Thursday, March 5, 2015

John L. Murray 1841 - 1889

John L.
Mar. 2, 1841
May 16, 1889

The plain, simple tombstone of John L. Murray provides no clues to the cause of death of this young man. He is buried next to his parents, Marcus and Ann Murray in Smithland Cemetery, Livingston County, Kentucky. The 1880 Livingston County census shows him as a teacher living with his parents in Smithland.

The first hint found regarding the cause of death was a little news item in the Evansville Journal of 19 May 1889.  The article stated "John Murray, a well-known citizen of Livingston County, Ky. was shot and killed at Smithland by a fisherman ..."  Because of the nature of the situation, the details were outlined in the case file at the Kentucky Dept for Libraries and Archives in Frankfort.  Murray was shot with a pistol. The perpetrator was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to five years in the penitentiary. A sad event in the lives of two young men.

Published 5 March 2015, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

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