Thursday, February 19, 2015

Family History Writing Challenge Day 19

The 1880 United States Federal Census in St. Louis was taken after John Murdoch died. It lists 45-year-old Julia as the head of household, 21-year-old John Junior as a clerk in a dry goods store, 19-year-old Mary and 17-year-old Emma with no occupations, 15-year-old George as a clerk in a factory, 12-year-old William and 10-year-old Joseph as cash boys, a 28-year-old boarder named Edward Mosby as a clerk in a candy factory, and a 19-year-old servant named Jennie Breckenridge.

Julia Murdoch was getting by on the income of her children as well as taking in a boarder. Even the youngest boys were working in a store. The position of cash boy entailed carrying the money received by salesmen from customers to a cashier and bringing back the proper change. He might also wrap and deliver parcels, and perform other chores to keep the merchandise and the store clean.

In the 1882 Gould's St. Louis Directory, Julia, George and John Junior are living together at 1542 Chouteau. George is employed as a clerk at Taylor Manufacturing, and John as a clerk at Taggerty & Sons Auction Goods. William and Joseph, at the ages of 14 and 12, respectively, would have been living at the same address. It is possible that Mary lived there as well, but she is not listed in the Directory so she either was not employed, had moved away, or had died. Emma married Harry S. Collins in 1882. Harry was a 21-year-old printer who lived at 1540 Chouteau - right next door to the Murdochs. It appears that Emma was the only one of the Murdoch children to marry.

The family had reason to celebrate and grieve in 1884. On March 9th, Harry and Emma Collins gave birth to their first and only child, Roy Murdoch Collins. Then, on a sad note, John Junior died on November 3rd of capillary bronchitis. He was 26 years old. Burial took place in the same plot as his father at Calvary Cemetery. At the time of his death the family was living at 1318 LaSalle.

In 1885-1887, the Murdoch family was still residing in the same house. George, William and Joseph lived with Julia. But on January 10, 1887 Julia Murdoch died. Her obituary appeared on January 12th in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. It read as follows:

                                                                                  Julia Murdoch
On Monday, Jan 10, 1887 at 10:50 p.m. Mrs. Julia A. Murdoch wid of the late John J. Murdoch and sister of Wm. L. Hull in the 52nd year of her age. The funeral will take place on Thurs the 13th at 10:30 a.m. from the residence, 1318 LaSalle St. to the Church of the Holy Angels, thence to Calvary Cemetery.

Holy Guardian Angels Church was located at 14th and LaSalle. The cornerstone was laid in 1866, and a school was established in 1897. The brick Gothic structure seated 450 people. The church was less than a block from where Julia and her boys were living. She was buried next to her husband.

Holy Guardian Angels Catholic Church

In the end, the Murdoch family was not destined to live long, healthy lives. As mentioned above, John Junior was 26 when he died. As for his siblings, George died at the age of 25 in 1891, William was 26 when he passed in 1893, and Joseph died in 1925 at the age of 55. All of the boys were buried by their parents in Lot 24 at Calvary Cemetery. Little is known about Mary. The last record of her was when she appeared in the 1880 census. Emma was the exception as she lived to be 71, with her death occurring in 1934. But her son Roy, the only grandchild of John and Julia Murdoch, died in 1909. He was 25 years old.

After 1934, the only thing that remained to show the Murdochs had lived in St. Louis was a street called Murdoch.


Linda Schreiber said...

Thanks for doing this series. I have really appreciated all the in-depth research, and the way you have been incorporating the events and realities of the time. And, of course, your writing style.
Very well done!

Kim Wolterman said...

I appreciate your kind comments, Linda!