Biography of Hammersley MacMurray
San Francisco, CA Biographies





HAMMERSLEY MacMURRAY
Inscribed on the roll of honor of the San Francisco police department is the name of Hammersley MacMurray, one of the most valuable and beloved men who ever wore the uniform, and who gave his life during the performance of duty on October 15, 1909. He was a true humanitarian, with a Christian sympathy toward others, and a Spartan courage, and his efforts during the years of his connection with the city police department were productive of real results.

Hammersley MacMurray was born in French Corral, Nevada, County, California, March 20, 1862, and was a son of James D. and Mary L. ( Rowland) MacMurray, his father having been a mining man. In the hills of San Mateo county he passed his boyhood, having lived in both Woodside and Mayfield with the Greer family, relatives of his. He attended the grade schools, and when a youth came to San Francisco with his kin and studied at the old Lincoln grammar school. He was always one of the wholesome type, and a firm believer in the time tried ethics of human behavior. This attitude toward life which he acquired during these formative years he never lost during his subsequent career.

After completing his schooling, he first started to learn the trade of millwright as an employe of the Pacific Rolling Mills. This work, however, soon proved too strenuous for his physical ability, and his father was obliged to take him to Arizona that he might recover his health. His strength regained, he returned to San Francisco and became a member of the police department November 24, 1890, first an as officer for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. This was a work well suited to the charitable and sympathetic character of Mr. MacMurray, and he was intensely interested in investigating the numerous cases of misfortune and unhappiness among the destitute women and children of the city. His efforts to secure homes for them were notably performed, and the lack of official city means to do this at that time was a great source of irritation to him. In particular, his love for children guided him in his work and inspired him. Eventually, he was transferred to the regular police force on his own request, and in this capacity he served with distinction and bravery until his untimely death. On October 15, 1909, while crossing a street in the performance of duty, he was struck by a street car and died within a few hours.

On December 25, 1888, Hammersley MacMurray was married to Elizabeth Logan Foulk in Butte county, California. She is a daughter of George A. and Nina Herbert (MacDaniel) Foulk, who were California pioneers. To Mr. and Mrs. MacMurray there were born six children. Ganahl MacMurray, the first in order of birth, married Helen Reed, also a descendant of a California pioneer family, and they have two children, Helen Jean and Virginia. Elizabeth MacMurray, second of the line, is the wife of Captain V. A. Kimberly of the United States Navy. By a former marriage, she has a daughter, Nina Rogers. Jesse MacMurray, the third in the family, is a marine engineer by occupation. Fourth is Margaret, who is the wife of the Rev. John A. Collins, now a rector of St. Peter's parish in San Francisco, California, and formerly at Grace Cathedral in this city. They have two children, Jack and Margaret. Fifth is Eugene MacMurray, who served in the World war with the First Army, Artillery Park, and who is the husband of Ruth Allerton and the father of Eugene, Jr., and Barbara. Sixth, and the youngest, is Dorothy MacMurray, who is married to Dr. Charles R. Fancher of Oakland, California. They are the parents of two children, Dorothy Jane and Jessica. Mrs. MacMurray makes her home at 227 Flood avenue in San Francisco.

Hammersley MacMurray was a devout Christian throughout his life, a fact which was reflected in his every activity. He was a member and for many years a vestryman of St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church. His political affiliation was with the republican party, and he belonged to the Woodmen of the World and the Ancient Order of Foresters. The finest traditions of the San Francisco police force are founded on the careers of such men as Mr. MacMurray, who held the highest conception of the duties which were their responsibility. In the history of the department, his name is accorded a place of merited honor and distinction.

From:
The History of San Francisco, California
Lewis Francis Byington, Supervising Editor
Oscar Lewis, Associate Editor
The S. J. Clark Publishing Company
Chicago-San Francisco 1931


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