Fonds PR3413 - Murray family fonds

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Murray family fonds

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    • 1892-[197?] (Creation)

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    Physical description

    0.01 m of textual records. -- 40 photographs

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    Biographical history

    The Murray family originally came to the United States from Scotland, settling in Pennsylvania before moving to Victoria County, Ontario.

    Born in Uxbridge, Ontario, John Murray (1864-1920) lived in Corson's Siding, a small railway village about six miles northeast of Victoria Road. The main industry in the area was cutting timber for cordwood, the majority of which was used by the Gooderham and Wort distillery in Toronto. The influx of loggers in the summer lead to high levels of crime and earned the area the nickname of "Hell's Half Acre." Deforestation led to an end of the timber industry in the area in 1890.

    Murray married Ellen Tripp (1865-1950), another resident of Corson's Siding, on September 16, 1889 in Victoria, Ontario. In 1892 he left Ontario for Vancouver, where he remained until 1893, before returning to Corson's Siding. John Murray was granted a homestead in the Leduc area of Alberta, for the NE quarter of Section 32, Township 48, Range 25, West of the 4th Meridian, on Sept. 18, 1899.

    In 1902, John Murray advocated for the creation of a public school district in the area, West Union. The West Union Public School District No. 753 was organized in 1902 and the first school was built in 1904. At least three of the Murray children, Joe, Ethel, and Jenny would attend the school. The Murray children included: Margaret Jane (Scott) (1890-1965), Ethel Gertrude (Paulson) (1894-1939), Joseph Alfred "Joe" (1897-1942), Mary Matilda (Aaserude) (1900-1989), Isabella "Bella" (Rost) (1902-1977), Anne (Durstling, then Nielsen) (1906-1986).

    John Murray died on June 28, 1920 in Leduc. Ellen Murray eventually moved to Edmonton, where she died in 1950.

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    Scope and content

    The fonds consists of black and white photographs of members of the Murray family, their farm, the Leduc area, a logging camp in Entwistle, and a camp in Wildwood; photo postcards, mostly of the Edmonton area, some colour, some black and white, dating c. 1910-1930 some of which contain correspondence sent to Ellen Murray from her daughter Mary in Edmonton, and what may be a promotional postcard booklet; correspondence relating to John Murray's involvement in the creation of the West Union Public School District, No. 753, in 1902; and materials relating to John and Ellen Murray including their marriage certificate, 1889, letters from John to Ellen when he was in Vancouver, 1892-1893, a Dominion Lands Tax Receipt for their homestead in the Leduc area, 1899, a letter to John and Ellen from her [sister] S. Tripp in 1912, a receipt for John's tombstone, 1920, a tax notice for the Leduc property from 1938, and other ephemera.

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    Immediate source of acquisition

    Joan Neilsen-Gittins deposited the materials at the Provincial Archives of Alberta on Nov. 13, 2009. Neilsen-Gittins is the granddaughter of John and Ellen Murray.


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        The material is in English.

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        Access Conditions: None

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        Use Conditions: Permission for use required. Subject to the Copyright Act.

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        File list is available.

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        Further accruals are not expected.

        General note

        The information in the administrative history is sourced from the fonds and from the Canadian Genealogy website:

        <http:> (Accessed March 21, 2011.)</http:>

        General note

        Includes accession PR2010.0136.

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