County histories can be a wonderful source of information. And in the case of Daniel Murray, born in County Down, Ireland, the following Greene County, Missouri, biography from the 1883 History of Greene County, Missouri by R. I. Holcombe, Editing Historian, is rich in details.
Mr. Murray was born in county Down, Ireland, October 12th, 1864, and was educated in the common schools of that country. He emigrated to America, landing at Castle Garden in January, 1870. He soon after came to St. Louis, but remained only a short time, and then went to Potosi, Washington county, Missouri, where he served an apprenticeship at wagon-making. In the fall of 1874, he went to Dade county and set up a shop at the Pemberton mines, which he ran a year and then came to Ash Grove and opened a shop, and does a good business. He is the patentee of the now adjustable vehicle wheel, for wagons and buggies, by which a wheel can be set to any grade or dish desired. It is a most useful invention and likely to come into general use everywhere. Mr. Murray’s parents are yet in Ireland. He has one brother in Manchester, England, and one in Baltimore, Maryland. Mr. Murray is a member of the Knights of Labor.
— Chapter 20, Boone Township – Biographies
Most of what I know about this Daniel Murray is from this brief biographical sketch. I did find 15 year-old Daniel Murray on the 1870 US Census. He is living in the Potosi, MO household of my great-grandfather, Hugh Murray, a wagonmaker. (Note: It seems likely that Daniel was born about 1854 rather than 1864, as stated in the Greene County History.)
Daniel is likely related to Hugh, and as it happens, Hugh had a twin who remained in Ireland. I believe the twin was named Daniel Murray as well.
I don’t know yet how the Daniel Murray, described below, who worked as a wagonmaker in Ash Grove, MO, in 1883 is related to my great-grandfather, Hugh Murray. Daniel is one more link in the chain that will hopefully, one day, lead to my Murray ancestors in Northern Ireland.