Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920
Biography of Emma B. Murray 1855-1947
By Beth Twomey, librarian, North Dakota State University
Suffragist, Votes for Women League
Emma B. Murray (née Haven) was born to parents John and Adelia Haven, in Ripon, Wisconsin on September 1, 1955. Emma was the eldest of five siblings and four brothers: Alfred, George, and Harvey, and Leslie. She worked as a teacher and in 1881 she married a fellow teacher, Ernest O. Murray, in Audubon, Minnesota. They had four children: Maud, Mable, Clare and Ernest.
In 1885, Mr. Murray got a job as a telegrapher in Knife River in Dakota Territory. He went ahead to find a place for the family to live while Mrs. Murray stayed behind with baby Maud in Audubon. Three months later Mrs. Murray made the trip by train unaccompanied except by her baby to join her husband in what is now Hebron, North Dakota. The first six months they lived in Hebron it was in a one-room home, made of sod and rail road ties that had only one door, one window and which could only fit a bed, a small table, and a box for a cupboard.
Over the course of many years, Murray was involved with the North Dakota Votes for Women League. She held the role of Third Congressional District chairman in 1917 and 1918 and possibly longer. She was described as a prominent suffragist by the Bismarck Tribune in 1917, where she arrived to attend the annual state convention of the Votes for Women league. She also provided reports about suffrage work in the state for the executive board of the Votes for Women League.
Murray passed away in 1947 at the age of 91.
The Bismarck tribune. (Bismarck, N.D.), 24 Sept. 1917. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85042243/1917-09-24/ed-1/seq-5/
The Dickinson press. (Dickinson, Stark County, D.T. [i.e. N.D.]), 24 March 1917. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn88076013/1917-03-24/ed-1/seq-13/
Murray, Emma Haven. Pioneer Biography Files. (1936-1940). Bismarck, North Dakota Works Projects Administration Year: 1870; Census Place: Ripon Ward 1, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin; Roll: M593_1714; Page: 511A; Family History Library Film: 553213
Year: 1860; Census Place: Ripon Ward 1, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin; Roll: M653_1408; Page: 834; Family History Library Film: 805408
Year: 1900; Census Place: Township 140, Morton, North Dakota; Page: 17; Enumeration District: 0238; FHL microfilm: 1241230