Family History

Murray’s Shoes has been an old-fashioned family tradition since 1875. Unlike the direction that many of today’s corporations have taken, Murray’s Shoes has stayed the course for over 142 years. It has been the Murray family’s commitment to bring to their community quality footwear and exceptional service.

Now, after more than a century, the family has taken service to the next level by adding a pedorthic facility within the shoe store. As pedorthists, our mission is to manage the cause of lower limb problems by developing a treatment plan involving footwear, orthotics, and physical therapy. During the course of treatment, our goal is to protect the lower limb from short and long term effects that would otherwise reduce mobility.

The Founder and 1st Generation

Adam Murray was born into a farming family in 1843. The Murrays’ primary source of income was raising sheep imported from England. As Adam’s life began to unfold, Adam migrated from Ohio to LeRoy, Illinois, where he began what was to become a long tradition in the retail business.

Adam joined forces with Dr. Wm. Buckworth, establishing both a medical office and a pharmacy with a dry goods, millinery, and shoe store. This store remained in business until 1912.

The 2nd Generation

St. Elmo Murray, son of Adam, was born in 1871 and began working for his father at a very early age. This was true of most children in those days.

St. Elmo took over the store after his father’s death in 1901 and kept it open until 1912, when St. Elmo sold the store and opened the first full-line shoe store in Decatur, Illinois. Two years, later St. Elmo’s son Ralph, who was underage at the time, took the inurban train from Decatur to Clinton, Illinois and bought a shoe store. Ralph went back to St. Elmo and convinced him that the Clinton store would be a better investment than the Decatur store because of the Illinois Central railroad having a hub there. At the time, St. Elmo didn’t know Ralph had signed a contract for the purchase. This store remained open until 1985.

The 3rd Generation

Del Murray, son of St. Elmo, was born in 1911. All through high school, Del worked for his father, coming in before and after school. After graduating from high school, Del worked for several companies before settling in with Curtis Candy Company. Following WWII, St. Elmo offered Del a job working for $35 a week. However, Del had a family to support, so he went back to work as a district manager for Curtis Candy Co.

In 1946, St. Elmo sold the store to Del and his brother-in-law. This partnership was short-lived, so Del bought a building across the street and in 1948 opened his own store, which remained open until 1990. During his career in the shoe business, Del opened nine more stores throughout Illinois. Upon his death in 1990, Del’s legacy was passed on to his two sons, Joe in Illinois and Jim in Colorado.

The 4th Generation

Jim, son of Del Murray, born in 1949, began working in the store at a very early age, which has been true of all the Murrays. Then, in 1983, Jim became a pioneer, like his great grandfather Adam, and moved west, settling in Colorado. After opening several stores throughout the Denver area, Jim opened his present store in 1991.

Since 1971, Jim has wanted to help people with their footwear needs and foot problems. The new store was just that beginning. First Jim opened a comfort casual shoe store with shoes that offered extra support or accommodated arch supports. After establishing this market, he went to Northwestern University Medical School’s Prosthetic/Orthotic Center where he completed the required courses in Pedorthics. Jim sat for the boards and was certified as a Pedorthist by the American Board for Certification (ABC). As a pedorthist Jim is now able to modify and fit footwear, and custom fit foot orthosis to alleviate foot problems caused by disease, congenital defect, overuse or injury.

The 5th Generation

Alicia Murray, daughter of Jim Murray is the first Women in the long linage of Murrays. Like all of the Murray’s before her she began at a very young age. Coming in after school just seemed natural to her and before we all new it, she was fitting shoes. Throughout her years in college, she progressed from selling shoes to doing the buying for the store. After graduating with a degree in Business she has now taken on most of the daily operations and has added a fashion look to the selection of brands. All the Murray Patrearch would be proud of her accomplishments.

With new leadership also comes a new location to meet the needs or our customers today. All of the Murray’s past and present, welcome you to our humble abode.

AND THE STORY CONTINUES