Tain Museum Image Library

Murdo Mackenzie,
Tain Museum Image Library
Murdo Mackenzie, "Cattle King"

Murdo Mackenzie was born in Rhamore, Edderton in 1850, son of a small tenant farmer on the Balnagown Estate. He was one of many Scots who took apart in the great cattle rearing industry in the Great Plains of North America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Some merely became cowboys but others played a leading role in the large cattle companies, a number of which were registered and organised from Scotland. Murdo featured in several associations but is best known as the manager of the giant Matador Land & Cattle Company based in Texas. He held this post from 1891 to 1911 and again from 1922 to 1937. His two sons and a nephew were also involved with this company. More information about this interesting subject and Murdo's part in it can be found in "Plaids and Bandanas" by Rob Gibson.
Picture added on 13 February 2006
Murdo was my great great grandfathers younger brother. His brother David Mackenzie (my great great grandfather) left the family home at Craigroy Farm to work as a police constable in Plockton. His son Donald Macleay Mackenzie eventually left the north of Scotland to reside in Ayrshire. Donald Mackenzie's remaining desendants still live in Ayrshire today.
Added by Ryan Macleay Mackenzie on 14 November 2008
Murdo Mackenzie was also brother to my great-grandmother, Jessie (1854-1941). They, along with the above mentioned David (and Charles Mackenzie who appears on another photograph) were among eleven children born at Rhamore farm, Edderton (aka. Rathmore) to tenant farmers Jessie & David Mackenzie. The family later moved to nearby Craigroy farm. My great-grandmother, Jessie, emigrated in 1879 to New Zealand with her first husband, John Gallie, but he died there soon after from appendicitis, so she returned to Craigroy with her two young daughters and later married my great-grandfather, Alexander MacArthur (1863-1938) who was employed at nearby Balblair, but came from Nairnshire. I am the only living descendant of both Alexander & Jessie, and have lived in Denmark almost 30 years.
Added by Ian Harris on 18 November 2008
My great grandmother was also the brother of Murdoch. Her name was Barbara Mackenzie. I think she is buried in Raton, New Mexico. My grandmother, Mollie Cartwright told me Barbara came across the plains in a covered wagon to meet her older brother, Murdoch. Barbara married William Cartwright in New Mexico. William worked for Murdoch. My grandmother, Mollie Cartwright was born in Raton, NM. She married Samuel Ross Allen b. Belton, TX in 1888. Both Samuel and Mollie are buried in La Junta, Colorado. Sam died in 1948, Mollie about 1997.
Hi Folks
Do any of you know any more detail about David and Jessie Mackenzie, Birth dates, Jessie's maiden surname, Davids siblings.Any information, assumed or factual would be helpful.
Added by Lisa McMurray on 11 January 2009
Murdo was a great friend to The Glenmorangie Distillery and placed frequent orders for whisky to be sent to him and to his friends and business associates in the USA. The town of Murdo, in Jones County, South Dakota, is named for him. His son David (nicknamed "Dode") was shot dead in a saloon in SD.
Added by Iain Russell on 20 August 2012
Murdo also worked for Thomas Edward Wilson. Thomas was Canadian born but proud of his Scottish roots. Wilson Meatpacking owned land from Brazil to Canada. An offshoot of the meatpacking business was Wilson Sporting Goods. If anyone has a photo of Murdo and Thomas together, I'd love to see it.
Added by David Forlow on 23 February 2014
John Ross Allen, your grandmother Mollie was sister to my grandmother, Susan!
Added by Lori Whitener on 28 February 2014
I show Jessie Robertson Mackenzie's birth date is June 25, 1828. Died May 4, 1900 in Craigroy, Scotland.
David Mackenzie born 1816, died 1903
Added by Lori Whitener on 28 November 2015
Lori - records show David born on Nov.13th, 1815 at Craigroy farm: christened on Nov.24th, 1815: died July 9th, 1903 at Craigroy farm (Edderton).
Added by Ian Harris on 09 December 2015
Murdo was my children's great great great grandfather. We will be visiting Scotland in a few months and wondered if someone could let us know if there are any places to visit that honor Murdo.
Added by Barbara Button on 04 April 2016
Go to the "Drover" exhibition that is upstair in the Dingwall Auction Mart and he is featured there.
Also look at the book "Plaids & Bandannas" by Rob Gibson
Added by Alasdair Cameron on 22 April 2016
To Barbara Button :- do you need details and photos of Murdo's birthplace and family farms, and family gravestones (near Tain)?
Added by Ian Harris on 24 April 2016
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New PictureJessie (nee) Mackenzie EddertonJohn B Shivas, Tain Postman.Prince AlbertGordon Maitland with Marian MacKenzieJohn Murray Ronnie DuncanHilton School circa 1930Munro children, Cadboll, 1933Donald Bethune, blacksmith, hoeing turnips