Archives of Maryland
(Biographical Series)

Murray Vandiver (1845-1916)
MSA SC 3520-1551


Murray Vandiver was born on September 14, 1845 in Havre de Grace, Harford County, the son of Robert R. Vandiver (1805-1885), a contractor and builder who was a descendant of early settlers of Delaware, and Mary (Russell) Vandiver (1810-1886).

He was educated in the public schools of Harford County, at Havre de Grace Academy, and was graduated from Eastman National Poughkeepsie Business college in Poughkeepsie, New York, in December 1864.

He began a lumber business in Havre de Grace in 1865 and remained there until 1878 when he joined his father in the business of shipping brick moulding sand to Baltimore, Philadelphia and other cities. After the death of his father in 1885, Vandiver ran the business alone until 1890. A lifelong Democrat,Vandiver was a member of the Harford County Democratic Executive Committee, 1873, secretary and treasurer of the Democratic State Executive Committee andthe Democratic State Central Committee, 1887-1892, delegate to the Democratic National Conventions of 1892, 1896, 1900, and 1904, and chairman,Democratic State Central Committee, 1897-1899.

He served in the House of Delegates in 1876, 1878, 1880, and 1892 and was mayor of Havre de Grace, 1885-1886. In 1892 he was appointed a commissioner of the World's Fair. President Grover Cleveland appointed Vandiver Collector of Internal Revenue for Maryland, the District of Columbia, Delaware, and Virginia's Eastern Shore. He served from 1893 to 1897. Vandiver was a colonel on the staff of Governor Robert M. McLane and served as brigadier general on Governor John Walter Smith's staff. He held the office of Treasurer of Maryland from 1900 until 1916.

Murray Vandiver was a director of most of the philanthropic organizations in Havre de Grace including the Harford Agricultural Society, the Maryland Agricultural College, the Havre de Grace Improvement Company, and the Havre de Grace Water Company. He was a member of Susquehanna Lodge No. 130, AF & AM, and a vestryman of the Protestant Episcopal Church at Havre de Grace.

Vandiver served as a director of the First National Bank of Havre de Grace, the Commonwealth Bank of Baltimore, the Commonwealth Savings Bank, the American Banking and Trust Co. of Baltimore, the Third National Bank of Baltimore, the National Bank of Port Deposit; and the Delaware Railroad.

On June 23, 1886, Murray Vandiver married Annie Clayton of Tamaqua, Pennsylvania. She was the daughter of Henry Clayton, a civil engineer and operator of the Little Schuykill Railroad. They had two children, Robert M. and Dorothy.

Vandiver died at 1:45 p.m. on May 23, 1916, at his cottage near Blue Ridge Summit. His funeral was held at Havre de Grace on May 26th with interment in Angel Hill Cemetery, Harford County.

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