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Dictionary of Miramichi Biography

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MURDOCH, ROBERT A. (1858-1922)

MURDOCH, ROBERT A., dry-goods merchant and lumber broker; mayor of Chatham, 1903-05; b. Lower Napan, 12 Jun 1858 (bap. 11 Jul 1858), s/o Alexander Murdoch and Susanna Bergin; brother of Edward S. Murdoch; m. 1882, Mary Allen, d/o Capt. James Uniack Allen and Elizabeth McDonald; d. Chatham, 29 Jan 1922.

After attending St Michael's male academy Robert A. Murdoch worked in a dry-goods store in Moncton, and for three years in William Muray's store in Chatham. In 1881 he took a job as a travelling salesman in dry-goods, based in Quebec City, and he continued to work as a traveller for about twelve years. In 1893 he opened his own men's wear store in Chatham, in which he was employing five clerks in 1901. In 1905 this business was taken over by the Miramichi Mercantile Co., the principals of which were himself and three men from "a neighboring city." He sold out to Harry Rich in 1909 and was later employed as a lumber broker. During the last years of his life he was deputy sheriff of Northumberland County.

Murdoch was a member of the first Chatham Town Council and was later elected mayor for two years. He served a term as president of the Chatham Board of Trade and was active in Conservative party politics. In 1903 he was a member of the board of management for the construction of St Michael's Cathedral. When the Miramichi council of the Knights of Columbus was chartered in 1907 he was installed as the first grand knight. He and his wife, Mary Allen, who was born in Fleetwood, England, while her parents were at sea, had five children, three of whom found religious vocations: Father Benedict J. Murdoch, Frances Murdoch (Sister Allen) and Dorothy Murdoch (Sister Rogers of the Religious Hospitallers of St Joseph).

Sources

[b] census [m] official records [d] Leader 3 Feb 1922 / Advance 2 Jun 1881, 27 Apr 1893, 1 Jan 1903; Advocate 31 Jan 1922; Biog. Review NB; Commercial 19 Sep 1905; Fraser (C); Leader 27 Aug 1909, 4 Oct 1994; MacMillan; tombstones (Allen and Murdoch); World 1 Jul 1905


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