Scottish Shepherd

The Life and Times of John Murray Murdoch, Utah Pioneer

By Kenneth W Merrell

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Subjects: Mormon Studies, Utah

9780874809312 (paperback)

Now in paperback, this award-winning history tells the story of the author’s great-great grandfather, John Murray Murdoch, who came to America from Scotland to gather with other members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during the nineteenth century.
Murdoch embraced Mormonism and set out for the Utah Territory in 1852 with his wife, Ann, and their family. En route they suffered the deaths of their two young children. Two years later, John’s mother, Wee Granny, and Ann’s brother, James Steele, both perished, along with many others of the ill-fated Martin handcart company, as they attempted to immigrate to Salt Lake City.

Murdoch was a respected member of the community and participated in the military preparations and maneuvers against the U.S. Army in the 1857 Utah War. Eventually the family moved to the Heber valley as early settlers there. Murdoch later became one of Wasatch county’s first elected officials and helped establish the sheep-ranching industry in Utah. The 'everyman' aspect of John Murdoch’s life makes his a compelling story. It will fascinate anyone interested in the individuals who helped create Utah's history. 

Winner of the Evans Handcart Award.