Murray’s Shoes History
Murray’s Shoes, the Comfort Store, is continuing a 138-year family tradition of business that began in 1875. Unlike many corporations today, Murray’s has stayed the course — with the family continuing its tradition of bringing to its’ communities and customers quality footwear and exceptional service.
Adam Murray 1843—1901
In 1843, Adam Murray was born to a family raising sheep, which were imported from England. He migrated to Ohio to LeRoy, IL, where he established a pharmacy, also offering dry goods, millinery and shoes in conjunction with Dr. William Buckworth. The store operated until 1912.
St. Elmo Murray 1871—1953
Adam Murray’s son, St. Elmo, was born in 1871. He began working for his father at an early age and took over the store after his father’s death in 1901. In 1912 he sold the store and opened the first full-line shoe store in Decatur, IL. Two years later, St. Elmo’s son Ralph, who was underage at the time, took a train from Decatur, IL to Clinton, IL and bought a shoe store. Ralph returned to Decatur and convinced his father the Clinton store would be a better investment, particularly since this was the hub of the Illinois Central Railroad. This store remained open until 1985.
Del Murray 1911—1990
St. Elmo’s second son, Del, was born in 1911. Through his school years he worked for his father. Following World War II, with a family to support, he accepted a position as district manager for Curtiss Candy, Co. In 1946, Del bought his father’s shoe store with his brother-in-law, which was a short-lived partnership. Del bought the building across the street, and in 1948 opened up his own store. It remained open until 1990. During the intervening years, Del opened nine additional stores across Illinois. Upon his death in 1990, Del’s legacy was passed to his two sons, Joe in Illinois and Jim in Colorado.
Joe Murray 1967—present
In the family tradition, Joe Murray, son of Del, began working in his father’s store at an early age. In 1967 they opened one of the first stores at Eastland Mall in Bloomington and remained at that location until 1998 and moved to the current location at 1701 E. Empire, Bloomington. “Our level of expertise enables us to assure to the physician and the patient,” said Joe Murray, “the proper footwear and a proportional fit of the shoe to the foot. “We carry products designed to support simple foot fatigue or to accommodate various types of lower extremity orthotics (bracing)”, explained Murray. “Our hands-on experience enables us to help our clients through the difficult times of finding footwear to meet daily activities and lifestyles. For those needing additional support, a full line of off-the-shelf orthotics are available.”
The Murray’s philosophy has carried through four generations: “Our goal is to help people by offering the most supportive, comfortable, best quality products on the market.”
Brands We Carry