Dr. Jacob Murdick In Clinton County, IL

Updated by Steve Murdick on 22 October 2016

Our family name is MURDICK but is also listed in ancestral documents as MURDOCK, among other variations. The focus of the biography is Dr. Jacob MURDICK and his family who primarily resided in Clinton Co. from 1850 to 1882. It is undocumented who Jacob’s parents were but a Clinton Co. Patrons document states that Jacob was born in Monroe Co. Illinois about 1827. From the 1880 Federal Census, it states that Jacob’s dad was born in New Jersey and his mom in Pennsylvania. Further evidence, noted elsewhere in this biography, states that Jacob’s parents died about 1834 when he was 7 or 8 years old.

The first known record of Jacob is the 1850 Federal Census which shows him boarding with the Anton HANKAMP (or HONKOMP) family in Carlyle, IL. He is 23 and listed as a physician. I suspect that he just finished his formal training, or apprenticeship, for being a doctor and was in the process of setting up his practice.

He marries Lucinda MORTON on 18 May 1854 and they begin their family in Breese, IL having the following known children:

1. Lettie Illinois (named for Lucinda's mother) – yes, her middle name was Illinois – born in 1855. She attended McKendree College in Lebanon, IL in 1873-74. Little else in known.

2. Joseph Morton (my great grandfather) born 16 May 1857. Marries Mary Anna LOCEY on 21 Sep 1881 and they move to Neosho, MO the following month. He spends his entire life owning or managing grocery stores in Diamond & Joplin, MO, Quapaw, & Picher, OK & Kansas City, KS. Joseph dies on 20 Jan 1934 and buried in Mount Hope Cemetery in Kansas City, KS. Like his older sister, he attended McKendree College in 1873-74.

3. Mary Morton Cyrus (listed as Mary in 1860 census but Marton Cyrus in the 1870 census) born in 1859. Little else is known.

4. Lola Janette born 5 Apr 1871 (note the 12-year lapse). Marries Silas Mark JONES on 15 May 1893 in Jasper Co. MO. Dies 4 Jan 1947 and buried in the Oak Hill Cemetery near Galena, KS.

5. Florence O. born in 1876 (another 5-year gap). Marries Wilfred HOLROYD 11 Nov 1917 and he dies in April 1924. She then marries Mode DARK 29 Aug 1926. She is childless with both husbands and dies 30 Jul 1944 and burred in the Galena Cemetery.

In the 1860 Federal Census, there is a Mary J THOMPSON (with a 3-yr. old son named John) living in the MURDICK household. I came across her obituary in a registry of deaths in the Greenville, IL Advocate. It states, in part, that she was born in Monroe Co., 10 Jul 1833. Her parents died while she was yet an infant and she was raised by Lt. Governor William C Kinney Sr. and his wife (Mary nee HUSK) who was Mary Janes aunt. I don’t know if Jacob was also raised by the KINNEY’s. He would have been 7 or 8 at the time. Mary Jane marries Dr. John J THOMPSON on 1 Nov 1856 and finds herself a widow a short time later on 10 Jan 1857 – hence living in Dr. Jacob MURDICK’s home in 1860. She goes on to marry William NEATHERY 30 Jan 1862. She resides in Bond Co for the rest of her days dying on 15 Dec 1874 at the young age of 41.

I have documented evidence that Jacob registered for military service in the Civil War but was classified as “lame”. Not sure if he had an old injury or a physical birth condition.

I found several online copies of the St. Louis Medical Journal between Feb and May 1880 showing Jacob MURDICK’s name listed as a druggist in Germantown, IL. The journal was printed monthly.

The last known census record of Dr. Jacob MURDICK is the 1880 Federal Census which has the family living in Germantown, Clinton Co., IL. Germantown was originally called Hanover.

I found on-line, Clinton Co mortality records for 1882 showing Dr. MURDICK along with other doctors, as the attending physician for many who passed away at that time. Sometime during the summer of 1882 the County got a Coroner who was then the only person listed as the attending official when someone died. Jacob’s name no longer appears. Perhaps it was because Jacob moved to MO to be with his son, Joseph. Jacob would have been 55 years old at this time.

I know from the Clinton Co. Union Banner newspaper of Thursday, 18 May 1883 that Jacob and Lucinda moved from Germantown to Neosho or Diamond, Missouri sometime in the Fall of 1882. Jacob died on 28 Mar 1883 in Missouri. In the Union Banner article dated 10 May 1883, the Clinton County Medical Society paid tribute to the life of Dr. MURDICK. However, I’ve yet to find an official obituary in any Illinois or Missouri newspapers. I also do not have any evidence of where he is buried but I suspect the Diamond Cemetery in MO.

The 1900 Federal Census shows Lucinda, now a widow, living with her daughter, Lola, and husband Silas Mark JONES in the Joplin, MO area.  Lucinda is last recorded in a 1915 Kansas State Census still living with the JONES family but in Galena, Kansas and 77 years old at the time. Lucinda’s death is recorded in the Joplin Globe newspaper as 31 Oct. 1921. The obituary claims she is buried in the Diamond Cemetery in Diamond, MO. This is why I assume that Jacob is also buried there. However, I have not been able to locate any headstones or cemetery documentation when I made a visit to the cemetery in August of 2010.

I found the obituary of Jacob and Lucinda’s only son, Joseph Morton MURDICK in the Kansas City Kansan newspaper of Saturday, 20 Jan 1934. It states that he operated grocery stores in Diamond and Joplin, MO as well as Picher, OK. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge in Neosho, MO. I came across an old picture in a book about the history of Diamond, MO showing a general store called the MURDICK-Whitwell Store. I assume this was one of the first grocery stores operated by Joseph in the area.

I found the obituary for Jacob and Lucinda’s daughter, Florence DARK in the Joplin Globe newspaper of Tuesday, 1 Aug 1944. It states that she was born in Breese, IL and the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Jacob MURDICK. She spent her early childhood in Diamond, Missouri.

If anyone knows of information regarding who the parents of Dr. Jacob MURDICK was, I would be very interested in hearing from you. I’m also interested in knowing if he had other documented siblings beside Mary Jane. Please contact Steve MURDICK at akaswm@yahoo.com or 913-208-2828 or through Ancestry.com.

Submitted by: Steve Murdick

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