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A Moment in History The life of

The McMurry Family

This story has no beginning and has yet to end. It is only a collection of verifiable facts and a few suppositions concerning the family history of the McMurry family of Southwest Missouri.

“The story begins, not with a McMurry but with a man, William Freeman, who was born in North Carolina on 26 October 1759. As a young man he was married to Mary Bryan and from this marriage there were eleven known children. One of the sons was John Freeman, born 23 December 1796 in Burke County, North Carolina. John married Lavica Williams, 16 November 1815 in North Carolina. John and Lavica had 13 known children and both John and Lavica are buried in Union Campground Cemetery, where their tombstones remain in the Freeman family plot.”

“The above-mentioned William Freeman served in the Revolutionary War and is the only known soldier from that war who is buried in the National Cemetery, Springfield, Missouri.”

“Erastus McMurray, whose last name contained the ‘a,’ moved to Missouri in 1834. Census records indicate Erastus was born in Georgia around 1800. He met Elizabeth Freeman and they were married on 12 May 1841 in Greene County, Missouri, and eventually there were four children from this marriage. Erastus died before 6 June 1878 and his grave is lost although thought to be in Union Campground Cemetery.”

“The second child of the above marriage was William Newton McMurry, who grew up in Greene County and was a well-respected farmer. He was married first to Margaret Ellen Dulin, who died in 1890 leaving five young children in his care. In 1892 he married Delpia Price. This marriage ended in divorce.”

“The graves of most of William Newton McMurry’s family are to be found within a wrought iron enclosure in Union Campground Cemetery not too far from the graves of his grandparents, the Freemans.”

The above information provided by Lyn and Malinda (McMurry) Gamelson of Wichita, Kansas

Research reveals: According to an old map prepared sometime after Greene County was first settled, the John Freeman acreage was located west of Union Campground Cemetery in Section 4, Range 21, Township 29. The W.N. McMurry farm (shown on a map of 1876) was located to the north of Union Campground Cemetery in Franklin Township.