This large image (previously published on my January 16, 2014 post: Those Places Thursday- WW1 and Citizen Historians) was in with the old photographs of the McMurray family. Although that post was not about the mystery of the photo, we are excited to have finally solved the puzzle of which ancestor may be in the photograph, and how it came to be.
There was nothing on the image to identify it, but we had an ROTC certificate that was in the same group of papers and photos. We thought that it might be Edward A. McMurray in the photo, though it is hard to tell which he is. Edward was an M.D., and would have been the right age to have been in training during World War I. We did later find out that this was taken in Fort Snelling, Minnesota in 1923.
Years ago I contacted SLU Archives to find out more about Dr. McMurray’s medical training, but I got very minimal information back from them. So the find of the St. Louis University (SLU) Yearbook for 1925 online was exciting, since that is when Dr. McMurray completed his training at St. Louis University Medical School. He was listed as a Senior and it mentioned that he participated in ROTC. The online access was so much better than trying to have someone there find information about him for me- I could just page through and look at whatever I wanted in the yearbook. Checking out the ROTC pages, I found,
“They’re seasoned veterans. Didn’t they spend last June and July at Snelling in Minnesota? And didn’t they step it off at thirty a minute doing “Squads north and south” with the best of them from seven A.M. right on up to ten, their only halt being for milk and cakes? Rookies? No indeed. And weren’t they kept at that same gruelling [sic] pace every day in the week except Wednesday and Saturday afternoons and Sundays? Rookies? Say not so. Campaign badges for them.”
Now that we have pictures of Dr. McMurray when he was in his twenties, we can compare them with this photo to try and determine which man is “The Doctor” as he was known by so many. It will be great to be able to just blow up the image on my computer screen, with known images of Dr. McMurray alongside, to try to identify him. Sure beats the old magnifying glass methods of the old days of genealogy research. That is the next step… stay tuned.
I think I will send the image to the SLU Archives as well- maybe they will put it on their website so that other alumni descendants will find it. The St. Louis County Library system is very interested in genealogy so I may also send it to them since they are a great repository for local St. Louis family history.
Notes, Sources, and References:
1) January 16, 2014 post: Those Places Thursday- WW1 and Citizen Historians
2) St. Louis University Yearbook- 1925 found at http://cdm.slu.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/historicpub/id/38823/rec/8.
3) Family photos and papers.
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