Biography - William Murrie

WILLIAM JACKSON MURRIE. One of the progressive and enterprising business men of Johnson county, Illinois, who in spite of discouragements and misfortunes has attained a position of standing in the business world, is William Jackson Murrie, the proprietor of a flourishing general merchandise establishment in the village of Simpson. Mr. Murrie is a native of Johnson county, having been born August 24, 1873, in Simpson township, a son of John J. and Isabel (Benman) Murrie, and grandson of Jackson Murrie, one of the old pioneer settlers of Southern Illinois. John J. Murrie, who is still living on the old family homestead in Simpson township, has been engaged in agricultural pursuits all of his life, and is one of the good, reliable farmers of his section. He and his wife have been the parents of eight children, namely: William J., Charles, Effort, John, Daisy, Fred, Edward and Ritha.

William Jackson Murrie received his education in the district schools of his native vicinity, and his boyhood was spent like that of other farmers' sons, being early reared to habits of industry and integrity, and learning all the details of an agriculturist's life. For some years he spent the summer months in working on the home farm, and after he had completed his education his winters were spent in the timber-lands, but in 1895 he decided to try his fortunes in town, and during that year and the next was the proprietor of a successful livery business in Simpson. He was married in 1896, and for the next two years carried on farming in Simpson township, but at the end of that time returned to the town and for two years conducted a small retail business. He sold out his interests here in 1900 to go to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he thought he would have a better opportunity of showing his abilities in the new country, but after he had established himself there and was beginning to enjoy a reasonable measure of success his store was destroyed by fire and he lost all that he had gained. Returning to Simpson, Mr. Murrie did not allow himself to become discouraged, and with his father's assistance he started in to make another beginning, conducting a store in Simpson until 1904, when he sold out and went to Sikestown, Missouri, where he worked in the Farmers Supply Company store until 1906, then again returning to Simpson. By that time he had accumulated $1,000, and he spent $350 of this for a residence and lot, and with the remainder erected a store building and invested in a stock of merchandise, and since that time his success has been assured. He has one of the largest trades in this section, carries an up-to-date stock worth $3,000, and has built a fine, modern residence. Mr. Murrie's success is the result of his perseverance and hard, faithful work, and as a self-made man who has been the architect of his own fortunes is entitled to the respect and esteem in which he is universally held. He is a popular member of the Modern Woodman of America and the Royal Neighbors, and holds a policy in the Johnson County Mutual Insurance Company of Simpson.

In 1898 Mr. Murrie was married to Miss Barbara Ellen Farris, who was born in 1876, daughter of the late Thomas and Minerva (Smith) Farris, formerly of Grantsburg township, and she died September 20, 1911, leaving one son, Carl, who is eleven years old. Mrs. Murrie was a member of the Royal Neighbors and the Johnson County Mutual Life Insurance Company, and had many friends in this community, where her loss is deeply mourned.

Extracted from 1912 A History of Southern Illinois, volume 2, pages 664-665.

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