence of all with whom he came in contact and well deserves representation in this volume among the best citizens of the county.


 

 


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