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Shasta County









            James R. Murphey, who for the past decade has been capably performing a very important public service, is one of Shasta county’s most popular citizens, being a man of sterling character and upright life.  He was born in Shasta County on the 20th of February, 1867, and is a son of William Valentine and Jerusha Powell (Dickenson) Murphey, the former a native of Kentucky and the latter of Virginia.  William V. Murphey went to Missouri, locating near Independence, where he engaged in the sheep business.  In 1849 he joined the historic rush to the gold mines of California, crossing the plains.  Locating at Jimtown, he turned his attention to mining, which he followed for some years, and then returned, across the plains to his Missouri home.  There he met and married Miss Dickenson and started again for California.  However, this time he took the longer route around Cape Horn and on his arrival in California located at the old town of Shasta, near Redding, in 1856.  He there engaged in mining for a time, but later attended the ditch for various miners for several years.  From there he moved to the Bald Hills country, where he engaged in the sheep business, which he followed to the time of his death.  To him and his wife were born eight children, as follows:  Mary; Lucy, the wife of Alfred Duncan; Josephine, who married Irby Jordan and whose son Robert is now one of the supervisors of Shasta County; Henry Clay, who died young; John C., who is engaged in the practice of law in Oakland, this state; James R., of this review; Charles M., a stockman and farmer, and Emma, deceased, who was the wife of Robert McKinney, a fruit rancher.

            James R. Murphey is very largely self-educated, as his early school privileges were very limited.  However, he has been a close reader and a keen observer and is a well informed man.  He learned the trade of a shoemaker, but later became a carpenter and contractor, which business he followed for a number of years.  For the past ten years he has had the job of killing mosquitoes in the Redding district, under the state abatement law, through action of which so much has been accomplished in various districts of California in getting rid of the mosquito pest.  He is painstaking and thorough in everything he undertakes and has been very efficient in his present work.  Mr. Murphey has been successful in his material affairs and is the owner of an entire block in Redding, as well as his fine home.  He also owns Echo Lake, a beautiful place in the mountains, which he expects to improve and use for his family and many friends.

            In 1893 Mr. Murphey was united in marriage to Miss Lucy Smith, a daughter of Michael and Margaret Smith, the former a miner.  Both Mr. and Mrs. Michael Smith died in Shasta County.  Mrs. Murphey was born in Mendocino County, this state, and is a woman of gracious manner and fine personal qualities, very popular among her many friends.  Mr. and Mrs. Murphey are the parents of eight children, as follows:  Jerusha, who lives in Redding; Andrew C., who is with the Southern Pacific Railroad and lives near Truckee; Martin H., who died in his youth; Ethel, who died in infancy; Martha R., who is in the Bank of Italy at Redding; Orion W., of Redding, who is married and has four children; Elzy V., who is in the employ of the Pacific Gas & Electric Company; and George Edward, who is with the same corporation.  Mr. and Mrs. Murphey have reared a splendid family; have stood consistently for those things which make for the permanent good of society, and are numbered among the best citizens of their home community.



Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.

Source: Wooldridge, J. W. Major, History of the Sacramento Valley California, Vol. 3  Pages 361-362. Pioneer Historical Publ. Co. Chicago 1931.

© 2010  Gerald Iaquinta.




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