Esther was born 30 Jun 1858 at Licking, Texas, Missouri. Her parents were William and Lucy Thornton. She was a year old on the 1860 census, and by the 1870 census, her father was dead and she was living with her mother and her brother, John. In October of 1870 her mother married John Gray. Esther married John L. Murray on 10 August 1878 in Dent County, Missouri.
Her oldest son, William, did not survive. He is listed on the 1880 census as being a year old. Leta Lavina was born in 1881 in Salem, Missouri. Lota Esther was born in 1885 in Fort Worth, Texas. Nelle Agness was born in 1887 in Alvarado, Texas. Johnnie was born in 1890 in Willow Springs, Missouri. Sometime in between these births another child was born who did not survive. Nelle wrote that her name was Mollie. I have placed her in the family with a birth estimated as 1883.
Esther is buried in the Old Baptist Cemetery in Willow Springs with her son Johnnie next to her. Johnnie was born 11 February 1890. Esther's tombstone lists her birthdate and her age as 32 years 7 months and 18 days. If that is correct, she died on 17 February 1891. Lota's Bible lists her death as 18 February 1890. Leta always said she died on Valentine's Day. The girls were very young when their mother passed away. Whatever the date of her death, she was mourned for and missed.