JAMES PHILIP MURRAY. - This sketch is dedicated to a man who is not only in himself well known, but to one who, through untiring efforts and much experience, has perfected the baking art, and has been able to turn out a bread which is not only deliciously palatable but especially wholesome as well. He was born in County Tyrone in the north of Ireland, a son of Philip and Margaret (Irwin) Murray, the latter being a native of the south of Ireland. Mr. Murray was a successful farmer, and it meant much more in that country of large estates and penurious landlords, to be a successful farmer than it does in America, where any man can be "lord of his own domain." He died in his native country in 1871, and his wife in 1896.
James Philip Murray came to this country when he was nineteen years old and located at Johnstown, Pennsylvania. There he first engaged in the bakery business, and when he had learned the rudiments of the business, the mechanical part, he decided that he wished to learn other things through more practical experience. So he accepted employment at his trade in different states, being engaged in Kansas City first in 1888. In 1891 he went to Durango, Colorado, where he went into business for himself, remaining there until 1897, when he sold out and returned to Kansas City. In the meantime he continued traveling, gaining new experiences and perceiving new and better methods which he stored away in his mind for later development. In 1902 he started a bakery in Kansas City, Missouri, which he called the Murray Bread Bakery. He did a flourishing and successful business there until he decided to come back to Kansas City, Kansas, and in 1905, located at Eleventh street, at the corner of Minnesota avenue. In 1910 he built a modern, up-to-date bakery at 904-908, North Seventeenth street, and the next year put up a substantial and beautiful residence in close proximity to his business, located at 902 Seventeenth street, where he now resides.
In 1902, while living in Kansas City, Missouri, James Philip Murray was married to Mrs. Catherine (Barry) Hoffman, who had formerly been married to Albert Hoffman, by whom she had one daughter, Alberta, who still lives with her mother, and assists Mr. Murray very materially in the management of his baking business. Mrs. Murray's maiden name was Catherine Barry, a daughter of John and Adeline (Kelly) Barry, the former a native of Kentucky, while the mother was born in Waterford, Ireland, a daughter of Michael Kelly, and came to the United States in 1866, where she married Mr. Barry two years later, April 10, 1868. Mr. Barry was a native of Kentucky, as above stated, and was a soldier in the Civil war, receiving his honorable discharge at Nashville, Tennessee, at the close of hostilities. To Mr. and Mrs. Barry were born four children, as follows: John, an only son, who died in infancy; Mary, now employed in the Kansas City, Missouri, post office; Ella, an employe of the Kansas City, Kansas, post office; and Mrs. Murray, the wife of our subject. Mr. Barry passed on to eternal life on January 21, 1888.
Mr. Murray is a member of the Hibernian Society of Kansas City, and also belongs to the order of the Knights of Columbus. He is a member of St. Peter's Parish Catholic church. He has reason to congratulate himself on the success he has achieved during the years he has been in America, inasmuch as it has all been accomplished through his own efforts and ability.
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