THE MURRAY FAMILY
Paul Murray was born in Ireland in 1811. At the age of 18, in 1829, he moved, with his family, to Oxford County, Ontario.
In 1849 Paul married Lucy Bruce. He bought a quarter section of bushland in Zorra, Ontario, there they raised a family of six children, three sons, William (Bill), John and Alexander and three daughters, Mary, Annie and Jane.
The three sons were never married. Mary married Thomas Black, Annie married Christian Isaacson and Jane married James Oman Sutherland
In May 1874, after his children were grown,Paul and his three sons traveled by boat from New York to Panama, then to San Fransisco and eventually to Victoria. They stayed in Victoria a few weeks to buy supplies and then on to New Westminster. They remained in New Westminster for a short period and lived in a shack along the Fraser River.
Then Paul and his sons moved to Langley and stayed with the Morrison family for a few weeks. They decided to make their home a few miles south of Fort Langley in a heavily wooded area on the summit of a hill. Here Paul and his sons felled a mighty fir tree and made a crude shelter. In the “lean to” they made bunk beds.
In this primitive dwelling, Lucy and her three daughters came home. As many of the pioneer women before them, they set out to make the place livable. When they were settled Lucy bought two milk cows and some heifers from the Hudson's Bay Company in Fort Langley. She also bought some chickens and turkeys from the local natives. Truly a Proverb 31 Woman.
The Murray family lived in these primitive quarters for three years while Paul and his sons cleared land and built a house.
Paul's sons, John, Bill and Alexander worked with William Vannetta and Alexander Murchison on improving the Yale wagon trail. (currently Old Yale Road and 48th Avenue.) Paul and his sons also. were involved in construction of other buildings, in order to increase commerce in the area.. Bill Murray built the “Murray House”, which came to be known as The Travelers Hotel.
Alexander died in a rowboat accident on the Fraser River. He tried to save his companion but they both drowned. Alexander is buried at the Murrayville Cemetery.
Two of their married daughters, Mary, )Mrs. Black, married to Thomas Black and Annie, (Mrs. Isaacson, married to Christian Isaacson) homesteaded near their parents and brothers farms.
In figure 1, we see a parcel of land owned by Christian Isaacson, Pauls Murray's son in law in 1884.
Who was Donald Murray who took over the homestead in 1890?
Next to Isaacson's homestead we a parcel of land owned by Paul Murray.
In Figure 2, with "Murray's Corner" as the center, we see the various parcels of land owned by Paul Murray, in 1875 and 1877. Two of these where transfered to William Murray in 1885 and 1902. On the top right of the map, we see an other parcel owned by Paul Murray's son in law, Christian Isaacson.
The corner, were the Hotel was located, eventually became known as “Murray's Corner”.
Paul was one of the first elders ordained in the Presbyterian Church of British Columbia. In the beginning services were held in a small school house on the corner of Glover and Old Yale Road.
Here is the information on the gravestone at the Murrayville cemetery:
On the front: William Murray, 1850-1934, John Murray, 1849-1936(?), Murray,
On the left site: Jane, Sutherland, 1844-1938,
On the right site: Paul Murray, 1811-1903, I Have Fought a Good Fight, I have Finished My Course, I Have Kept the Faith, Lucy Murray, Wife of the Above, 1821-1911, Alexander Murray, 1857-1884, At Rest
In Loving Memory of, Christen Isaacson, 1842-1926, At Rest
In Memory of Alexander Murray who was drowned in the Fraser River Jan 19 1884 aged 26 yrs, 5ms, 25ds
Native of the County of Oxford Ontario Canada
Sutherland, In Loving Memory of, James Oman, 1851-1930, We Shall Meet Again
Murray's Corners did not officially become Murrayville until 1911, when the local post office changed its name to “Murrayville Post Office”
Copyright Jacob Romeyn March 2008