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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Jefferson County, Arkansas published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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Capt. J. W. M. Murphy is well known as one of the leading men of his township, having founded the town of Macon Station, where he now resides. His grandfather, Edward Murphy, came from Ireland when a young man, and settled in Tennessee, dying at the age of 104. His father, Archibald Murphy, was born in 1791, in an Indian fort in Sevier County, Tenn., and was the youngest of three brothers who served in the Jackson War; he died in 1851, in Hardin County, Tenn. His wife (who died in the same year) was formerly Miss Mary Munda, of Tennessee birth and bringing up, born in 1800. The subject of this sketch, the fourth in a family of eight children, first saw the light of day in Lawrence County, Tenn., in 1829. There he was reared, and at the age of nineteen commenced the battle of life for himself, following farming till 1860. In 1853 he went to Texas, but returning soon after to Pike County, Ark., he carried on a milling business till 1860, when he came to Pine Bluff. At the beginning of the war he was captured there by the Confederates, and tried for treason; on being released by his friends he joined the Union army under Powell Clayton, as captain of scouts, having 117 men under his charge, in which capacity he served till the close of the war. Mr. Murphy has held various offices in Pine Bluff for sixteen years, serving as constable, and for seven years as marshal. In 1883 he removed from Pine Bluff, and has since been occupied in running a saw-mill and also a general store. He also has a farm well under cultivation, and at present is post master at this place. Mr. Murphy is a member of Post No. 44, of the G. A. R., at Pine Bluff, and is a stanch Republican and very active in politics. He belongs to the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, having built a neat little church edifice in Macon. An extensive experience in travel over the Northern and Eastern States, has given him liberal information in regard to these sections. Mr. Murphy’s first wife was Melinda Puybrn, of Hardin County, Tenn., whom he married in 1847. She was born in 1829, and in 1858 died in Pike County, Ark. To this union were born four children: John W. (deceased), Louisa (deceased), Anna (wife of Lorenzo Weaver), and Josephine (wife of Rev. John McCoy, of this State). In 1862 Mr. Murphy married Miss Elizabeth Roberts, of Virginia nativity, born in 1829, who came to Arkansas with her parents in 1849. To them have been born three sons: James P., Archie and Martin Luther, all deceased. Mrs. Murphy is a member of the Baptist Church.

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This family biography is one of 136 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Jefferson County, Arkansas published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Jefferson County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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