Biography of Dr. Byron J. Murray

D-Descriptive guide of the battlefield of Saratoga



BYRON J. MURRAY, M. D., was born in Luzerne, Warren county, N. Y., February 27, 1850, a son of Dr. George and Angeline (Canfield) Murray. The family is of Scotch origin and representatives lived in Edinburgh for many generations. About the year 1700 Samuel Murray, wife, and two sons, moved to Yorkshire, England, where they resided until 1740, during which period two sons were born, Jasper Drake and Joseph.

Jasper Drake Murray, great-grandfather of Dr. B. J. Murray, subject of this sketch, was born in Yorkshire, England, January 10, 1736, and died December 15, 1826. His father died in 1750 when Jasper Drake Murray was fourteen years of age. Jasper Drake Murray's mother bound him to her brother-in -law Joseph Murray, who had no children, but owing to abuse and maltreatment from his aunt he gathered all his possessions (consisting of one extra shirt tied in a red handkerchief) and ran away to enlist in the English navy. After serving five years he was honorably discharged and at once emigrated to America, settling in Litchfield, Mass. During the French and Indian war he enlisted as a private, but soon gained the rank of captain and served with distinction and honor. He participated in the severe conflict at Bloody Pond in Warren county, N. Y., at the time Major William Williams was killed on or near the spot where the latter's memorial monument now stands. At the close of the war he returned to Litchfield, Mass., where he married Sybil Lewis. Three Sons were born of this union, George (grandfather of Dr. Murray), Philemon and Aaron, also three daughters. When the war for Independence began, Jasper Drake Murray re-enlisted in the American army, serving faithfully until peace was restored. The government granted him a large tract of land near Danbury, Conn., where remained from 1783 to 1798 and then removed to Luzerne, Warren county, N. Y.

His son George married Sophia Pitcher, daughter of Jonathan Pitcher, an officer in the English. army who fought against the Americans all through the Revolution. They lived first at Danbury, Conn., but later removed to Glens Falls in the township of Queensbury, Warren county, N. Y. Eight children were born of this union, of whom George Murray, jr., father of Byron J. Murray, was one.

George Murray, jr., was educated for the medical profession at Castleton Academy, Vt., and practiced many years in Lnzerne, winning the confidence of his patients, and the respect of his fellow men. He died May 22, 1863, in the fifty-first year of his age. He married Angeline Canfield, daughter of Sacket and Sarah (Smith) Canfield. The Canfields trace their genealogy more than five hundred and fifty years. They were of Calvanistic French origin (Huguenots). Angeline (Canfield) Murray was born in Luzerne, April 30, 1815, and died December 20, 1893, aged seventy-eight years.

The subject of this sketch was educated largely by his own efforts, having early discovered that a good education is the foundation and fundamental principle of success. To this end he applied a strong physique coupled with energy and pluck, working hard during the summer months to obtain funds sufficient to enable him to attend school in winter. During his sixteenth year he removed to Hamilton, Michigan, where he soon after became a half owner in a thriving drug store, his partner being Dr. Charles H. Kimber, a skilled physician, with whom he soon began reading medicine. At the age of twenty he sold his interest in the drug business and entered the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, taking first a literary and then the medical course. He received the degree M. D. March 29, 1876, and began practice at La Grange, Ind., where he remained less than a year and thence removed to Wiltonville, Saratoga county, where he remained in successful practice nearly a decade. In 1886 he removed to New York àity where for one year he combined the practice of his profession with study at Columbia College and in numerous hospitals.

He began his practice in Saratoga Springs in 1887. Dr. Murray has gained an enviable reputation as a physician and surgeon and is a frequent contributor to medical journals. In politics he has been a Republican but with the exception of a service of two years as a supervisor from the town of Wilton (1881-1883) he has never held public office. Fraternally he is a Past Grand member of Hathorne Lodge No. 241, I. O. O. F.

Of Dr. Murray's family, only one brother, four years his senior, survives; Dr. George Sackett Murray, a practicing physician of this county. Dr. Murray married, January 14, 1874, Ida V. Stowe, daughter of William R. Stowe of Batavia, N. Y., and granddaughter of Samuel Stowe, member of an old Puritan family and a noted patriot in the war of 1812 in which he won honor and promotion for distinguished bravery. Only one child was born of this union, Stowe Leon, now deceased. Dr. and Mrs. Murray are associated with the First Presbyterian church of Saratoga Springs and are largely interested in charitable work.

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