Biography of William B. Murdoch
Washington County, PA Biographies





WILLIAM B. MURDOCH, who is associated with his brother in a wholesale florist and nursery business at Canonsbnrg, and is engaged in carrying on aa enterprise which was established at Pittsburg, prior to 1840, by his late father, James Murdoch, this being one of the oldest florist and nursery houses in western Pennsylvania. Mr. Murdoch was born in the city of Pittsburg, Pa., July 29, 1871, and is a son of James and Margaret (Blaeakley) Murdoch.

James Murdoch was born in Ireland and was a child when his parents brought him to America, He was reared and spent his life at Pittsburg. In partnership with his brother, William Murdoeh, be founded the business to which his sons, William B. and James B. Murdoch, succeeded. James Murdoch died at Pittsbnrg, January 25, 1893, when aged seventy five years. He married Margaret Bleaklcy, who was born in Lawrence County. Pa., who still survives and resides at Coraopolis, Pa. To James and Margaret Murdocb there were born three sons and two daughters: James B., who resides at Canonsburg, married Sarah Sneathen; Frank C., who resides at Coraopolis Heights, married Anna Patterson, and is now a capitalist there, having formerly been a florist; Margaret, who is deceased; Esther, who is now deceased, was the wife of David K. Murdoch; and William B., subject of this sketch, William B. Murdoch attended the public schools at Pittsburg and then entered the University of Michigan, at Ann Arbor, where he was graduated in the class of 1896. He immediately went into the florist and nursery business, in partnership with his brother and they have developed it into one of the largest enterprises of its kind in this section. The firm was originally only a retail one, dealing mainly in cut flowers, with greenhouses on Squirrel Hill and two stores in Pittsburg, but since coming to Washington County a wholesale business has been done exclusively. In the spring of 1902 they moved the business to Van Eman, where they have four steel frame, modernly constructed greenhouses with dimensions of 30 by 400 feet, together with three smaller structures, this firm and one other being the only florists in western Pennsylvania to utilize the steel frame for their buildings. In addition to the large business done in the line mentioned, the firm is interested in oil production in both Washington and Allegheny counties, while the three brothers have large real estate interests in Pittsburg and own also a farm of sixty acres.

At Sewickley, Pa., Mr. Murdoch was married, September 21, 1899, to Miss Florence S. Murdoch, a daughter of Hugh J. and Rachel (Hutton) Murdoch. The father of Mrs. Murdoch was the publisher of the United Presbyterian for many years, being a member of the wellknown publishing firm at Pittsburg, of Murdoch, Kerr & Company. He died May 20, 1903, at the age of sixtynine years, his wife having passed away January 29, 1898, aged sixty two years. To Hugh J. and Rachel Murdoch the following children were born: James H., who is a physician engaged in practice at Allegheny, Pa.; Hugh, who is a printer, resides at Pittsburg; David K., who is also a printer, lives at Sewickley; J. Floyd, who is a physician, resides at Sewickley; Frank S., who is an electrician, lives at Sewickley; Annie K., who is the wife of J. W. Arrott, Jr.; William E., who is deceased; Susan J., deceased, who was the wife of Dr. S. F. Shannon, formerly of Pittsburg; and Florence S., who is the wife of William B. Murdoch. Mr. and Mrs. Murdoch have one son, William B., Jr. They are members of Greenside United Presbyterian Church.


From:
20th Century History Of The City of
Washington and Washington County Pennsylvania
and Representative Citizens
By: Joseph F. McFarland
Richmond-Arnold Publishing Co.
Chicago, Illinois, 1910

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