Professor James Henry McMurray, president of Lincoln College and professor of philosophy and biblical literature, was born March 26, 1871, in a log cabin built on the summit of one of the highest hills in Tuscarawas county, Ohio. His youthful days were spent on the farm within a radius of five miles from his birthplace and the duties of farm life early became familiar to him as he aided in the work of plowing, planting and harvesting. To the age of nineteen years he pursued his studies as opportunity offered in the district schools and, ambitious to enjoy further advantages, he eagerly embraced the opportunity of continuing his education in Oberlin Academy, from which he was graduated in June, 1893. He then entered upon the more specifically classical course in Oberlin College, which won him the degree of Bachelor of Arts on his graduation in 1897. The summer of that year was spent in doing graduate work in geology in the University of Chicago. On. the completion of his college course in Oberlin he was offered the position of superintendent of public schools in North Clarendon, Pennsylvania, and accepted, but later resigned to take the position of professor of sciences in Central College of Huntington, Indiana, which position he filled from September, 1897, until 1902.
At his request the educational board granted Professor McMurray a leave of absence during the school year of 1900 and 19o1 in order to enable him to pursue advanced studies in science at Harvard University. While within the classic walls of that institution he received honor grades and consequently secured the degree of Master of Arts from that- institution after a year's study. During the summer of 1901 he was made a member of a commission of six men sent by Harvard to carry on investigations for the United States fish commission at Wood's Hole, Massachusetts. Continuing in the professorship of sciences in Central College until 1902, he was then elected its president and so continued until 1905, when he was elected to the presidency of Lincoln College in Lincoln, Illinois. For five years he has remained at the head of this institution and his efforts have raised the standard of the work done, have systematized the college courses and have brought about many reforms and improvements, which have placed Lincoln College in the front rank among the institutions of this character in the middle west. In 1908 he received his Ph.D. from James Millikin University.
Professor McMurray was married August 25, 1897, to Miss Kathryn B. Romig and their home is the center of a cultured society circle. Possessing that dignity which precludes familiarity, Professor McMurray, nevertheless, is approachable and his sympathy and kindly interest is manifest to all with whom he comes in contact. He has been an interested student of the grave political, sociological and economic questions which confront the country and stands at all times for those principles which work for a broader and truer democracy and for higher ideals of citizenship. In his work as an educator he has accomplished tangible results, which place him among the eminent members of the profession in the middle west.
Source: Skinner, Lawrence B., History of Logan County, Vol. II, [Chicago: Pioneer Publishing Company, 1911] p. 5-6.
Submitted by Cheryl Rothwell who is not related to James McMurray and knows nothing further about him or his family.