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John Murphy





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There could be no more comprehensive history written of a city or a community than that which deals with the life-work of those who, by their own endeavor and indomitable energy, have placed themselves where they well deserve the title of "prominent and progressive," and in this sketch will be found the record of one who has outstripped the less active and less able plodders on the highway of life and attained to a position of relative distinction in the locality honored by his citizenship.

John Murphy is a native son of the old Buckeye State, having been born in Clarke county on the 10th day of 'May, 1845, and is a Son of William H. and Mary (Sipe) Murphy. The subject's father, who also was a native of Ohio, was a carpenter by trade and also farmed to some extent. In 1856 he came to Darke county, locating Just south of New Harrison, where he followed agricultural pursuits until 1859, when he moved to Miami county, locating on a farm on Panther creek. Eventually he moved to Covington, this State, still later locating just south of Bradford, Darke county, and in 1865 came to Versailles, where he engaged again in farming, and was also interested in the hardware business. He became a man of prominence in the community, serving as mayor of Versailles, and for twenty years gave effective service as justice of the peace. He was also to some extent interested in the lumber business and in many ways contributed to the commercial prosperity of that locality. Both of the subjects parents were born in the year 1818. He died at Versailles in 1893, when nearly seventy-five years of age, having survived his wife many years, she passing away in 1862, at the age of forty-four years. They were both earnest members of the Christian church. Mrs. Murphy was a native of Pennsylvania, and her parents were natives of Germany, who, upon their emigration to the United States, settled in the State, where they spent the remainder of their lives. Their children were as follows: John, Henry, Jacob, Mary, Susan, Catherine and Esther. To Mr. and Mrs. Murphy were born the following children: Catherine, Leander, Sarah, Simon, Angeline, John, William H., Mary Margaret, Ellen, Esther, Elizabeth, Susanna and Joseph.

John Murphy was reared as a farmer boy, spending the first years of his life with his parents in Miami, Darke and Greene counties, and securing his education in the district schools of the various localities where the family resided. On February 22, 1864, he enlisted as a private in Company B, Eighth Ohio cavalry, and with that command took part in some of the most hotly contested battles of that period of the war, being mustered out of the service on the 30th of July, 1865. Among the engagements in which he had a part were those of Winchester, Fisher's Hill and Cedar Creek, besides many skirmishes, marches and campaigns. After the war Mr. Murphy returned to the home farm and completed his public school studies. He then engaged in teaching school, being thus engaged during sixteen six-month terms of winter school and two summer terms. He then turned to the operation of his farm of one hundred acres, located three miles north of Versailles, where he remained until the fall of 1884, when he came to Versailles and embarked in the drain tile manufacturing business, in which he continued until 1914, a period of nearly thirty years. The plant which he operated is up-to-date and well equipped in every respect and a number of expert workmen were employed, a large amount of tile of a high quality being turned out, which commands a ready sale in the market. Mr. Murphy has prospered in his business efforts and has bought two more farms, being now the owner of four hundred acres of splendid land. His success has been due to his indefatigable industry, sound business judgment and staunch integrity, elements of character which will insure success in any undertaking, and he has earned the high place which he has long occupied in the esteem of his fellow citizens.

On March 4, 1869, John Murphy was united in marriage with Martha J. Marker, the daughter of Martin and Margaret (Weaver) Marker, and to their union have been born the following children: Charles, who died at the age of nine months; Margaret became the wife of Rev. William Flammer. They lived in Wyoming until the fall of 1913 and then returned to Miami county, where he was born and reared and is now pastor of the Christian church at Covington, the town where he was born. They have three children, Marian, William and Robert; Francis Marian was a merchant for some years in Versailles, eventually was graduated from the law department of University of Michigan, and is now a successful lawyer at Greenville. He married Margaret Ward and they have three children, Pauline, Martha and Louisa; Cora married Andrew Reed; Forest, who is in the clothing business in Versailles, married Marie Wills, and they have three children, Helen L., Jennie M. and John E; Jennie became the wife of Earl Ryan, and they live in Columbus, this state, where he is studying medicine. They have a daughter, Marthel; Algie, who married Martha Helen Wright, of Greenville, is engaged in the clothing business in partnership with his brother at Versailles; Mary is a graduate of the Conservatory of Music at Ann Arbor, Michigan; Mabel is a graduate of the Versailles high school and college at Oberlin, Ohio, as are all of her brothers and sisters.

Religiously, Mr. and Mrs. Murphy are members of the Christian church at Versailles. Politically, he is a strong supporter of the Democratic party, having been actively engaged in politics for a number of years and standing high in the councils of his party. He has served as township clerk, and as a member of the school board, and was also a member of the city council in all of which positions he has discharged his duties to the entire satisfaction of his fellow citizens. He is a man of a high order of mentality, progressive and discriminating in the management of his business affairs, and who maintains a deep and abiding interest in all that makes for the general prosperity and advancement of the community in which he lives and where he is honored by all who know him.

He never asked a man to vote for him and never was defeated when a candidate for member of council or school board.

 Bio. Of John Murphy in the History of Darke County Ohio From Its Earliest Settlement To The Present Time In Two Volumes, By Frazer E. Willson, Milford, Ohio. The Hobart Publishing Company 1914.

John Murphy

Photo taken by Oliver, Versailles, Ohio

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