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The early life of my grandfather, Logan Napier Muir, is somewhat of a mystery which makes pursuit of information about this Scottish family all the more compelling. (My father carried the same name so beware of confusing the two.) The following is about the senior Logan and becomes an attempt to tell an immigrant’s story, based on few facts and with little information handed down.  Thanks to my brother Andy for assistance and my mother Ruth for information through her book Three Surnames And A Jr. Any additional information or correction is appreciated. 

Al Muir

West Sacramento, California

The Muir’s were new to Edinburgh when Logan was born January 2, 1882. Loosing his father at the age of 16, Logan lived in a family of nine children and to say the family had a modest means of support would be optimistic. His father Alexander was a tailor and his mother Margaret was no more than a cleaning woman after her husband died.  Logan ventured to America in 1907, married Alexis in 1911, became a U.S. citizen in 1926, and finished a career with the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad (CB&Q) in 1948. He passed away 1955 in Clarendon Hills, Illinois at the age of 73, having never returned to Scotland.

Logan’s father, Alexander, was born in 1852 and raised about 20 miles north of Edinburgh across the Firth of Forth  -- in the little village of East Wemyss.  In 1877, at nearby Kirkcaldy, he married Margaret Napier who gave birth to twins Alexander and Maggie the following year.  Alexander, destined to become Logan’s oldest brother, died an infant 6 months later.  In 1881 the family moved to the big city of Edinburgh at #3 Potter Row where Logan was born soon after. The family remained at Potter Row for three or four years, then moved to #4 Horne Lane. Later the 1891 census shows the family residing at #10 St. Stephen Street with Alexander (39), Margaret (39), Maggie (13), David (11), Logan (9), James (7), Annie (4), Isabella (2), and Mary (11 months).

Alexander died in 1898 at the age of 46, leaving the Muir family to fend for itself in Edinburgh.  At this time the oldest child Maggie was 20, and Logan 16.  The oldest boy, David, left home to live with his uncle Andrew Napier in Kirkcaldy.  Three years later the 1901 census shows Maggie working as a waitress and her brother Logan as a butcher, being the oldest boy still at home. There were six younger than him with Annie at 14 and shown as staying home rather than at school, likely to watch the children while others were working. One could consider the family struggling and thoughts may have begun in young Logan’s mind of a life separated from the trappings of a lower class family..  thoughts to be played out six years later.

Logan Napier Muir


At the beginning of the 20th Century America was receiving immigrants at a record pace. Logan was in his early 20’s and may have been attracted by Edinburgh agents representing the thriving meat packing industry or Anchor Ship Line promising solid employment and a prosperous future in Chicago.

On the left is a 1902 brochure advertising the Anchor Line route between New York and Glasgow, the same ship line and route Logan took. A second class cabin cost $35 ($915 in 2010 dollars) to sail Glasgow to New York.

April 29, 1907 Logan boarded the SS Furnessia in Glasgow for the 12 day cruise to America including a stop at Moville, Ireland.

SS Furnessia -- Logan first saw the Statue of Liberty from this ship.  It was an aging ship of 27 years owned by Anchor Line and comparatively small in 1907.  At one time it carried 242 first class, 136 second class, and 981 third class passengers. It wasn’t unusual for steamships of the 19th Century to also have sails, although these horizontal yards were probably removed prior to 1907.