Biography of J. S. Murray
Humboldt County, CA Biographies





J. S. MURRAY. - Though not one of the oldest citizens of Eureka, Humboldt county, Mr. Murray holds the record among its present inhabitants for longest continuous residence, from 1858 to the present time. For several years previously the family had been settled in Humboldt county. He is now living retired, but by no means inactive, his beautiful lawn, flower and vegetable gardens making his home one of the features of the neighborhood in which it is located, and all cared for by his own labor. The Murray family have contributed much to the best citizenship of the place, and the father, the late John S. Murray, the first representative of the family, made many of the original surveys in Humboldt county.

John S. Murray was a native of Scotland, born at Dysart, near Edinburgh, where he passed his early years. When a young man he went out to New Zealand. There he married Janie S. Deuchar, who was born in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, and they continued to live in New Zealand until after the birth of their eldest two children. Attracted by the stories of gold discoveries in California, these adventurous young people determined to try their fortune, and in 1849 came to this country, arriving at San Francisco. After two years' residence in that city they came up to Humboldt bay, which Mr. Murray had first visited in December, 1850, during the gold excitement at Gold Bluff. He returned to San Francisco, and in the spring came back with his family, landing in what is now Humboldt county May 31st with his wife and two children. They first lived at Arcata (then called Union) for several years, in 1858 moving to Eureka, where a permanent home was made. Mr. Murray was engaged almost exclusively at his profession, surveying, for which he found plenty of demand, and was considered so skillful and reliable that he was chosen county surveyor several times. He lived to the age of sixty four years, surviving his wife; who died when about fifty five years old. J. S. is the eldest of their four children; Margaret S. died in Humboldt county; George D., of Eureka, born at Arcata, is judge of the Superior court; Lucy A., born at Arcata, is the wife of Daniel O. Barto, who resides at Urbana, Ill., being connected with the University of Illinois.

J. S. Murray was born March 17, 1848, so he has lived in Humboldt county from the age of three years. His education was begun at Arcata; but acquired mostly at Eureka, where he has lived ever since he removed thither with his parents in the year 1858. During his business life he was engaged principally in clerical work, being a bookkeeper by profession. He began in the employ of L. C. Schmidt & Co., hardware merchants, was subsequently with the H. H. Buhne Company, in the same line, and later became connected with A. W. Randall, real estate operator, who afterward had a private bank and in time a state bank. After Mr. Randall's failure, he took a position with Belcher & Crane, who carried on an abstract business, remaining with them for a period of five or six years. He is now living retired, one of the most esteemed residents of Eureka. During his long association with various business houses of the city he became acquainted with many residents of the place, by all of whom he is regarded with the utmost respect, for his kindly disposition, modest character and sterling personal qualities. Mr. Murray built the pleasant cottage home at No. 1407 Fifth street which he and his wife have occupied for many years, and the beautiful lawn, profusion of flowers, shrubbery and vegetable garden show the loving care which Mr. Murray bestows upon them. The place is a veritable landmark of Eureka. Fraternally he is a Mason, and a past master of the blue lodge at Eureka.

In 1872 Mr. Murray was married at Eureka to Miss Mary W. Cutten, a native of Nova Scotia, who came to this city in the '60s with her father, Robert D. Cutten, at that time a widower with a family of six children, three sons and three daughters. Mr. Cutten was a ship carpenter and spar maker, and after a time became engaged in the manufacture of shingles. Mr. and Mrs. Murray have had three children: Jane, who is the wife of H. A. Buck and living in San Francisco; Edward S., of Eureka, and Keith C., who lives at San Francisco. The parents are members of the Unitarian Church, with which all the family have been associated.

From:
History of Humboldt County, California
With a Biographical Sketches
History by Leigh H. Irving
Historic Record Company
Los Angeles, California 1915


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