Henry Murray Jr.


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Lunger Tragedy

Related by Henry Murray Jr.


July 25, 1945


In 1871, (1870) John Lunger and his wife an aged couple lived in an old boat on the shore of Cayuga Lake a few rods south of Goodwin Point. A young man by the name of Michael Ferguson, a nephew of the couple lived them and a young girl did the housework.

            Ferguson murdered the old couple and taking the girl in a boat rowed across the lake and hid in a haystack in the Town of Lansing.

            Two sisters of Mrs. Lunger, Mrs. Wm. Wakeman and Mrs. Than Hines, living near Kingtown, were notified of the tragedy and Mr. Wakeman called on neighbor, Henry Murray Sr. for the use of his team to convey the bodies to the Trumansburg Cemetery.

            They barrowed a sleigh of Mrs. Jane Woodworth (mid. Of Orsamus) who lived in Kingtown, and hitching the team to the same and loading box, with charred remains in the back of the sleight. Henry Murray Jr. then aged about 14 drove Mr. Wakeman and Mr. Hines to the cemetery. Ferguson was hung in Ithaca at the jail. The girl married and lived at Varna.


      ·        Fay Smith of Lansing can tell you who the girl married. She was still living a few years ago.

·        Henry Murray Jr. was born in the Town of  Covert, April 5, 1857. He has charge of the parking area back of Ithaca Hotel.

      ·        July 25, 1945 – Mrs. J.B. Smelzar


*Jane Woodworth – grandmother of Mrs. Smelzer

* Fay Smith lives near Benson Corners with his nephew Purley Haring – R.F.D Groton. (By Mrs. W.D. Haring July 30, 1948)

* Mrs. Than Hines was Margaret Lunger Hine, a sister of Jonathan Lunger not a sister of Mrs. Jonathan Lunger – J. F. Lunger 7/9/57


*Anna Lunger Married – Edward J. Beard. She died December 21, 1890 – Norene Turcsik – 11/26/06

* Anna Lunger was Jonathan  Lunger’s daughter not housekeeper – Norene Turcsik – 11/26/06



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This site was last updated 01/07/07