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1915 Harrison County Iowa Biographies
Page Thirty Eight

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Murray | Musgrave | Myers | Lehan

Michael MURRAY - It is with pleasure the biographer now undertakes to formulate a brief sketch of the interesting career of Michael Murray, doubtless the oldest living pioneer of the Little Sioux valley. Mr. Murray has long been a resident of this vicinity and having come here when the country was in the very earliest stages of development, he has had the privilege of seeing the vas unclaimed areas become fertile and well-kept farms, with comfortable homes dotted here and there. And almost like magic, on the bosom of the plains, towns have sprung up, crude and small in their beginnings it is true, but they are now flourishing cities with modern improvements and much that enhances the enjoyment of life. So great has been the change from his earliest days here to the present time, that the realization of the wildest fancies of his earliest years would not nearly approach that which has come to pass. And in the general development of the community in which he lives Mr. Murray has played an important part, having long been the leading merchant of his locality and in many ways he has added to the local commercial life.

Michael Murray is a native of Scotland, born on May 4, 1840, the son of Michael and Mary (CRAIG) Murray. The father was a ditcher by trade and there were five children of the family which grew to maturity. All the family finally emigrated to the United States, the first to make the trip being Michael's brother John, who came to this country and located in Little Sioux in 1852. Five years later he sent for the immediate subject of this sketch, the latter arriving in Little Sioux in the fall of 1857. He landed in this country at New York City, making the journey from that point to Iowa City by train, thence to Des Moines by stage. At that point his funds were exhausted as he had paid his last ten dollars for the stage trip to Des Moines. From there he bravely started out to walk the remaining distance to Little Sioux, and finally reached his destination, tired, but triumphant. Then the two brothers labored and saved until finally they had sufficient funds to bring the entire family to the new world, and there was a joyful reunion when all were once more together. Michael and John did many things to earn money during these years, among others carrying the mail and driving the stage, Michael Murray having the distinction of being the first man to drive a stage coach west of the Missouri river.

In 1866 Michael Murray returned to Little Sioux and in partnership with his brother John and J. J. Peck, opened up a general store, under the firm name of J. J. Peck & Co., later being known as Murray Bros. Later on Mr. Peck sold his interest to W. H. Robertson and the firm name was changed to Murray & Robertson. This partnership continued agreeably until the death of Mr. Robertson in 1874 or 1875, when Michael Murray purchased the interest of the Robertson heirs and the store was then known as the M. Murray store. Later on, in 1885, Leonidas H. McWilliams purchased an interest and the firm name was changed to Murray & McWilliams. This arrangement lasted only five years, when Mr. Murray again came into control and the store was conducted under his name until in 1913, when Mrs. E. J. Bonney, a niece of Mr. Murray, purchased an interest and the store has since gone under the firm name of Murray & Bonney. Mrs. Bonney is proving a valuable partner in the business and the store is continuing to thrive in its wonted way. Mrs. Bonney, whose maiden name was Elizabeth Booth, was born on August 13, 1862, in Little Sioux, her father being William Booth, one of the early pioneers of this section. She is the widow of Charles Bonney, whose death occurred in 1896, and she is the mother of four children: Lucy, who is Mrs. Flemming, lives in Onawa; Cecil, (Mrs. Glasser); Ula, (Mrs. Stucker), and Heller all reside in Little Sioux. Mrs. Bonney fell heir to a small fortune and was thus enabled to buy her share in the firm, of which she is a valuable member.

From the time he first engaged in the general merchandise business, Mr. Murray also dealt in grain and hogs. For the first few years he had cribs in Little Sioux, which served his purpose for a time, but in 1886 or 1887 he purchased the elevator at River Sioux owned by T. M. C. Logan and this he owned until 1897, when he sold out to the Updyke Grain Company.

On April 2, 1869, Mr. Murray was united in marriage with Luella ELLIS, who was born in Ripley, Ohio, on May 2, 1846. She was the daughter of John and Hannah (MARTIN) Ellis, who brought her to this county when she was nine years old. To Michael and Luella (Ellis) Murray have been born seven children, five of whom are living. Agnes is the wife of Dr. Frank E. Boyd and resides at Colfax, Iowa. They are the parents of three children, Marjorie, Virginia and Frank. Lillian lives in Council Bluffs, where she is employed as a bookkeeper. Ada remains with her parents and assists in the store. John A married Adaline Barnhart and resides at Logan. They have one child, Michael. Thomas also remains at home and is manager of the B. and E. Confectionery store. Mary and James are the two of the family who have passed into the life beyond. James left a widow, who was Nettie Reeves, and one child, Margarette.

Mr. Murray is a stanch supporter of the Republican party, and has held numerous minor offices. He was county supervisor for one term and has been school director, in addition to filling other stations of public trust and responsibility. Mr. Murray holds his religious membership in the Catholic church, of which he and his family are all communicants. At one time Mr. Murray was a large land owner, having twelve hundred acres located in Sioux and Morgan townships and �Murray Hill� and �Murray Road� are both named in honor of him.

Throughout the many years of his life here, Mr. Murray has been one of the leading men in every phase of community life and the universal respect in which he is held, as well as his great circle of admiring friends, testifies as to what manner of man he truly is.

Source: 1915 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 528, 529, 530
Family Researcher: NA
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George MUSGRAVE - This name long has been associated with the local newspapers of Harrison and adjoining counties. At one time or another he was editor and usually owner of the following journals: Republican at Magnolia, Western Star at Logan, Reporter at Dunlap, Woodbine Twiner, Logan Courier, Logan Observer, The Nucleus at Logan, Herald at Tekamah, Nebraska, and a paper at Manning, Iowa, with possibly others, for he was known as the �starter� in the journalistic field, and not without success either in most of his ventures.

George Musgrave was a native of England and had been associated with newspapers in western Iowa ever since 1851, two years prior to the organization of Harrison county. The date of his birth in Westmorland, England, was 1838, he being one in a family of seven children. He came to America with the family in 1847, locating at St. Louis, his father being a machinist. Four years later they moved to Harrison county, Iowa, and settled where now stands the town of Woodbine, where the parents spent the remainder of their lives. Mr. Musgrave first worked on The Harrison County Republican as a printer at Magnolia. Later he launched, or purchased, or leased all of the above mentioned newspapers. In 1863, he was appointed sheriff by the supervisors to fill a vacancy. He was an honored member of the Odd Fellow order at Logan. He married in Magnolia, in 1861, Amanda HETHERINGTON, to which union six children were born, Edgar W., Marie L., Maggie May, George R., Maude A. and Aggie J.

George Musgrave was a thoroughgoing newspaper man and a writer of ability, forcible and keen. Politically, he was here and there and everywhere. He died several years ago while conducting a paper in an adjoining county.

Source: 1915 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 659, 660
Family Researcher: NA
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Carlos U. MYERS - One of the substantial farmers of Taylor township, Harrison county, Iowa, is Carlos U. Myers, who was born and reared in this county. While he has been engaged in general farming and stock raising since the spring of 1912 he was previously engaged in business for several years, at Modale and Missouri Valley, Iowa. He finally decided that he would rather engage in general farming and stock raising and the success which has attended his efforts thus far on the farm indicates that he has made no mistake. He is highly esteemed in the community where he makes his home and is universally regarded as one of the best and most enterprising agriculturists.

Carlos U. Myers, the son of Freeley W. and Marguerite (GARNER) Myers, was born September 11, 1872, in Taylor township, Harrison county, Iowa. His parents were natives of Adams county, Pennsylvania, and Pottawattamie county, Iowa, respectively. The sketch of Stephen A. Myers, found elsewhere in this volume, gives the early history of the Myers family.

Carlos U. Myers received a good education in the schools of Taylor township and continued to reside at home until he reached his majority. He then rented land for eleven years, after which he decided to engage in business, and bought a store at Modale and continued there in business for three years. He then sold his store and went on the road as a salesman for the John Deere and International Harvester companies, remaining with them for two years. He then traded some land in Missouri which he owned for a clothing store in Modale, Iowa, but shortly afterward removed his stock to Missouri Valley and added to it a line of general merchandise. He remained in business in Missouri Valley for two years, and in March, 1912, decided to again engage in farming in this county. He already owned a fine farm in Taylor township and on this he moved in the spring of 1912 in order to devote himself to agricultural pursuits. He makes a specialty of registered Hampshire hogs and feeds about two car loads of them and at least two car loads of cattle annually for the market. He has one of the few herds of Hampshire hogs in the county and may well be called a leader in the raising of this particular breed.

Mr. Myers was married on September 11, 1893, to Lola COULTHARD. She died, April 15, 1900, leaving two children, Lolla and Lalla. The elder child was accidentally shot and killed when she was six years old. Mr. Myers was again married on January 8, 1902, to Eva DIXON, of Garner, Idaho, the ceremony taking place at Logan, Utah, and to this union have been born eight children, Cora, Vera, Carlos, Jr., Theodora, Leota, Henry Upton and two who died in infancy.

Mr. Myers is a Republican in politics, but while taking an active part in good government, has never been a candidate for public office. His wife is a member of the Mormon church of Utah. Fraternally, Mr. Myers is a member of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons. He has traveled extensively over the western part of the United States and has many interesting experiences to tell of the places he has seen. He is well informed on the current issues of the day and is a very entertaining conversationalist. Owing to his genial manner and kingly disposition he has a host of friends who admire him for his many good qualities of head and heart.

Source: 1915 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 813, 814
Family Researcher: NA
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Edward and Thomas LEHAN. - The attention of the reader is now directed to a short sketch of the careers of Edward and Thomas LEHAN, father and son, respectively, who for many years have, in a most efficient manner, been caring for the drug business of this section. The Rexall Store is an up-to-date and attractive store, which would do credit to a much larger city than the town in which it is located. Both father and son have the gift of a genial and kindly disposition, which is so essential to the success of any business dependent upon public approval and patronage.

Edward LEHAN was born in County Cork, Ireland, on June 18, 1847, being a son of Jerry and Elizabeth LEHAN, both of whom were natives of the Emerald Isle. They emigrated to this country in 1863 and located at Salem, Massachusetts, where he passed the remainder of his life. The mother had died in her native land prior to the time Edward and his father came to this country. Edward LEHAN stayed for a timem with his father in Salem, Massachusetts, and later came to this state, locating at Cedar Rapids, where for a number of years he was an engineer on the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad. He decided to quit the railroad and settle down to a business, deciding upon Dunlap as the field for his future endeavors. This was in 1865 and his first venture was in the grocery business, which he soon gave up and for the next three or four years engaged in the retail liquor trade. That branch of the retail trade did not suit him, and he entered the retail drug field, where he remained for about 15 years, or until his retirement from the active duties of life in 1902. He continues to make his home in Dunlap, where he is known to a wide circle of friends and acquaintances.

In May 1867, Edward LEHAN was united in marriage to Margaret McDONALD, daughter of Owen and Mary McDONALD, both natives of Ireland, who had emigrated to this country when Edward's wife was a small child. They located at council Bluffs, and it was at that point Mr. Lehan met and married her. To them was born an interesting family of whom Jeremiah, the oldest, Edward, and Alice the youngest of the family, are deceased. The others are: Mary, wife of E. E. SULLIVAN of Panama, Iowa; J. W., a physician practicing his profession at Greeley, Colorado; Katherine, wife of M. J. O'CONNELL of Boone, this state; Nellie, Bessie and John remaining under the parental roof and Thomas, a short sketch of whose career follows hereafter. Both father and son are active in Democratic Circles, and both have been for some time members of the city council of Dunlap. Edward LEHAN and family are communicants of the Roman Catholic Church.

Thomas LEHAN is a native son of Dunlap, born in this city on May 19, 1880. He received his elementary education in the common schools of his native town, later attending Highland Park College at Des Moines for two years, where he took his training in pharmacy, fitting himself for a trained assistant to his father. After returning to Dunlap, he took charge of the business and, upon the father's retirement, he and his brother, J. W., succeeded to the business. Thomas purchased the interest of his brother in 1909 and has since operated the business alone.

Thomas LEHAN chose as his wife Bessie BARSBY, daughter of Albert and Marcella (Putnam) BARSBY, to whom he was united in marriage on September 15, 1909. The Barsbys were natives of Michigan and were early settlers in this county, where the mother still lives. The father, who was a veteran of the Civil War, is deceased. To Thomas LEHAN and wife have been born two children, John and Paul. Mr. Lehan holds his fraternal affiliation with the Knights of Columbus and has served the local organization as financial secretary for some time, being the present incumbent of that office. Mr. Lehan is numbered among the representative citizens of Dunlap, giving his support to all movements for the advancement of his fellow citizens.

Source: 1915 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 943-45
Family Researcher: NA
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