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William Price Murley. One of the handsome and valuable farms of the fertile agricultural region of Northwest Oklahoma, is the property belonging to William Price Murley, lying five miles southeast of the present Town of Capron. Here he has made his home since the opening of the Cherokee Strip, in 1893, and has contributed generously to the development of his community by establishing a well-cultivated and modernly-improved country property. Few men of his locality are more highly esteemed than is Mr. Murley, who is known as a substantial and practical agriculturist and as a public spirited citizen, and the regard in which he is held is strengthened by the fact that he is the proud owner of a Carnegie hero medal, the first to be awarded an Oklahoman.
William Price Murley was born October 24, 1861, on a farm in Macon County, Missouri, and is a son of Daniel and Martha A. (Waddle) Murley. His father, born June 10, 1823, in Mason County, Kentucky, was a man of versatile talents and fine education, mastering several professions and gaining well-merited success in each. At various times he practiced as a lawyer, a doctor, a civil engineer and a teacher, and also for a number of years was engaged in farming. He had an honorable military career as a soldier during the Mexican war, being a private under Gen. Zachary Taylor. During the early days of Missouri he was sent from his district as a representative to the Legislature, and subsequently was elected county judge, an office which he held for a long period. He was an intensely religious man, and died in the faith of his church, at Kansas City, Missouri, February 12, 1904. In 1860, in Macon County, Missouri, Mr. Murley was married to Miss Martha A. Waddle, who was born in that county, in 1845, daughter of Edward Waddle, a native of Kentucky. She died May 12, 1866, the mother of three children: William Price; Daniel G., born October 25, 1863, a farmer and one of the first settlers of Alfalfa County, which he represented in the Oklahoma Legislature in 1908; and Martha Ann, born May 11, 1866, married Jacob Frank in 1881, has three children,–Carl, Jacob and Julia, and lives at Kansas City, Missouri.
William P. Murley was educated in the public schools of Sumner County, Kansas, was reared amid agricultural surroundings, and in 1886 engaged in his first business venture when he took up a homestead in Comanche County, Kansas, and established a cattle ranch, handling cattle on the range. This proved a successful enterprise, and he continued to be engaged in that manner until 1893, when he participated in the opening of the Cherokee Strip by making the race for land. Locating five miles southeast of the present Town of Capron, he secured a choice claim of 160 acres, and this has been since developed under his capable management into one of the finest properties in this section, being now all under cultivation, completely fenced, and with the most up-todate improvements and substantial buildings. While practical in his aims, Mr. Murley is progressive also, and is ever ready to experiment with new methods which promise to secure advanced results. Politically, he is a democrat, but has never cared for public life, nor has he held any save purely local offices. He holds a certificate of membership in the Payne Colony, which agitated the original opening of Oklahoma, but did not take part in that opening. On February 8, 1911, near his home, Mr. Murley exhibited magnificent bravery when he attempted to rescue J. Austin Lott, a boy, from death in a runaway. His courageous attempt cost him greatly, for he received injuries the effects of which will be with him as long as life lasts. However, the incident was brought to the notice of the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission, and January 15, 1913, Mr. Murley was presented with a silver medal, together with $1,000 disablement benefits and $1,000 toward liquidating indebtedness. Mr. Murley is the first man in Oklahoma to receive such an honor and his medal will ever remain his most highly-prized possession.
On November 9, 1882, Mr. Murley was married to Miss Margaret Davis, of Sumner County, Kansas, who was born May 28, 1864, daughter of Lewis and Rebecca (Bennett) Davis, and died October 21, 1909, in Alfalfa County, Oklahoma. To this union there were born five daughters and four sons, as follows: Daniel Lewis, born August 1, 1884, who died August 26, 1885; Zula Z., born March 16, 1886; Glenn, born December 31, 1888, who died October 9, 1889; Neva, born October 14, 1892, married in 1910, C. H. Lee, and has one child,–William; Ruby, born January 10, 1898, married in 1913, Homer Elliott, and has one daughter,–Ethel; Alta, born December 27, 1900; Ruth, born July 20, 1902; and Harry and William, who died in infancy.