Uncle Jim Murray and nephew James Murray were polar opposites in personality, business acumen, and political ambition. Uncle Jim, a tight-fisted, practical joking Bonanza King never gave thought to being a politician. Nephew James, serious and lacking business sense, aspired to be a politician. After the Easter Rising, the two paired together (uncle’s money and nephew’s ambition) to aid the Irish Revolution, rattling corporate capitalists and military intelligence agencies in the process. They also worked for fair wages and opposed monopolies. Uncle was a member of the Populist Party for a time, and nephew a member of the successor to the Socialist Party. And although they lost more battles than they won, their causes continue to find supporters today.
I’ve written a short biography of the pair, which appears in the Spring 2016 edition of Montana: The Magazine of Western History., and a complete account of James A. Murray’s life in book form through Mountain Press Publishing (James A. Murray, Butte’s Radical Irish Millionaire).
Murray’s properties still operating, or monuments still standing:
- Lake Murray Reservoir, San Diego CA
- Boulder Hot Springs Inn & Conference Center, MT
- Clark Chateau, Butte MT (Acquired in 1915)
- Murray Hotel, Livingston MT (Niece inherited $85,000 note on property and acquired through foreclosure after James A. Murray’s passing)
- Henderson Gulch Monument to Lost Graves of Pioneers (1914) First monument of the Society of Montana Pioneers.
- Landing Place of Sebastian Vizcaino and Frey Junipero Serra. California Historic Landmark #128 (Donated Dec. 15, 1905. Installed March 24, 1908).
- Historic Marker, Location of mansion on Monterey Coast (picture below)
3 thoughts on “Rocky Mountain Radicals”
Bill Farley – I cannot wait to read “Butte’s Radical Irish Millionaire”, which I bought a couple months ago. Today I was rereading my 2nd great grandfather’s obituary and noticed that James A. Murray had sent $150 worth of flowers that accompanied him/casket from Butte to Reno. My 2nd great grandfather’s name is Dr. Alva C, Bishop, who lived and practiced medicine in Butte from 1881 – 1888 (his death). The article says they were intimate friends, During your research, I was wondering if his name ever appeared and if you can add any information to my research. Following is link to his obituary:
Thank you so much,
What a fascinating life! Your 2GGF sounds like a very special person. I did not come across his name, but in general, Murray was fanatical about exercising, so I could see the two meeting in that context. Murray had interests in Nevada so they could have met there. Also, John Maguire, a prominent character in Murray’s life worked in Pioche, and could have met Bishop there. I wish you the best with your research.
Thank you so much, will check into your info. Also his brother, William Wallace Bishop, an attorney defended John D. Lee who, was made the scapegoat for Mormon Meadow Mountain Massacre. Those Bishops had the brains in our family.