Iowa Legislature Records: <<1>> <<2>>

At his residence in this city, Wednesday morning, May the 7th, 1890, the Hon. Benjamin Franklin Murray passed quietly from earth.

Mr. Murray was born in Ohio, August 20, 1838, and he was nearly fifty-two years of age at his death.  With his father’s family he came to Winterset about the year 1854.  He was a scholar in the Winterset schools until about 1859 when for one year he was a student in the Mt. Pleasant University.  In May 1861 he enlisted in the army and was one of the first, if not the first, to volunteer from Madison County.  He became enlisted in the 3rd Iowa Infantry, going to Indianola for that purpose.  He was in the ranks nearly two years when his health compelled him to quit the service.  He then commenced to study law, in due time was admitted to the bar.  He was a member of the firm of McPherson & Murray; afterwards practiced by himself, and then a member of the law firm of Ruby & Murray.  He was married in November 1864 to Miss Caroline Holiday.  They had five children; four of them and the devoted wife survive him.  While yet young in years the people of Madison County honored him with the office of representative in the Iowa legislature.  After one term in the house he was elected state senator from the district of which Madison County was a part.  In 1876 his great calamity came upon him and June 26, 1876, he was sent to the Hospital for the Insane at Mt. Pleasant, where he remained except for one or two visits home, until last January, when he was transferred to Glenwood.  His disease never took a violent form, but from the first he was regarded as incurable, but by advice of many……. (cuts off)

A few weeks ago it became evident he was approaching his end, and Mrs. Murray had him brought home last Saturday, May 31.  The journey, made on a cot, wearied him greatly, but he was pleased to be back with his family whom he could recognize, as he did many of his old friends.  No one thought his end was so near and to the surprise of all it came as stated Wednesday morning.

He was buried Thursday afternoon.  The Masons conducted the funeral, and a large number of sympathizing friends attended the last sad rites.

Frank, as we all called him, was an unusually promising boy, and early in life became a leader of men.  He had hosts of friends who stood by him from first to last.  He made an enviable record as a legislator and was prominent and influential.  When the dark shadow came upon him he was more generally known over the state than any citizen of Madison county, and higher political eminence was before him but for the calamity that ended all, and but for that there can scarcely be a doubt but that the commonwealth would long ago have called him to its highest political station.  His prospects for the future were the brightest.  He was a born politician and had the magnetism that enrolled numbers as his followers and friends.  He was emphatically an American boy and a self-made man.  He had no influential relatives to aid him, and he climbed the ladder by his own merit and exertions.

But the closing scene has come to him, as it will to all of us.  We have consigned him to the last resting place for mortals, but many and many a day will come and go before the memory of Frank Murray will fade away.  May his rest…. (cuts off)