Rev. William MURTAUGH, a priest of the Catholic church whose field of labor includes Sheffield and Wyanet, his home being in the former city, was born at Chatsworth, Livingston county, Illinois, July 5, 1860. His father Owen MURTAUGH, was born in County Louth, Ireland, January 8, 1826, and was the son of a farmer. He was reared to farm life and when twenty-six years of age came to America and worked at farm labor for three years. Attracted by the discovery of gold in the Pacific coast and hoping to realize a fortune in the mines of California, he proceeded southward to New Orleans and thence to Nicaraugua and up the river – the route being practically the route of the present ship canal across the isthmus. He spent two years in mining in California, meeting with reasonable success and experiencing the usual hardships and privations of those early mining days on the coast. With a fair sum of money as the result of his two years’ work he returned to Illinois and purchased eighty acres of land, while subsequently he bought a half section in Marshall county. Later he removed to Livingston county and from there to Ford county, Illinois, where he engaged in framing until when he took up his abode in Chatsworth, retiring from active business life. In 1855 he had married Miss Bridget LAWLESS, of Marshall county, Illinois, who died in 1861, and subsequently he wedded Miss Alice CLEARY, of Wilmington, Will county, Illinois. Mr. MURTAUGH held many offices of trust in the communities in which he resided and was a most faithful incumbent, ever discharging his duties to the best of his ability. In politics he was a stanch democrat, thoroughly in sympathy with the principles and policy of the party. He died May 11, 1901, leaving behind the record of a successful and honorable life. His children are the Rev. William MURTAUGH, of this review; Frank; Alice; and a son and daughter deceased.
Extracted 06 Jun 2011 by Norma Hass from 1906 Past and Present of Bureau County, Illinois