| This biography is from "Memorial and biographical record; an illustrated compendium of biography, containing a compendium of local biography, including biographical sketches of...prominent old settlers and representative citizens of South Dakota with a review of their life work... Also a compendium of national biography."
Publisher: Chicago, G.A. Ogle, 1898. Pages 233-234|
COLONEL RICHARD A. MURRAY is an attorney and one of the oldest settlers of Lake county. He resides at Madison.
Colonel Murray was born in Scotland, February 18, 1833. His mother died et his birth and he never saw her. His father left
his home soon after, and Colonel Murray did not see him until he was about eighteen years old, which meeting between
father and son occurred in this country, after several years of separation. Colonel Murray came to the United States with an
aunt in whose care he was left at his mother's death. This aunt settled in Corbeau, Clinton county, New York, where she
brought up her foster son till he was about seventeen years old. He received but little schooling until after his seventeenth
year, being compelled to work, as soon as he became old enough, for the money to educate himself. His first school days
were passed at Champlain Academy and afterwards at Fort Edward Institute, at Fort Edward, in Washington county, New
York, and there he divided his time equally between conning his diurnal lesson and teaching school for the needed money.
He took the course which entitled him, upon its completion, to enter as a sophomore in any college in the state of New
York. After three terms at Fort Edward Mr. Murray began teaching during the winter and attending the Law school at
Albany, New York. He continued thus until he graduated, September 21, 1858, from the Albany Law School. He was
admitted to practice at Albany, New York, at the same time, which gave him the privilege of practicing in all the courts of
that state. There were several students in his class who have since risen to fame, among them being Justice Brewer, of the
United States Supreme Court. After completing his law course, Mr. Murray taught school in the western part of the state for
one year, and then went west to Chicago and later to Minnesota, settling in Hamilton, Fillmore county. When the war broke
out he enlisted, September 21, 1861, in the First Battery, Light Artillery, Minnesota Volunteers, as a private. He received an
injury during the Missouri campaign which resulted in his discharge. He enlisted again, however, September 23, 1864, in
Battery " B," First Minnesota Heavy Artillery. He was made sergeant of his company and promoted to the rank of orderly
sergeant, March 1, 1865. He received his discharge at the close of the war. During the Indian outbreak in Minnesota he
again became a soldier, and was made colonel of the Ninth Minnesota State Volunteer Infantry by Governor H. A. Swift.
This occurred in 1863 and '64, between his enlistments in the Civil war. After the termination of the Rebellion, Colonel
Murray settled down to the practice of law at Hokah, Houston county, Minnesota. In 1866 he was elected state's attorney
there. In 1869 Colonel Murray removed to Rushford, in Fillmore county, Minnesota, where he practiced for the next ten
years. The year 1878 found him in Lake county, where he had taken up his abode, and where he has remained since.
Colonel Murray was one of the county's pioneer lawyers, and is said to be the first disciple of Blackstone that ever set
himself up in business there. Herman, a little hamlet on the lake known by the same Teutonic name, was his original
stopping place, but, in 1883, he came to Madison. Colonel Murray is a Republican, and in 1883 was elected probate judge
of Lake county. He has since held several local offices. The Colonel is a Mason, and a member of the blue lodge at Madison.
Colonel Murray married Miss Paulina Johnston, a native of Drydon, New York, in 1859. Colonel and Mrs. Murray are the
parents of six children: Effie, now the wife of William Hollester, of Grand Forks, North Dakota; Oscar, an attorney; Hugh,
an attorney; Walter, now living in Madison; Genie; Arthur. The Colonel is one of those hardy, self-made men, who have
had poverty and privation in plenty during their early lives, and who, by diligence, ability and integrity, have gradually
risen in the world until to-day they command respect and admiration, and something beside the " stings and arrows of
outrageous fortune " as their due.