Daniel Ayres Shurr

Richland Co., Ohio


Biographies / Biographical Articles

- - - - - -

Daniel Ayres Shurr

Contributed by Denise McMahon, Queensland, Australia [3/09]  (Great-granddaughter of H. A. Crawford)


Daniel was born in Sharon, Richland County, Ohio on September 22, 1826 to William and Mahetable Shurr.[i] William died October 23, 1850, not long after the 1850 census was taken; Mahetable passed away August 21, 1830.[ii]  Daniel spent his young years on the family farm later taking on the role of clerk.[iii]  This clerk, who was involved in the mercantile business, left Ohio and at some point between June 1852 and January 1853 he arrived in California full of hope of finding a fortune in the ground; he became a miner.[iv]   While in California, Daniel heard about the gold fields of Australia, and like many men still seeking riches, boarded a ship and sailed to the land of the Southern Cross, the land down under; he would not return to his homeland for nearly two decades.

During his first years on Australian soil, Daniel met and teamed up with Hiram Allen Crawford.  Hiram born in Massachusetts in 1832 had arrived in Victoria, Australia in August 1853 and went mining in the northeast of that colony.   Striking it lucky, he then started a stage coach business, driving, promoting the business and caring for the horses alone.  In 1858 Hiram won the mail contract to run from his home base of Beechworth in the northeast of Victoria, to Albury, a town some 40 miles north in southern New South Wales.  Business was expanding and Hiram had need of help and this is where Daniel came into the picture.  Hiram sold a share of his business to Daniel in early 1858.  However, the partnership was short lived.

On the road on May 28, 1858, Daniel had just left Yackandandah, 15 miles northeast of Beechworth, "Yackandandah :"  driving the mail coach to Albury XE "Albury:"  with four passengers on board when the horses suddenly bolted, stopping only when the coach came in contact with a tree. Daniel received a fracture to his leg between the ankle and the knee.[v] When Daniel was forced to leave the partnership in August too incapacitated to continue, Hiram bought his share paying him £75 more than he originally had paid to enter the partnership the total being more than Hiram had made that year. [vi]

Hiram wrote of Daniel “Took D. A. Shurr in partnership with me.  The mails and passengers paid first rate.   One day the horses ran away with Shurr, turned over the coach and broke his leg.  Coach completely smashed that cost £100.0.0.  Harness broken and horses lamed.  He was a dear partner to me….”

What Daniel did for the next few years is unknown, but he left Australia for New Zealand in January 1862 on the ship Aldinga, perhaps again like many miners, chasing gold in the new fields of that country.  Whatever his luck may have been, Daniel returned to Victoria in May the same year on the ship City of Hobart.[vii]

Daniel Shurr moved to Hay, New South Wales, where he was the licensee of the Bell Inn in August 1868.[viii] It is not known how long Daniel had been in the hotel when he paid his annual license fee that year. Daniel appeared on the electoral roll in 1869-70 for the district of Balranald, NSW.[ix]  He returned to his home town in the northern summer of 1871 where he was married in late 1872 to Mrs. Catherine Taylor.  Kate, to her late husband Burton A. Taylor, had a daughter, Frank.[x]

MARRIED - SHURR-TAYLOR  By Rev. N. H. Loose, at the house of the bride, November 13th, 1872, Mr. Daniel Shurr and Mrs. Kate Taylor.    Thus has the lonely bachelor and the disconsolate widow "hitched teams" and gone on their way rejoicing.  May happiness, joy, and comfort attend them is the greeting of the NEWS.[xi]

Throughout his working career in Shelby, Daniel ran a boot and shoe business.[xii]  Daniel A. Shurr is recorded as a grocer, cnr. Main & Broadway, his home on Broadway cnr Junction, Shelby.[xiii] His obituary tells that ‘a few years ago’ Daniel met with an accident with rendered amputation of one of his lower limbs in order to save his life and from which he had suffered greatly.  Was this accident the one which occurred in northeast Victoria?  Four months before his death he was struck down with paralysis, rendering him prostrate.  Daniel passed to his maker on January 7, 1896 at the age of 70 years.  He was buried in the Oakland cemetery.  Kate (nee Sipe) Taylor Shurr, who had been born in Newport, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania in 1829, was interred in the same cemetery on March 20, 1922 after her death two days earlier. [xiv]


We wish through the columns of the NEWS to express our gratitude to the many kind neighbors and friends, whose sympathy and assistance were so generously extended to us during the sickness and in the death of our beloved husband and brother. Mrs. Daniel Shurr, Mrs. P. B. Jump [xv]

[i] - Shelby Oakland Cemetery and Most Pure Heart of Mary Cemetery Records, 1994, Richland County, Shelby Chapter of The Ohio Genealogical Society & Shelby Times, Saturday, January 18, 1896 P3

[ii] - Burials in Ganges Cemetery, Ganges, Richland County, Ohio

[iii] - US Federal Census 1850

[iv] - RASMUSSEN, LOUIS J. San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists. Coloma, Calif.: the author. Vol. 4, 1970. 471p. Covers June 17, 1852-January 6, 1853. Includes addenda to vols. 1-3 retrieved from Ancestry.com & Shelby Times, Saturday, January 18, 1896 P3

[v] - The Ovens & Murray Advertiser, edition unknown, 1858 – copy of which is in the scrapbook of Hiram Allen Crawford, held by the author

[vi] - Diary of Hiram Allen Crawford, copy of which is in possession of the author.

[vii] - Public Records Office, Victoria, Outward Passengers to Interstate, UK, NZ & Foreign Ports 1852-1896, retrieved from www.prov.vic.gov.au & Public Records Office Victoria, Unassisted Immigration to Victoria 1852-1923, retrieved  from www.prov.vic.gov.au

[viii] - Pastoral Times, Deniliquin NSW, August 29, 1868

[ix] - Electoral roll of persons qualified to vote for the election of members of the Legislative Assembly in the year 1869-70 for the electoral district of Balranald, eastern portion of the Oxley Police District.

[x] - Shelby News, February 17, 1899, P5 & Independent News, Shelby, Ohio,  August 17, 1871, P3 & Shelby Oakland Cemetery and MostPure Heart of Mary Cemetery Records, 1994, Richland County - Shelby Chapter of The Ohio Genealogical Society

[xi] - Independent News, Shelby, Ohio, November 21, 1872 P3

[xii] - US Federal Census 1880

[xiii] - The Herald’s Directory Mansfield Ohio, P233 1884-85, A. Bailey, Published Geo U. Harn & Bro.

[xiv] - Shelby Oakland Cemetery and Most Pure Heart of Mary Cemetery Records, 1994, Richland County, Shelby Chapter of The Ohio Genealogical Society & Shelby Times, Saturday, January 18, 1896 P3 & Mansfield News Journal, Mansfield Ohio 20 Mar 1942 in an article about events 20 years earlier

[xv] - Shelby News, Shelby, Ohio Thursday January 9 1896, P4

<< Back to Biographical Records

<< Back to the Richland Co., Ohio Index

Monday, March 30, 2009