Born: March 7, 1841, Ball­ard Vale, An­do­ver, Mas­sa­chu­setts.

Died: March 10, 1905, Cin­cin­na­ti, Ohio, of Ad­di­son’s dis­ease.

Buried: Spring Grove Ce­me­te­ry, Cin­cin­na­ti, Ohio.



James was the son of Wal­ter Mur­ray and Chris­tine Mor­ri­son, and hus­band of Isa­belle M. Mur­ray.

He stu­died at the Mu­sic­al In­sti­tute in North Read­ing, Mas­sa­chu­setts (1856–59), un­der Lo­well Ma­son, George Root, Will­iam Brad­bu­ry and George Webb.

In 1862, dur­ing the Am­eri­can ci­vil war, he en­list­ed as an ar­my mu­si­cian. His first song, Dai­sy Deane, was com­posed in a Vir­gin­ia camp in 1863.

After the war, he re­turned home to teach pi­ano, but soon joined the Root & Ca­dy pub­lish­ing house in Chi­ca­go, Il­li­nois, as ed­it­or of The Song Mes­sen­ger.

He stayed with Root & Ca­dy un­til the Great Chi­ca­go Fire of 1871, when he re­turned to An­do­ver to teach mu­sic.

In 1881, Mur­ray moved to Cin­cin­na­ti, Ohio, to work for the John Church Com­pa­ny, ed­it­ing The Mu­sic­al Vi­sit­or, and tak­ing charge of the pub­lish­ing de­part­ment.