Memorable Manitobans: James Richard Murray (1885-1963)
Born at Limerick, Ireland on 11 September 1885, son of James Murray and Mary Seymour, he attended Trinity College and came to Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1905, working his way to Winnipeg. He joined the Winnipeg-based Grain Growers’ Grain Company in 1909 as a clerk, and was appointed Assistant General Manager in 1916. After the merger with Alberta Elevator Company in 1917, he became manager of United Grain Growers’ eastern division. He helped create the pool system, becoming in 1930 the General Manager of the Alberta Pacific Grain Company.
In 1931, a letter that he wrote to Manitoba Premier John Bracken contained four charges against Manitoba Pool Elevators that led to establishment of the Williams Commission. Two of the charges were proved and a third was substantially proved, in the aftermath of which Pool President Colin Hamlin Burnell resigned. In 1935, he became Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Wheat Board, negotiated the sale of the 295 million bushel surplus within eight months, and resigned because he said that his job was done.
On 12 June 1916, he married Verna Marjorie Livingstone (1894-1963) at Winnipeg. They had a son, James Richard Murray.
He died at Victoria, British Columbia on 22 August 1963 and was buried in the Royal Oak Burial Park at Saanich.
Marriage registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
Death registrations [James Richard Murray, Verna Marjorie Murray], British Columbia Vital Statistics.
“Ex-city grain man dies in B.C.,” Winnipeg Free Press, 23 August 1963.
Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 9 May 2023