Thomas Patrick Murray

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Thomas Patrick Murray
Ontario MPP
In office
Preceded by Thomas Moore Costello
Succeeded by James Shannon Dempsey
Constituency Renfrew South
Personal details
Born (1880-06-10)June 10, 1880
Barry's Bay, Ontario
Died October 1, 1981(1981-10-01) (aged 101)
Barry's Bay, Ontario
Political party Liberal
Spouse(s) Hannah Kiley
Occupation Lumberman

Thomas Patrick Murray (June 10, 1880 – October 1, 1981) was an Ontario lumber merchant and political figure. Born in Barry's Bay, he held a number of jobs prior to founding a lumber firm in 1902. He was involved in local politics for nearly a decade before being elected to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario as the member from Renfrew South. He served in this capacity for 16 years, before being defeated in the 1945 provincial election. He died at the age of 101 in October 1981. His grandson, Sean Conway, also became an Ontario provincial politician.

Early life[edit]

Murray was of Scottish descent, although his father had emigrated from Ireland and settled in Sherwood Township in 1865. Thomas was born June 10, 1880 in Barry's Bay, Ontario.[1] He worked as "a wood chopper, lumberjack, railway laborer, farmer, log maker and manufacturing lumberman"[2] prior to establishing his own lumber firm, M & T. Murray, with a mill in Martin's Siding in 1902. By 1952 the company operated three mills in Barry's Bay, Combermere, and Madawaska.[3] Founded with his brother Michael, the duo partnered with John Omanique in 1912 to form the Murray and Omanique Lumber Co. The company was dissolved in 1929 and Murray's interest was renamed Murray Brothers, as his brothers Charles and Dan joined the business. He was also active as an athlete and was involved in local baseball for over three decades.[2] He married Hannah Kiely in 1910 and had nine children.[1]

Political career[edit]

Despite growing up in a Conservative family, Murray was a member of the Ontario Liberal Party. He served on the municipal council for three years, beginning in 1921, before being elected reeve in 1924 of the Sherwood, Jones, and Burns townships that made up the then-unincorporated village of Barry's Bay. In the 1929 Ontario provincial election, he ran for a seat in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario in the Renfrew South riding against incumbent Thomas Moore Costello of the Conservative Party, who had held the seat since 1926. Murray won by a narrow margin.[2] In the midst of the Great Depression, and serving under a Conservative majority, Murray supported a provincial Depression-relief initiative to improve Renfrew County roads that improved the local infrastructure significantly.[4] He was reelected three times, in 1934, 1937, and 1943, before being defeated by Conservative James Shannon Dempsey in the 1945 election.[1]

Later life[edit]

Murray returned to his lumber business following his defeat, but also remained active athletically, playing curling at a regional senior's level.[5] He turned 100 in June 1980 and received a personalized birthday card from Wayne Gretzky.[6] He died October 1, 1981 in Barry's Bay, at the age of 101. His grandson, Sean Conway, served as an MPP for Renfrew North from 1975 through 1999 and for Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke from 1999 until his 2003 retirement.[7] The Thomas P. Murray Recreational Trails in Barry's Bay are named in his honor.[8]


  1. ^ a b c "Fonds F 105 – Thomas Patrick Murray fonds". Archeion – Archives Association of Ontario. 1988. Retrieved 2016-06-30. 
  2. ^ a b c "Lumberman Legislator Can Catch Votes as well as Baseballs". Canada Lumberman. Toronto. 50: 35. 1930-02-15. 
  3. ^ "Banquet Held on Fiftieth Anniversary". Canada Lumberman. Toronto. 72: 68. November 1952. 
  4. ^ Lee-Whiting, Brenda (1985). Harvest of Stones: the German Settlement in Renfrew Country. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. p. 265. ISBN 0-8020-6580-5. 
  5. ^ "Renfrew Rink in Finals Seniors Play". Ottawa Citizen. Postmedia Network. 1956-03-01. p. 14. Retrieved 2016-06-30. 
  6. ^ "Thomas P. Murray". The Globe and Mail. 1981-10-02. p. 15. 
  7. ^ "Thomas P. Murray, former MPP". Canadian News Facts. Toronto: Marpep Publishing: 2586. 1981. 
  8. ^ "Thomas P. Murray Recreational Trails". Ontario Trails Council. 2015. Retrieved 2016-06-30. 

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