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Sunday’s Obituary: Frederick Asbury McMurray

Frederick Asbury McMurray, circa 1890?
Frederick Asbury McMurray, circa 1890?

McMurray Family (Click for Family Tree)

This obituary was posted on Iowa GenWeb by the late Donna Sloan Rempp. Her family was kind enough to give us permission to post it on the blog.

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Well known Auctioneer Dies From Stroke Thursday

Funeral services were held Sunday afternoon for Frederick A. McMurray, well known Jasper county auctioneer and one of the leading Democrats of the county, who died last Thursday evening at his home in Newton at 7:15, following a stroke of paralysis, which he received the previous Sunday afternoon as he was returning from the funeral of a friend, Mrs. C. L. Good.

Frederick A. McMurray was born Aug. 28, 1859 in Bedford county, Penn., son of Henderson and Mary Ann (Horn) McMurray, the third child in a family of 12 children. At the age of two years he came west with his parents and three children crossing the Mississippi river at Muscatine. The family settled on a farm south of Tipton in Cedar county, where they remained until 1869.

The McMurray family then moved on west again, this time settling in Jasper county on a farm about two and one half miles north west of Newton. Fred McMurray here continued his education, which was started while he was living in Cedar county, finishing at the age of 18 years and starting out for himself.

At first he spent his time breaking the raw prairies of the rich corn belt through Jasper county, later in 1872 taking up grading work in the Rock Island right of way between Newton and Reasnor.

He purchased his first piece of real estate in 1874, when he negotiated for an 80 acre tract of land about three miles northeast of Newton on old No. 14, which he owned at the time of his death. He lived on this farm until 1922, farming for himself, putting on many improvements.

In addition to being one of the leading auctioneers of his time, Mr. McMurray was connected with the Jasper County Agricultural Society for many years as marshal, and even in the last years he was considered as an advisory part of the governing organization.

Mr. McMurray is survived by his wife, and eight brothers and sisters: Joseph of Fort Madison; Mary, Mrs. Ella Aillaud, and Henry of Newton; Mrs. Sam Raugh of Exeter, Calif.; James T. of Rodondo Beach, Calif.; David of Valley Junction; and Mrs. Margaret Maytag of Marshalltown. One brother John and two sisters Mrs. Newt Edge and Emma, preceded him in death.

He is also survived by one daughter, Mrs. Forrest Gillespie of Oak Park, Ill., and four sons, William, Harry J., Roy and Ray of Newton; three grandchildren, Dr. E. A., Mrs. Maude Cook, and Herbert of Newton; and two great grandchildren, Edward A. Jr., and Mona Lynette Cook of Newton.

Source: Newspaper Unknown; __ December 1929 (Newton Union records say he d. 12 December 1929)

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Fred’s wife was Hannah Melissa (Benjamin) McMurray, but she was not actually named in his obituary.

Family records do state his death was 12 December 1929; his headstone lists only his birth and death years.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. IA US GenWeb– http://iagenweb.org/jasper/

 

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Original content copyright 2013-2016 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted. 
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Tombstone Tuesday: Frederick P. Horn and Hepzibah (Clarke) Horn

Tombstone of Frederick P. Horn in Sandhill Cemetery, Cedar County, Iowa, after strong winds blew through the cemetery in March, 2016.
Tombstone of Frederick P. Horn in Sandhill Cemetery, Cedar County, Iowa, after strong winds blew through the cemetery in March, 2016.

McMurray Family, Horn Family (Click for Family Tree, and see Notes below.)

Sandhill Cemetery is a “Pioneer Cemetery” in Cedar County, Iowa, a place to which our family migrated in the 1850s. Pioneer Cemeteries are often neglected as farm families moved, and they become overgrown and the stones deteriorate even faster than they would normally since they are not cleaned. There is no “perpetual care” in a pioneer cemetery as there is in urban cemeteries, and they are often a place of vandalism, being away from scrutiny out in the country. So it is important that we help to maintain the final resting places of the ancestors who came before us- after all, we carry their genetic material that helps make us who we are!

So often today families live far from the gravesite of ancestors, and care of the cemetery falls to local historical or genealogical societies, or Scout troops who go in and clean up a cemetery for a service project or even an Eagle or Gold Project.

Tombstone of Hepzibah (Clark) Horn in Sandhill Cemetery, Cedar County, Iowa, after strong winds blew through the cemetery in March, 2016.
Tombstone of Hepzibah (Clark) Horn in Sandhill Cemetery, Cedar County, Iowa, after strong winds blew through the cemetery in March, 2016. Note the hole/chipped base of the third pedestal- it is surprising that this stone did not fall over.

Cedar County, Iowa, has a Pioneer Cemetery Committee that is working to restore Sandhill Cemetery and others to what they respectfully should be. Sandhill had three very large evergreens in the center of the cemetery that were getting too old and needed to be removed. These trees and others have been removed so they cannot fall on headstones (or living people in the cemetery!), and the grounds are being weeded and cleaned up. Also, there are many stones like those of Frederick, AKA “F.P.,” and Hepzibah, that need attention- in fact, there are 10 Horn family members buried in Sandhill, and some of their stones need repair as well.  Some funds are provided by the county, but most of what is done is volunteer and through donations.

Headstone of Frederick P. Horn in Sandhill Cemetery, near Tipton, Cedar Co., Iowa, prior to restoration.
Headstone of Frederick P. Horn in Sandhill Cemetery, near Tipton, Cedar Co., Iowa, prior to restoration about 2007.

The Pioneer Cemetery Committee is trying to prioritize their expenditures to the headstones that need the most help right now.

Tombstone of Frederick P. Horn in Sandhill Cemetery, Cedar County, Iowa, in August of 2015. Note deterioration of stone.
Tombstone of Frederick P. Horn in Sandhill Cemetery, Cedar County, Iowa, in August of 2015. Note deterioration of stone.

Currently, for 3 of our Horn family stones- Hepzibah’s, F. P.’s, and a stone for “Henry” which is next to Hepzibah’s (he may be their son)- the Committee has found a gentleman who will repair them all for $400-425 and will clean them. He will also put new 4′ foundations under them, to help preserve them (hopefully) for another 100+ years. (Hepzibah died in 1882, Henry in 1885, and F.P. in 1887.)

Headstone of Hepzibah (Clark) Horn in sandhill Cemetery, near Tipton, Cedar Co., Iowa, prior to restoration, about 2007.
Headstone of Hepzibah (Clark) Horn in sandhill Cemetery, near Tipton, Cedar Co., Iowa, prior to restoration, about 2007, with inscription chalked.

It would be very helpful for our family to donate to the group as they care for the memorials to our ancestors, since the county does not provide enough to totally restore this cemetery.

Tombstone of Hepzibah (Clark) Horn in Sandhill Cemetery, Cedar County, Iowa, in September of 2015 after some restoration.
Tombstone of Hepzibah (Clark) Horn in Sandhill Cemetery, Cedar County, Iowa, in September of 2015 after some restoration.

All donations are tax-deductible, and checks can be sent to:

Cedar County Pioneer Cemetery Commission

c/o Cedar County Historical Museum

Attention: Sandy Harmel

1094 Hwy 38

Tipton, IA 52772

Thank you for honoring the memory of our ancestors!

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. How are the McMurrays related to the Horn family?  

    Edw. A., Maude Lynette “Midge”, and Herbert C. McMurray =>
    William Elmer McMurray =>Frederick Asbury McMurray =>
    Henderson McMURRAY + Mary Ann HORN (married 1845) [daughter of Frederick P. Horn and Hepzibah (Clark) Horn]

  2. See our previous post, “Headstones of Frederick P. Horn and Hepzibah (Clark) Horn- Sandhill Cemetery, Cedar Co., Iowa” at http://heritageramblings.net/2013/11/16/headstones-of-frederick-p-horn-and-hepzibah-clark-horn-sandhill-cemetery-cedar-co-iowa/
  3. Daisy Wingert has taken the wonderful pictures for Find A Grave for the Horn family, given us permission to use them, and has communicated with us about the need for headstone repair. Daisy has also done some searching in local records to help us learn more about F.P. and Hepzibah- more to come on them later. Thanks, Daisy, who isn’t even related to us!!
  4. The images from ~2007 were paid for by the author so many years ago, and permission given to use.
  5. Please contact us through the blog if you have questions about donating, and we will forward them on to Daisy or Sandy.

 

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We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post (see form below), and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.
 

Original content copyright 2013-2016 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted. 
Descendants and researchers MAY download images and posts to share with their families, and use the information on their family trees or in family history books with a small number of reprints. Please make sure to credit and cite the information properly.
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Workday Wednesday continued on Thursday: Tilling the Soil, Part 2

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Workday Wednesday: Tilling the Soil
Edward A. McMurray and his mother, Edith Roberts Luck surveying their family farm, circa 1980.
Edward A. McMurray and his mother, Edith Roberts Luck surveying the corn field on their family farm, circa 1980.

Here are just a few of our farming and gardening ancestors that I was thinking of as I worked with the soil and plants on the land we own, and that we can pass on to our descendants, just like our ancestors did:

Frederick Asbury McMurray, circa 1890?
Frederick Asbury McMurray, circa 1890?

Frederick Asbury “F.A.” McMurray (1850-1929) worked on the family farm as a child, with his occupation listed as “works on farm” on the 1870 US Federal Census when he was 19; he was living in the household of his parents, Henderson McMurray and Mary Ann Horn McMurray. Of their 11 children, the boys apparently stayed in school until 14 or 15, though they probably took time off – or school was closed- for planting and harvest. The four oldest boys worked on the farm full-time, and the family boarded a 20 yr old woman who also helped with the housework- a lot of hungry mouths to feed after that hard farm labor, and a lot of dirty laundry.

F. A. married and in 1880 was listed as a farmer in the census. He became an auctioneer about 1880; he cried over 128 sales in 1902 (‘cried’ is a term for what an auctioneer does as he offers lots for sale), with the very large average of $2,100 per sale making him an auctioneer in demand- he was very good at getting the prices up for his sellers. (Since he probably took a percentage of the sales, there was good incentive to describe the goods in an enticing way, then encourage more bidders to make a higher offer.) By the 1885 Iowa State Census F. A. was listed as having a Second Hand Store- a good spin-off for an auctioneer, and a lot less physical work than being a farmer. (McMurray Family Ancestor– click for family tree)

Gerard William Helbling in his garden, August 1934. Family photo album.
Gerard William Helbling in his garden, August 1934. Family photo album.

Gerard William Helbling loved roses, and had a flower garden he loved. (He never seemed the sort…) He grew some veggies, such as tomatoes, too. (Helbling Family Ancestor– click for family tree.)

The garden of Gerard William Helbling, August 1934. Family photo album.
The garden and family dog of Gerard William Helbling, August 1934. Family photo album.

William “Bill” Aiken supposedly had a pecan farm in Tylertown, Walthall County, Mississippi in the 1930s. (Lee Family Ancestor– click for family tree.)

Samuel T. Beerbower showed livestock at the county fair, so likely grew some of his own hay for grazing. (Helbling/Beerbower Family Ancestor– click for family tree.)

Samuel T. Beerbower- County Fair Winner. 03 Oct 1879
Samuel T. Beerbower- County Fair Winner. 03 Oct 1879, The Marion Daily Star, Vol. II, No. 305, (Whle No. 615), Page 4. Posted with permission.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

1) Frederick A. McMurray, auctioneer article from the Daily Herald, Newton, Iowa, 01 Jan 1903, page 9.

2) Samuel T. Beerbower article as cited above.

3) Family treasure chest of photos.

 

 

 

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We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post (see form below), and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.
 

Original content copyright 2013-2015 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted.
 
Descendants and researchers MAY download images and posts to share with their families, and use the information on their family trees or in family history books with a small number of reprints. Please make sure to credit and cite the information properly.
 
Please contact us if you have any questions about copyright of our blog material.

Mystery Monday- The McMurrays in America

Henderson McMurray- Family Tree
Henderson McMurray- Family Tree (Click to enlarge)

One hot, muggy, August visit to Newton, Iowa, included the moment I found my passion for genealogy. It was in the late 1960s, and my grandmother drove me and my tag-along younger sister all over the county in her old, immaculate black Dodge to visit family and learn our family history. Distant cousins and elderly aunts pulled out shoeboxes, family bibles, etc., for us to see the obituaries, letters, and other treasures that had been passed down from generation to generation. The family we visited knew so much family history, but as a young teen,  I knew so little of how to record it well. I had read one very old genealogy how-to book found at our local library, but did not know about citing sources or provenance. However, I did see these items with my own young eyes, and my sister and I copied many pieces by hand, using notebook paper and a purple Flair pen- the latest cool writing instrument and one of the first felt-tip pens, I believe. I was enraptured with the stories the family told- I loved the “Little House on the Prairie” books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, so this was heaven, to know my own family traveled in wagon trains across the prairie and ploughed the fertile soils of Iowa, Illinois, and Pennsylvania. There were no copies or scanners in Newton, Iowa at that time, so it was laborious to copy all, but I am so glad that I have these items, as some, like the following, might be gone forever, if we had not copied them.

Part of a letter from Aunt Ibe Raugh to Aunt Mary McMurray:

“… I am also enclosing in same package two old silver spoons and a breast pin that Huldah wanted us to have as there are four of us. Now I have seen them, I am sending them to you three girls.

They were brought from England by Mary Proctor when she came to the states with her father, General Proctor, at the close of the war. This was father’s mother. The pin had been a clasp to a neck chain but was fitted with a pin and had been used as such for about one hundred years. When Mary died she gave the pin to her daughter Sarah, Huldah’s mother, who took care of her during her last sickness.

The spoons were also handed down at the same time.

Huldah also states that James McMurray, father of William McMurray, father of Henderson McMurray, came to America in 1779.

Well girls, I have had these things for some time but I thought perhaps some of you would come out and I could give them to you all. Huldah did not know how old they really are but we know they were keepsakes one hundred years before the close of the War of England.”

We met a lot of relatives but at the time I couldn’t place them all into a family tree until I learned more about that. I am not sure which war was “the War of England” nor what the spoons or pin looked like; I believe all I saw was the letter or a copy of it.

I wish I had taken notes as our relatives spoke of their parents and grandparents- what wonderful stories they were! I was busy copying as they spoke, as many were very elderly and would be too tired if we stayed too long.

‘Aunt Ibe’ (sometimes called “Iba”) is Hepzibah Jeanetta McMurray (1865-1954) who married Samuel S. Raugh (b. 1860) and they lived in Orange, California in 1906 and also in Exeter California. ‘Aunt Mary’ is Mary McMurray (1856 – 1956) who never married and lived in Newton, Jasper Co., Iowa in 1906 and probably most of her adult life; she lived to be over 100 years old. They are just two of the thirteen children of Henderson McMurray and Mary Ann Horn.

‘Huldah’ is a cousin to the McMurray girls, as she was the daughter of Sarah McMurray _____, (married name unknown) who was Henderson McMurray’s sister. (Both were children of James McMurray & Mary Proctor.) There was another sister, who became “Mrs. C.C. Meyers of Waverly, Iowa” who is mentioned in Henderson McMurray’s 1906 obit- this is probably Minnie, born about 1820, as there is a “FC” and “Minnie Meyers” listed in the 1905 Iowa State Census in Waverly. The letter was probably written after 1940 and before 1954, as one of the 5 sisters who lived to adulthood died in 1940, and Ibe died in 1954, so there were just the “four of us” still living during that time span.

 

What mysteries do I hope to solve about this letter? I would like to know who Sarah McMurray married, and thus what Huldah’s maiden name was, plus who Huldah married. I only have one census- 1850- for William McMurray and his wife Mary Proctor McMurray. I have been unable to find any information about “General Proctor” or James McMurray- there are SO many McMurrays in Pennsylvania during that time period and it is challenging to separate them to know which is our ancestor.

 

I would also love to know what the pin and spoons look like- I do hope that someone in the family still has them and knows the story that goes along with them. They are a wonderful legacy.

 

Notes, Sources, and References:

1) Hand copied section of letter owned by author.

 

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Copyright 2013-2014 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

 
We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post, and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.