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  • Writer's pictureThis Is Rutherford

Local Hero Daniel "Dan" Murray

Information submitted by Rod Leith

By Jennifer Ersalesi

38 Elm Street

In 1929, James H. Murray found a home at 38 Elm Street in Rutherford James was born in South Carolina in 1898 and served in the US Army in WWI. During an interview with Borough Historian, Rod Leith, James’ son, Daniel “Dan” told him that his father had been “gassed” by the Germans in France and subsequently developed health issues from the awful experience. James was an officer in Post 453, Rutherford's African-American American Legion Post, formed in 1947.

Mark Eugene Murray, the older brother of James, was killed in 1915 while serving in the US Army during WWI. His name is engraved on Rutherford's WWI Monument. He is considered a "co-father" of American Legion Post 453. The other "co-father" is William Coleman Hodge, aka, the Murray- Hodge Post.

Dan Murray

The son of James H. Murray, Daniel "Dan" Murray, a WWII veteran, was raised at 38 Elm Street. Dan participated in the Normandy Invasion (its 75th year anniversary was recognized in April) with the US Army, Co. 306, 509 Port Battalion. He was born in 1925 and died in 2017, while still residing at 38 Elm Street.

Dan Murray while employed at Becton Dickinson

Borough Historian Rod Leith explained, “So, from 1929 to 2017, 38 Elm Street was a Murray-owned house. It certainly can be designated historic, just from the standpoint of the remarkable military history reflected by the Murray family.”

"While Dan was openly proud of his US Army military record at Normandy, he was far more humble about his achievement as the first Black to be employed in the finance department at Becton Dickinson. Dan was an accomplished financial accountant," Rod Leith told TIR.

Dan Murray receiving handmade paper carnation from Bill Galloway and Janet Mariano Merli in 2015

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