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JOHN R. MURRAY

          family

 

JULIA SIMMONS

  • Born in Monmouth, Wales, April 25, 1874

  • Immigrated from Monmouth, thru Liverpool to Canada in 1882

  • Married John R. Murray November 26, 1895

  • Children Gladys, George, Ruby, and Hazel

  • Died February 10, 1958 at the age of 83 years

Julia Thornton Murray (nee Simmons) 

                 aka (Ma) Murray

 Julia was the only girl born to Thornton and Louisa Simmons.  With seven brothers, Julia was no doubt put in charge of her younger siblings at an early age.  Her niece remembered that the family always called her ‘Aunt Sis’. She was also very close to her family and regularly took her grandchildren in later years to visit family members.

          Julia remembered that when the family arrived in Winnipeg in 1882, they first lived in a tent and then an old house where the Indians used to peer in the windows at them. The 1891 Winnipeg census shows Julia as an apprentice Dress Maker. She was 17 years old at that time.

          Julia married John Murray in 1895 and they had four children, Gladys, Ruby, George  (Geordie) and Hazel. When her daughter Gladys’ marriage didn’t work out and Gladys returned to Winnipeg with her three little girls, Julia took care of the children so that Gladys could go out and work.  They lived over the harness shop at 180 Princess Street where there was one bedroom for Ruby and Hazel, one for Geordie, one for Julia and her husband (John) and one for Gladys with her three girls, (Isabelle, Verna, and Vivian).

          Julia was very superstitious and had a ton of frightening superstitions that she passed on to the young girls. It must have been difficult for her to again have three small children to raise and she was not very patient but she had no choice.  She was good to them though, and sometimes she would make sandwiches and take them on a picnic or to visit their great-grandparents (George and Elizabeth Murray) which the girls always enjoyed.

          She worked hard, scrubbed floors on Saturday night but also arranged lots of parties.  They would roll back the carpet for square dancing, which she was very good at, and her husband John would play the fiddle. Everyone would also gather around the piano for singsongs. Her daughters Gladys and Ruby both played the piano and would always accompany John on the fiddle.  Granddaughter Vivian remembers that Ma made her a beautiful red velvet dance costume when she was preparing for a tap dancing recital where she performed on the stage at the Beacon Theatre.  She also remembers that when the party got going at home on a Saturday night Ma would insist that she do one of her tap dances for everyone.

            After her death, Louisa's estate was distributed to:  Leslie, LeRoy, Richard, Ruby, Gordon and Gwen Simmons, Ivy Stewart (who was Mrs. Dale Simmons), Sarah Slater, Gladys Campbell, Hazel Anderson and the Estate of Millie Simmons.

JOHN GEORGE THORNTON MURRAY

  • Born in Winnipeg,  August 26, 1898

  • Known as "Geordie"

  • Father John Robertson Murray

  • Mother Julia Thornton (nee Simmons) Murray

  • Married No

  • Children No

  • Died in Winnipeg, July 13, 1970

Geordie was the second child. On his birth certificate it shows his father John as being a shipping clerk.

Geordie worked for his dad until the depression when John (Dada) lost the business.  George was out of work for a long time but finally was able to get on as a caretaker with the school district. 

He was good at saving his money and eventually was able to purchase the home at 227 Eugenie Street, from the school district, where the family moved in June 9, 1944. He bought the house for $3500.00. George, his dad John, mom Julia, and sister Ruby continued to live there until their deaths. The following are the years and occupations of the family members at 227 Eugenie Street.

  • 1945 - John (no occupation listed), Julia, possibly Geordie (this is uncertain), and Ruby (bookkeeper for Dr. J.R. Davidson)

  • 1946 - John (listed as retired) in 1946. Geordie who began a new occupation in 1946 which would carry him until retirement in 1965, which was a school caretaker employed in Norwood. In 1946, he was working in the Queen Elizabeth School at 260 Kenny Street. This school was demolished in 1963. Ruby is still a bookkeeper Dr. J.R. Davidson.

  • 1947 - John (retired), Julia, Geordie (caretaker at Norwood Collegiate), and Ruby (receptionist).

                John Robertson Murray died January 27, 1948.

  • 1948- Geordie not found, Ruby (steno), Julia (widow of John)

  • 1949 - Geordie (employee City of St Boniface), Ruby not listed, Mrs Julia (no occupation)

  • 1950 - Geordie (caretaker Norwood School Board), Ruby (receptionist), Julia (no occupation)

  • 1951 - Geordie (caretaker Norwood School Board), Ruby (no occupation), Julia (widow of John)

  • 1952 - Geordie (caretaker Norwood Collegiate), Ruby (no occupation), Julia (widow of John)

  •  1953 - Geordie (caretaker Norwood School Board), Ruby (no occupation), Julia (widow of John)

  • 1954 - Geordie (caretaker Norwood School Board), Ruby (no occupation), Julia (widow of John)

  • 1955 - Geordie (caretaker Norwood Collegiate), Ruby (no occupation), Julia (widow of John)

  • 1956 - Geordie (caretaker Norwood School Board), Ruby (no occupation), Julia (widow of John)

  • 1957 - Geordie (caretaker Norwood School Board), Ruby (no occupation), Julia (widow of John) 

                Julia Thornton (nee Simmons) Murray died Feb 10, 1958.

 

  • 1958 - Geordie (caretaker Norwood School Board), Ruby (no occupation)

  • 1959 - Geordie (caretaker Norwood School Board), Ruby (no occupation)

  • 1960 - Geordie (caretaker Norwood School Board), Ruby not listed

  • 1961 - Geordie (caretaker Norwood School Division), Ruby (housekeeper)

  • 1962 - Geordie (caretaker Norwood School Division), Ruby (no occupation)

  • 1963 - Geordie (caretaker Queen Elizabeth School), Ruby (no occupation)

  • 1964 - Geordie (caretaker Queen Elizabeth School), Ruby (no occupation). The school was demolished in 1963 so this is questionable

  • 1965 - Geordie (retired) and Ruby (no occupation)

This is the end of the digital records for Henderson's Directory. Further research is required at a library for hard copy. At some point in time Hazel comes to live with Geordie and Ruby, but this also needs more research.

RUBY FRANCES LOUISA MURRAY

 

  • Born in Winnipeg, July 14, 1902

  • Father John Robertson Murray

  • Mother Julia Thornton (nee Simmons) Murray

  • Married No

  • Children No

  • Died in Winnipeg  March 27, 1975

Ruby was the third child.  Ruby did have a boyfriend for a long time but according to family stories it seems her parents were not in favour of her choice and eventually broke it up. 

 

          She played the piano beautifully and was sought after to play at parties and family gatherings.

Ruby worked for Dr. Davidson starting about 1945. He was an extremely brilliant doctor, who had developed a treatment which, in his opinion and that of many patients, succeeded in arresting cancers. She was his employee for several years and is pictured in 1945 taking notes from the doctor, in the book written about him entitled Davidson of Manitoba. Ruby's occupation was not found after 1950 so she may have worked for Dr. Davidson about 5 years. 

HAZEL (nee MURRAY) SEALEY ANDERSON

  • Born: in Winnipeg, June 11, 1905

  • Father: John Robertson Murray

  • Mother: Mother Julia Thornton (nee Simmons) Murray

  • Married: Victor Sealey and a second marriage to Victor Anderson

  • Children: No

  • Died: in Winnipeg, July 11 or 12, 2000 at the age of 95

          Hazel was the third (the youngest) child of John and Julia.  She came of age in the 1920s and saw herself as a ‘flapper’.  She smoked when it was scandalous and wore the wonderful shapeless dresses of the times. She was considered to be quite ‘racy’ in her day.  She married her first husband Victor Sealey (possibly in the mid 1920s). Victor Sealey died in 1961. Hazel then married Victor Anderson sometime before her grandmother's, Louisa's, death on February 10, 1958.

 

. LOOK IN HENDERSON

We know that in March, 1977, Hazel was living in Apartment 2-137 1/2 Marion Street.

 

          She spent her later years at the Fred Douglas Lodge on Burrows Avenue, in Winnipeg, and lived to 95 years of age.  Her niece Verna looked out for her for years and following Verna’s death her husband Art Lightfoot took care of paying her bills for her, shopping and making sure she had what she needed as her immediate family had predeceased her.

GLADYS ELIZABETH LOUISIA MURRAY

       (Mom Campbell)

  • Born in Winnipeg, September 27, 1896

  • Father John Robertson Murray

  • Mother Mother Julia Thornton (nee Simmons) Murray

  • Married Dave Magee December 22, 1913

  • Married William Campbell November 16, 1963

  • Children Isabelle, Verna and Vivian

  • Died in Winnipeg, March 12, 1997

          Gladys was born in Winnipeg at 144 Syndicate Street. (The address is 140 Syndicate today. It is a vacant lot with no house on it). Gladys lived in that small house 7 doors away from 168 Syndicate (the house address is 164 Syndicate today), where her grandparents Thornton and Louisa Simmons, and family, lived.  Being the first grandchild she had lots of attention from her grandparents, and all of those uncles.  She kept many mementos through the years of special gifts and letters that were given to her from them.

ABOVE: Based upon the year of 1902, the most likely address of photo is 166 Syndicate Street (the house address is 160 Syndicate today), In 1902 this was the home of Gladys's uncle Thornton and aunt Maud Simmons. The house at 160 Syndicate still stands; it is the "packing crate house". Alternately, this photo could be 148 Syndicate Street, the home of Gladys's parents and siblings in 1902.

RIGHT: Gladys and her mom, Julia. Most likely address of photo is 168 Syndicate Street (address is 164 Syndicate today). Note the glass work in the front door.

          Gladys grew up on Syndicate Street in Winnipeg. She had a whole gang of kids she played with.  William 'Billy' Stevenson, who later became the Master Spy ‘Intrepid’, was one of them, along with Johnny Tate, the four Morefield kids and another little girl whose mother would sometimes take them by streetcar out to River Park.  They skated on the river, played baseball and other kids' games and attended Argyle School. (Link to River Park HERE)

         

 

To track her life as far as where she lived, she was born in 1896, and lived in the house at 144 Syndicate Street (address is 140 Syndicate today), 7 doors from the family home of her grandparents Thornton and Louisa Simmons who lived at  168 Syndicate (address is 164 Syndicate today).

          In 1898, Gladys and her parents moved into 166 Syndicate (address is 160 Syndicate today). This is the 'packing crate house'. LINK THIS .This move may have been due to the birth of  Gladys's brother, Geordie, on August 26, 1898.

          In 1902, Gladys, her parents, and her brother  moved into 148 Syndicate (address is still 148 Syndicate today). This move may have been due to the birth of Gladys's sister, Ruby on July 14, 1902.

          After the 9th grade Gladys attended Commercial College and when she graduated with her stenographic skills Johnny Tate was working at Clark Bros. & Co., and got her a job there in 1911 or 1912.  Clark Bros was a wholesale stationer and Paper Dealer located at 143 Portage Avenue  East. Gladys worked there, and still lived at 148 Syndicate, until she got married to Dave Magee on December 22, 1913 and moved to Cardinal, Ontario.

          In Cardinal, Gladys had three children, Isabelle, Verna and Vivian but her marriage was not a happy one and she returned with her 3 daughters to Winnipeg in about 1921. She lived in an apartment (Suite #1) above her father's harness shop, J. Murray & Co, at 180 Princess Street. These apartments were addressed 180-1/2   Princess, and the building was known as the McGregor Block. In 1921 we find Gladys, her 3 daughters, her mother (Julia), her father (John), her brother (Geordie) and her 2 sisters (Ruby and Hazel) all living in that apartment. Gladys again went to work for Clark Bros. In 1929 this whole family vacated 180-1/2 Princess and moved into 210 Horace, a house in the Norwood community of Winnipeg. Glady's 3 daughters went to school in Norwood. Also in 1929, Gladys's employer changed to John Gibb Company, Wholesale and Manufacturing Stationers, 250-256 McDermot Avenue. It is possible this company was the new owner of Clark Bros (yet to be determined).

In 1932, Gladys's employer changed to W.J. Gage & Co., wholesale stationery, 181 Bannatyne East. This was a larger company from Toronto that likely bought-out John Gibb Company. Gladys stayed with W.J. Gage & Co until her retirement as a secretary in 1961, after turning 65 years old.  Still living at 210 Horace with her daughters and family, Gladys is registered in Henderson Directory under her maiden name as Miss Gladys Murray in 1932.

In 1932 or 1933, Gladys and her daughters left her parents and siblings, and moved with her 3 daughters to 372 Edmonton Street, a rooming house owned by Albert Jeb.

 

The eldest daughter, Isabelle, was married to Charles Norrie Cruickshank on May 9, 1937. In 1937, Gladys and her 2 yet-unmarried daughters (Verna and Vivian) moved to 627 Maryland Street where they lived with the Walkers. 

 

When Vivian got married in 1940 Gladys and Verna moved to the Beverly Apartments (possibly 233 Beverley at Portage Avenue)FIND BEVERLEY APTS IN HENDERSON 

 

 

 

Then in 1939,Gladys and her 2 daughters moved to the Westhome Apartments at 729 Wellington Avenue where they lived in apartment #17. Gladys continued living in the Westhome Apartments as her other 2 daughters were married in 1940 and 1941. Then in 1942, Gladys moved in with her daughter Isabelle, into Isabelle and Charlie's newly built home at 1156 Downing Street.

It was around these days that Gladys became known as "Mom Magee". Of course she was always called "Mom" by her daughters, then her sons-in-law followed suit. But as grandchildren arrived, they also called her "Mom Magee".

In 1943, Gladys moved into Bannatyne Apartments, at 543 Bannatyne, apartment #8. This building is exactly the same one that guitarist Kurt Winter lived in, years later, and comprised the photograph on Guess Who's album "So Long Bannatyne". Gladys told her granddaughter Laurie that those days, at the Bannatyne, were the happiest days of her life.

In 1945, according to Henderson Directory, Gladys moved into 8-263 Young Street. The directory indicates she continued living there in 1946 and 1947, returning to 543 Bannatyne, apartment #8, in 1948. However, this address on Young is not familiar to present family members, so seems like an error in the directory. All-the-while Gladys continued to be employed at W.J. Gage & Co.

All the kids remember that during the years at 8-543 Bannatyne, Gladys would invite the family over, to watch the Santa Clause parade. It was a short walk to the parade route from her apartment and you could see the parade coming over the Salter Street Bridge from her apartment kitchen window. On a cold day you didn’t have to stand outside in the freezing cold so long; you could just time going out in the cold after seeing the parade hit the bridge. 

          Gladys continued living at 8-543 Bannatyne until 1961. In that year Gladys retired from the W.J. Gage & Co as a secretary, after turning 65 years old. So in 1961 she moved into a 2 storey house at 608 Broadway Avenue, where she occupied the top storey with her long time friend William (Bill) (Pop) Campbell. Access was from the front door and immediately up a staircase. There was a fire escape through a second storey back door off the kitchen that was virtually never used. The main floor was occupied by Mrs. Lizzie Duncan.

As kids we were told that when Bill’s landlady passed away Gladys went to live at 608 Broadway to keep house for Bill and his friend Dave in the upstairs rented rooms. But we never saw Dave!

Because of the divorce laws in Canada Gladys was unable to marry Bill (Pop) Campbell while her first husband, Dave Magee, was alive. Dave Magee died May 9, 1963 so Gladys and Bill finally married November 16, 1963 with all the family in attendance. They were married in the home of Rev. Fred Douglas and then celebrated with a reception dinner at Vasalund restaurant followed by a great party for the family at the home of her daughter and son-in-law, Verna and Art Lightfoot. As family we now had to remember that instead of Mom Magee, she was Mom Campbell. We enjoyed saying that Gladys and Bill were essentially engaged for 41 years!

 

          Always the sports fan, Gladys went to ballgames with her dad, John Robertson Murray, in the early years and then with Bill 'Pop' Campbell. Gladys and Bill (Mom and Pop) even went down east for their summer holidays to watch big league baseball.  She was such a dedicated fan that she would stand on the street in front of the Winnipeg Free Press Building at lunchtime during the World Series and watch the reader board that kept track of what was going on in the game.

          Gladys used to write down to Chicago in the spring for a baseball schedule and then she and Pop would plan their holidays around which teams they wanted to see play baseball.  They would go for two weeks, drive down, go to the baseball games in the afternoon and then exploring and out for dinner or a show at night.  Sometimes their good friends Hugh and Flo Buchanan went with them but they weren’t baseball fans so they would go off sightseeing while Mom and Pop went to the ballgames. 

          Mom and Pop had hockey season tickets for years and she had an amazing knowledge of sports in general.  On her 95th birthday we wrote to the Detroit Tigers telling them of her enthusiasm for the team and the announcers in particular.  They sent her back an autographed Hall of Fame baseball postcard with a note from George Kell wishing her Happy Birthday.   She always carried it around with her in her purse and was ready to show it to anyone who was interested.

          She was always part of the gang of friends with her daughters and was always invited to the parties and picnics.  Her family particularly remembers Sunday lunches after church at Mom’s apartment.  Her granddaughter Rhonda remembers thinking all through church about the great salmon sandwiches Mom Magee made and could hardly wait to get to her place for lunch.  In the summer there were wonderful Sunday picnics at Hobans and Duggards, and Gladys always had the best lunches of anybody.

          Sadly, Pop Campbell passed away May 8, 1966 but Gladys continued to live in the top storey of 608 Broadway, Winnipeg. She always seemed to be in the middle of interesting things going on in her neighborhood.  Family friend Colin James loves to tell the story of going to visit her one night for dinner and when he arrived there were two policemen at her kitchen table on a stakeout.  She had to prepare the dinner in the dark and then she and Colin went into the living room to eat while the police continued to watch the playfield in the lot behind her house for drugs or some such tip they had received.

          Gladys moved from 608 Broadway to MacKinnon House, 969 Cambridge Street, Winnipeg, in 1978 where she lived until she passed away on March 12, 1997.

          It is amazing to think that she lived alone up until she passed away.  With a lot of help from her daughter Vivian she was able to maintain her independence.  Although she was legally blind and couldn’t see much more than shadows with some additional peripheral vision she was able to use the telephone into which numbers had been entered on speed dial so she could call for her groceries, for her hair appointment, her dry cleaners, her taxi rides and her family.  She went to get her hair done every other week up until she passed away.  She loved her sports and continued to enjoy hockey, baseball, basketball, whatever the season.   One year for Mothers’ Day her family gave her a mini-series of Winnipeg Jets hockey tickets and her grandsons and great grandson Glen Grist took turns taking her to the games.

          She was alert and bright with a wonderful memory and sense of humour right up until her brief hospitalization six months after celebrating her 100th birthday with family and friends.  The 100th birthday celebration was a fitting tribute to her amazing life and she enjoyed it immensely.

Gladys (Mom Campbell) and great granddaughter

             Melanie Dawn Cruickshank-June 1978

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