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Elijah Stith Cusenbary

submitted by: Dorman Holub

Elijah Stith Cusenbary is the founder of Murray, a modest farmer and one of the widely known citizens of Young County. His advent to the county dates from 1876 when he purcahsed the tract of land upon which his modest efforts at farming and stock raising have been since directed. The store is presided over by his thorough going and industrious wife and she is the postmistress of the office founded in 1880, and names in honor of J.J. Murray, a leading citizen of Murray in the early day.

Elijah Cusenbery came to Texas as a Missouri settler. On his way from eastern Texas he picked up a small bunch of cattle which he placed upon the open range in Young County — some unprotected by brand — with the consequent loss that always prevailed under the practices of cattle men of that time. His early hopes led him to plan a career of stock raising on the open range indefinitely, never expectiong to need any more land of his own than the quarter section he bought, but time changed this frontier, as it has all others, and within a few years the open range was closed and there seemed nothing better than to turn his attention to farmer. Elijah Cusenbery was born in Jackson County, Missouri, 25 December 1850. Mr. Cusenbary was a son of Daniel Cusenbary who settled in Jackson County, Missouri very early, improved a famr and cultivated it successfull. David Cusenbary was killed on the street in Independence, Missouri by a federal soldier in 1863.

Elijah's father, Daniel Cusenbary was born in Logan County, Kentucky in 1800 and entertained southern sentiments during the war and left a good estate at his death. Daniel Cusenbary was married to Celia F. Robinson, a daughter of Colonel William Cogswell, originally from Kentucky. After the death of Daniel Cusenbary in 1863, his widow, Celia married Mr. Funk.

1. Harrison D. Cusenbary of Arcadia, Oklahoma
2. James D. Cusenbary of Independence, Missouri
3. John W. Cusenbary, who died in Colorado
4. George K. Cusenbary of Los Angeles, California
5. Mary Cusenbary, who died in Jackson County, Missouri, as the wife of Thomas Funk
6. Vincent C. Cusenbary, deceased.

Celia F. Cusenbary passed away at the home of her son, Elijah S. Cusenbary in Young County in 1904, having been the mother of William B. Robinson, who was killed during the Civil War by Federals and the mother of Elijah S. Cusenbary.

Elijah S. Cusenbary grew up in Jackson County, Missouri and knew the work of the farm since a boy. His educational opportunities were fair and had a knowledge of the principles of an education. He came to Texas at the age of 18 and was employed on the cow range in Bosque County. From this experience, he was a fine cattle raiser.

Elijah Cusenbary married Mary Catherine Hopper on 5 January 1873. She was born in Kentucky on 29 September 1852 and when a small child was taken by her parents, John and Ann Louise Hopper to Missouri where she grew up. Mary was partially raised by her husband's mother, having been orphaned in childhood, and she has a sister, Mrs. Nora Atterbury, of Collingsworth County, Texas.

After their marriage, the family settled in Cass County, Missouri and began raising hogs for the markets. Misfortune caused Elijah to quit the business and he decided to return to Texas in 1876.

With his wife and two orphan children, he set out by wagon and followed the trail down through Kansas and the Indian Territory, crossing the Red River at Denison and coming along to his destination at the headwaters of Fish Creek. Believing there was an opening for a store at the post office at Murray, Mrs. Cusenbary took active charge of the post office when it was established and she is responsible for its conduct as Elijah Cusenbary is on the farm.

The following children were born to Elijah S. and Mary C. Cusenbary:
1. Mary L. Cusenbary, wife of E.M. Tankersley of Graham. Their children included: Ernie, Elijah, Andrew, David Raymond and Ewell Profit Tankersley
2. Zephyr Rose Cusenbary
3. Daniel David Cuensbary
4. Caldwell C. Cusenbary, a student in the Metropoitan College of Dallas.

Elijah Cusenbary has been one of the active men of the Murray Community in the matter of church work and influence. The Baptist held meetings first in a log school house in which Mary C. Cusenbary taught school when the family first came to Fish Creek, but this has been succeeded by a church building which Elijah Cusenbary helped to build.

-History of North and West Texas
-Research and interviews of Pat Cusenbary Gracey
-Research by Dorman Holub

Saturday, July 11, 2009

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