Benjamin Sheeks Murray (1870-1933), Merchant

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A son of Elijah and Lucetta (Sheeks) Murray, Benjamin Sheeks Murray was born September 25, 1870 in Noble Township, Richland County, Illinois. Benjamin finished his education at Franklin College and Purdue University, Lafayette, Indiana and its ROTC program, in the 1890’s, and then opened a bicycle shop in Olney, Illinois on the second floor of the Murray Building. The store's name was E. Murray and Sons. On the first floor, his father Elijah ran a grocery store, and his brother, George Brinton Murray, ran a hardware store. Eventually Benjamin took over the whole store, and the store was called Ben S. Murray Hardware. When Ben died, his son Robert took over. When Robert died, so did the store. Robert's son is a doctor. Benjamin first married Nellie Weaver, probably of Lafayette, Indiana, as he met her while a student at Purdue University. Nellie was born November 5, 1872, and died September 12, 1895. Ben Murray married secondly on 28 December 1898 in East St. Louis, Illinois, Grace Ellen VanCleve, who was born January 2, 1878 in Trenton, Illinois, and died June 19, 1951 in St. Louis, Missouri. Grace’s brother, the Rev. Joseph VanCleve, pastor of the East St. Louis [Illinois] Methodist Church, had presided over their wedding. Grace and Joseph VanCleve were the children of the Reverend William Ira Pierson Gottriet VanCleve and his wife Sarah Ellen Callaway VanCleve. Ben died June 28, 1933 in East Lt. Louis. He, Nellie, their son Kenneth, and Grace are all buried in Haven Hill Cemetery In Olney, Richland Co, Illinois.
at Olney, Illinois USA


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