Families - McMurtry

William McMurtry was born in Mercer county, Ky., Feb. 20, 1801; removed from Kentucky to Crawford County, Ind., and in 1829 came to Knox County, IL, settling in Henderson Township. He was elected State representative in the Tenth General Assembly (1836), and to the Senate in 1842, serving in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth General Assemblies. In 1848 he was elected Lt. Gov. on the same Democratic ticket with A. C. French. Inaugurated Jan. 8, 1849. Last day in office, Jan. 10, 1853.
He was the eleventh man to serve as IL Lt. Gov. In 1862 he assisted in raising the One Hundred and Second Regiment Illinois Volunteers, and although advanced in years, was elected Colonel, but a few weeks later was compelled to accept a discharge on account of failing health. Died April 10, 1875.

Excerpted from the HISTORICAL ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ILLINOIS, Bateman and Selby, 1901.

William married Ruth CHAMPION, daughter of John CHAMPION and Mary "Polly" CANNON.
Descendants of William McMurtry
 1 William McMurtry 1801 - 1875 b: 20 February 1801 in Mercer Co., Kentucky d: 10 April 1875 in Knox Co., Ill.
.. +Ruth Champion 1795 - 1864 b: 03 May 1795 in Mercer County, Kentucky d: 20 February 1864 in Henderson, Knox Co., Illinois m: 23 November 1826 in Crawford County, Indiana
........ 2 Child McMurtry
........ 2 Mary Elizabeth McMurtry 1827 - 1891 b: 26 September 1827 d: 11 November 1891
............ +Joseph Washington Adcock m: 30 August 1849 in Knox County, Illinois
........ 2 James Champion McMurtry 1829 - 1903 b: 03 February 1829 in Crawford County, Indiana d: 31 March 1903 in Henderson, Knox County, Illinois
............ +Caroline Nelson 1834 - 1916 b: 20 March 1834 in Attica, New York d: 07 October 1916 in Henderson, Knox County, Illinois m: 09 June 1855 in Monmouth, Illinois
........ 2 Francis Marion McMurtry 1831 - 1921 b: 15 November 1831 in Knox County, Illinois d: 16 January 1921 in Creston, Lucas Co., Iowa
............ +Elizabeth Pitman 1831 - 1925 b: 15 June 1831 in Orange County, Indiana d: 12 June 1925 in Creston, Lucas Co., Iowa m: 23 October 1851 in Galesburg, Knox Co., Illinois
........ 2 Cynthia McMurtry 1834 - 1864 b: 03 July 1834 d: Abt. 1864
............ +Joseph Henderson m: 25 April 1850 in Knox County, Illinois
........ 2 Child McMurtry
........ 2 Child McMurtry
In 1829 William and James McMurtry with their families, formed a further addition to the pioneer settlement, locating on section 3 in Henderson Township.
Henderson Township was organized April 5, 1853. The meeting was called to order by William McMurtry; S. G. Dean was appointed Moderator, and W. R. Jackson, Clerk; 155 votes were cast at this election, resulting in the choice of Peter Frans for Supervisor; Martin W. Gay, Clerk; James McMurtry, Assessor; G. G. Dean, Collector; Thomas McKee and Abraham Jackson, Justices of the Peace.
Millicent Denbow wrote the following regarding her Mother and it mentions some of the early settlers:
The wolves were bold and early settlers had to be cautious of them. One of the women, Mrs.. Denbow, had a very odd adventure. She took her baby in her arms and went out in search of her sheep. She found them and started to drive home, but they would not go that way. It was growing dark, and fearing she would loose her way, she gave up and started the way she thought was home. The sheep went the other way. She wondered along, carrying her baby, and crossed a stream on a long. Finally feeling so tired she lay down to rest. A wolf's howl aroused her and she hurried on to a cherry tree, taking the baby's dress between her teeth, she began to climb up the tree, but the dress tore and the baby fell to the ground and rolled down a small hill. She recovered it and climbed up the tree, just in time to be out of reach of the wolves, that was sniffing the ground where the baby had rolled and she had walked, for she was barefoot and her feet were bloody, from walking on the briers. Mrs.. Denbow was afraid she would go to sleep, and she was very tired, and then she might drop her child, so she tied her long hair to a branch. When her husband came home he thought that the Indians had taken her, and he hastened to the home of the neighbors and asked them to help him search for her. One of the men crossed the river and she heard him shouting for her and answered. He called the other men and they went to her and assisted her down the tree after the dogs drove the wolves away. They took her to a house where a bright fire burned and warm clothes were ready. Her dress was torn to ribbons, by the bushes. After she was warmed, her husband took her home, and not until three weeks later was she able to be up. The story, as it is written, is very deficient, and does not include the names of those that went on the hunt for my mother. William McMurtry and James McMurtry and Nicholas Kontz and William Riley and my father, Solomon Denbow, rode the timber all night hollering for mother, and old William McMurtry found her just at daylight. He shot several of the wolves that had congregated about the foot of the tree. They say my mother was lost by hearing an Indian pony bell and she thought it was her sheep bell. They had to watch the three sheep all day to keep the wolves from them, and of an evening they had to pen them out in a pen that the wolves could not get through. My mother followed the sound of the bell down point branch about three miles before she discovered her mistake, then her feet had been scratched by the briers so badly that they left a trail of blood that the wolves followed.
My name is Janice Katherine Lund and I am a descendant of William McMURTRY (his 3rd Great Granddaughter).

Provided by Janice Katherine Lund.

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