On May 21, 1962, a memorial proceeding was held in Wabasha County District Court in honor of John W. Murdoch, who had died on April 11, at age ninety-two. Lawrence R. Lunde, a Lake City lawyer who knew Murdoch very well, delivered a eulogy that included the following:
"I think that Mr. Murdoch considered the Reads Landing case one of the landmarks. Complex with its many legal angles, full of historical value, filled with the thrills of early settlement, exciting with the picturesque days of logging, stage coaches and steam boats. Upon his retirement he prepared a record of this case and had it published in the newspapers, entitled "The Story of Reads Landing - Comedy of Errors." This singular and extraordinary case began in 1868 when the original charter of the Village of Reads was granted by the Minnesota Legislature. Reads Landing then a city of 2000 population, rated as second to none in Minnesota, and claimed to have more hotels than any city in the country in proportion to its size. It was a lawsuit on notes by one of New York's great financiers against the Village of Reads Landing arising out of a bond issue by the Village of Reads in aid of building the railroad. The case involved the Village of Reads, the Township of Pepin and the City of Wabasha, including the Riverview Cemetery where now rest the remains of Mr. Murdoch. A case that involved many special acts of the Legislature as the parties were sparring for No. 1 position. Many distinguished lawyers and venerable Judges participated therein. This case was in the State Courts and Supreme Court and in the Federal Courts. Mr. Murdoch came into the case around 1900 and made the final argument in the Federal Court. The final decision was adverse to the City of Wabasha."
John Murdoch's case-memoir of the "Russell Sage v. Village of Reads" litigation was published in The Lake City Graphic on February 14, 1952. It is posted here.