William T. and Sarah Hoover Murdock

William T. Murdock

Sarah Hoover Murdock

WILLIAM T. MURDOCK, an enterprising farmer, was born in Butler County, Ohio, September 18, 1811, and is the son of JOHN and REBECCA (LITTLE) MURDOCK.  JOHN MURDOCK, the father, was born in Monmouth County, New Jersey, the son of WILLIAM MURDOCK, who was of Irish descent.  JOHN MURDOCK, when a young man, migrated to Ohio, where he married REBECCA LITTLE, a daughter of CORNELIUS LITTLE, who was one of the early settlers of Butler County.  By this marriage JOHN MURDOCK had a family of five children--SUSAN, WILLIAM T., CATHARINE, JOHN D. and REBECCA.  The mother was accidentally drowned during a freshlet while attempting to ford Mill Creek in a two-horse wagon.  The father subsequently married JANE STERLING, by which marriage there were born to them ten children: AMANDA, JAMES, EPHRAIM, JANE, ANNA, MARY, MARTHA, ELIZABETH, EMILY and ELLEN.  In 1819 he came to Indiana, and settled in Wayne County, where he followed agricultural pursuits until the fall of 1827, when his attention was called to the rich prairie lands of Tippecanoe County, and he was induced to abandon his partially improved farm and take up his abode in a new country.  He leased lands at High Gap, then in Wayne Township, and soon after entered 160 acres of Government land on section 8 in said township, which he broke and improved, making his home there until his death, which occurred in 1842, at the age of fifty-seven years.

WILLIAM T. MURDOCK came with his father's family to Tippecanoe County, being then eighteen years of age.  He remained under the home roof until his marriage, which occurred June 5, 1834, to SARAH HOOVER, a daughter of FREDERICK and CATHERINE (YOUNT) HOOVER, both of German parentage, who removed from Guilford County, North Carolina, to Warren County, Ohio, in an early day, then in 1807 to Wayne County, Indiana, where MRS. MURDOCK - nee HOOVER - was born August 16, 1811, and subsequently the family came to Tippecanoe County, Indiana, when SARAH'S marriage to MR. MURDOCK was consummated.  The HOOVER's  were members of the primitive Society of Friends.  On the 5th day of June, 1884, in an elegant manner, MR. and MRS. MURDOCK celebrated their golden wedding at their present residence of over fifty years duration.  We quote the following from a biographical sketch read on that occasion.  "Within easy sight of this their well appointed home, just across a yonder hill where woodland glade and Wea Plain so gracefully meet, there the country bean and the Quaker belle met and loved, and were wed.  That wedding, however, was not a carnival of dress.  The wedding cortege was not by any means 'imposing.'  No train of merry attendants enlivened the way of the 'Wedding Party,' but they two, alone, rudely mounted on horseback, constituted the entire company.  They sought out a neighboring 'Squire, who with most adhesive ceremony joined together the two willing souls in wedlock's holy bonds, which has held good and stout and strong for fifty solid years, and the tie seems to have grown better, and stouter and stronger with age and wear.  They began married life in real earnest at the right place--the very beginning.  For two years they rented land in Tippecanoe County, then they removed to Cass County, Indiana, and entered 160 acres of land from the Government, which he cleared and improved, in part, when he sold the same and returned to Tippecanoe County, and purchased eighty acres of land adjoining his father's land in Wayne Township. In the years 1883, '34 and '35, with heavy road wagon and plodding stout ox team, he hauled through mud and bog, load after load of corn and oats to the then young burg of Chicago, bringing back in exchange load after load of barrel salt which he disposed of at a profit.  The honest margins from these transactions he invested in farm lands on the Wea Plains, to which he has added from time to time, until he is now the comfortable possessor of 1,010 acres.  Their successes in life have been satisfactory indeed, having acquired a valuable estate; nor have their successes been confined to monetary gains alone.  They enjoy others of which they may be justly proud; three sturdy sons and two loving daughters have grown up to respected manhood and womanhood around them.  Those living are--FREDERICK, JAMES, WILLIAM H., CATHARINE KIRLEY, and SARAH A. CROCKETT.  It has been their sad lot, however, to bury two other of their loved ones: JOHN, a beloved boy at seventeen, the other in infancy.  MR. and MRS. MURDOCK are altogether the oldest and indeed the only pioneer couple who were married in Wayne Township now living, who reside there."

MR. MURDOCK has not lived oblivious to the interests and welfare of others, or to the public good.  He has many times been honored by his fellow citizens with nominations to high positions of trust and profit and without exception, when has been called to fill the place, he has not failed to honor the office, and to do credit to himself and friends.  Nine successive years he served his county as one of her most worthy and irreproachable commissioners, and one of her very best financiers, succeeding which for eight years he filled the office of trustee, the unsolicited gift of his township, in a manner more economical and profitable to the public school patrons, than any administration enjoyed by them for many years, either before or since.  The estates of the deceased and the sacred moneys of the fatherless and the widowed have been placed, wholly unsought, in his faithful and judicious hands for final settlement or safe keeping.  No less than fifty-six decedent's estates and guardianships have been by him able administered and satisfactorily adjusted in our courts of equity and law as the record thereof do most abundantly attest.  The confidence which his fellowmen have placed in him must be very gratifying indeed.  Politically MR. MURDOCK has ever been a cordial supporter of the Democratic party.  MRS. MURDOCK is a very loving mother, and has contributed to their home a remarkable element of brightness and serenity.  Active, orderly and of thorough cleanliness, she has trained her family in the same virtues, exemplifying their value in their own home.  She is a stout and healthful little woman, with a wonderful flow of good spirits and remarkable for her well preserved faculties, at her present advanced age.  Both are worthy members of the Methodist Episcopal church.

Biographical Record and Portrait Album of Tippecanoe County, Indiana, pp. 698, 703
Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois, 1888

 Biographies and portraits of sons Frederick - James E. - William H.

Biography Index   |    Tippecanoe County INGenWeb Project

© 2001-2009 Tippecanoe County, Indiana Biographies Project
  All rights reserved