Death of My Grandfather Heber Murdock 1930

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Wasatch Wave Newspaper Friday April 11, 1930

Heber Murdock Killed By Jersey Bull

On Tuesday morning of this week happened one of the saddest accidents in the history of Heber City when Mr. Heber Murdock, 40, was attacked by a Jersey Block Association bull and killed.  No one knows just how Mr. Murdock met his death as he was alone and nothing was known of it until it was all over.  Mr. Murdock arose quite early and went to the barn to do his chores, preparatory to helping his nephew with some work following the family breakfast.  In the meantime there was no apparent cause for worry and Mrs. Murdock went about her morning work and when breakfast was ready called her husband to come.  When there was no response it was thought he had crossed the street to his sister’s home, but not finding him there a search was begun.  The animal was found loose in the corral and the body of Mr. Murdock, trampled and broken lay near a large log against which the life had been crushed out of him.  It is believed that the animal made the attack as he was being led to water.

Dr. Wherritt was summoned at once but the unfortunate man died, no aid being possible.  He is survived by his wife; Mrs. Effie Morton Murdock, four children: Heber, Dan, Mary and John H.  His father John H. Murdock, two half brothers, Paul of Provo and Thomas of Heber, five sisters Millie Witt, Eunice Hicken, and Sadie Thurman of Heber and Mrs. Eliza Sellers and Mrs. Pearl Buckley of Provo, four half sisters, Marella Stanley of Heber, Leah Kay of Charleston, Ellen Patten and Miss Emily Murdock of Provo.

Funeral services in honor of Mr. Murdock were held in the Stake Tabernacle Thursday afternoon with Bishop Fredrick Crook conducting.  A quartet composed of Mrs. Dona Montgomery, Mrs. Nettie Bonner, and F. W. Hardy and Earl Smith accompanied by Mrs. Loraine Lefler sang “Author of Faith” “Jesus, Lover of My Soul” and “I Know that My Redeemer Lives.”  The speakers were Bishop Fredrick Crook, Ralph F. Nielson and Charles N. Broadbent.  The congregation was unusually large and the flowers were many.  Interment was in the Heber City Cemetery.  The opening prayer in the funeral service was offered by A. Y. Duke and the benediction by David W. Hicken.

The entire community sympathizes with this family in their sad bereavement.

Son Mort Murdock’s Memories of his father Heber’s Death, taken from video taped interview May 9, 1988

“I was working up in the mine when my father was killed accidentely.  I remember they called me out of the mine.  Tom Marsh brought me down to the house, down to Aunt Millie’s and I seen everybody gathered down there and he stopped there and they told me that my father had been killed.  Well that was an awful shock to my mother of course.  He was killed, he died on the 8th day of April and my mother’s birthday was on the 11th and I said “no we’re not going to have his funeral on the 11th, that’s your birthday and we aren’t gonna have it on your birthday, so we hurried up and had his funeral on the 10th, it was quite a hurry up thing.

Now there’s another thing that made me a little bit sore about my Grandfather Murdock.  We went down to the mortuary to pick out a casket, and he had to be there, well he picked out a casket that I wouldn’t have buried anybody in, in fact I wouldn’t bury anything in it.  Grandfather said as far as he was concerned it was good enough for my father, and I said “nothing doing” and he said “you’re just going to put it in the ground why would you get anything expensive to put in the ground” and I said “well we’re gonna have this one over here” and he said “well that’s putting money  too much money to waste.”  Well I won out and we got that one and my mother would not say anything, she was afraid of Grandfather Murdock, so he says “how are you going to pay for it?” and I says “we’ll pay for it a little bit at a time if we have to but,” and Mr. Olpin said “yes you can pay on time.”  Anyway we had the funeral and it was quite a large funeral, my father was well liked.  There was a lot of people liked him, he had  a lot of friends.  My mother was in pretty tough shape, she was a young woman and she was left with four children to raise, she had no education and no income.”

A Few Notes About His Father’s Death From Son John H. Murdock

“Grandfather Murdock thought that Heber was careless when it came to the bull.  The bull was notorious for being mean and Grandfather was always saying “Heber that bull will kill you.” My dad loved animals and was too trusting, especially with that bull.

The bull was a Jersey, with a big gold ring in his nose.  He belonged to the Block Association and was taken from farm to farm and used as stud service for the cows.

My mother had made breakfast and kept calling for dad to come.  When he didn’t show up, she sent Dan out looking for him.  Dan found dad pinned up next to a log.  He grabbed the chain on the bull and tied him back up to the fence.

Mort was working in the mine, Mary and I were still asleep.  They brought him into the house and Dr. Wherritt was called, but there was nothing he could do.  He said it looked like every bone in his body had been crushed and broken.

I remember after everybody left, my mother started scrubbing the floor with a vengeance, she scrubbed that floor for hours, way into the night.”

Heber City Cemetery Location B-1-5
       Heber City Cemetery Location B-1-5
   Heber Murdock my Grandfather
      Heber Murdock my Grandfather

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