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Dictionary of Miramichi Biography

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MURRAY, ROBERT (1853-1926)

MURRAY, ROBERT, lawyer, police magistrate, and MLA; b. Chatham, 17 Jul 1853, s/o Robert Murray Sr and Jane Wright; m. 1889, Jane Simpson, sister of William A. Simpson; d. Chatham, 8 Jul 1926.

Robert Murray's mother came to Chatham with her parents in 1824 from Belfast, Ireland. His father, a native of Annan, Scotland, came to the Miramichi in 1838 by way of Pictou, N.S., and became a millwright and farmer in Chatham.

Murray was educated at the Presbyterian Academy and entered the study of law with Andrew M. Johnson in 1878. He was called to the bar in 1883 and opened an office in Chatham. In 1886 he was appointed a referee in equity.

Murray was police magistrate for Chatham from 1887 to 1891, when he resigned. He sat on the County Council for two years and was major and quartermaster of the 73rd Battalion of militia. He was a founding director of the Miramichi Exhibition Association in 1902. In 1909 he was a director of Hotel Touraine Ltd, which bought the hotel built in Chatham the previous year by Peter Archer. Later he was a director of the Miramichi Steam Navigation Co. and of the Miramichi Black Fox Co., of which Dr Bliss A. Marven was president. He was president of the Highland Society in 1919. He was a Mason and a Forester and sang in the choir of St Andrew's Presbyterian Church.

In 1905 Murray was returned by acclamation under Liberal colors to fill the seat in the Legislative Assembly vacated by William S. Loggie. When he went down to defeat in the election of 1908 he withdrew from political life for a time, but in 1917 he again won a seat and was appointed provincial secretary treasurer in the administration of Premier Walter E. Foster. He retained the portfolio until 1920, when he was defeated again at the polls and retired from politics.

Murray's letterhead in 1921 read: "Robert Murray, K.C. | Barrister-at-Law | Notary | Solicitor to Bank of Montreal | Insurance Agent | Lloyds' Agent." He was later in partnership with his son-in-law Herman S. Murray. He was survived in 1926 by his wife, Jane Simpson, a son, and two daughters, including Vera A. Murray, the wife of Herman S. Murray.

Sources

[b] church records [m] World 12 Jun 1889 [d] Advocate 13 Jul 1926 / Advance 26 Jun 1902; Advocate 2 Sep 1891, 1 Mar 1905; Baxter biog. data (letterhead); Biog. Review NB; Graves; Hist. Highland Soc.; Leader 3 Oct 1913, 20 Jun 1995; World 19 Mar 1887, 6 Nov 1909, 25 Jun 1913


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