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Below is a family biography included in History of Union County, Iowa published by S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., in 1908.  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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John J. Murphy is the owner of an excellent farm of two hundred and forty acres, on which he has lived since the spring of 1900. He was born in Janesville, Rock county, Wisconsin, on the 25th of September, 1856, and is of Irish lineage. His parents, James and Elizabeth (Durney) Murphy, were both natives of Ireland, having been born in County Kilkenny, and there they were reared and married. After the birth of their eldest son, Richard, they came to the United States in 1849, settling first in Orange county, New York, where they lived for about five years, and in 1854 they removed to Wisconsin, making their home in Rock county for a number of years. In 1875 they came to Iowa and both passed away in Adair county, this state, the father when eighty-four years of age and the mother at the age of seventy-six years. Their children were five in number: Richard F., who died in Creston, May 15, 1907, at the age of sixty years; Mary A., the wife of Matt Fay, of Creston; James, who died in Buchanan county, Iowa, in June, 1891; Katharine, the wife of Sylvester Harter, of Guthrie, Oklahoma; and John J.

The last named resided in the county of his nativity until the fall of 1875 and in the meantime acquired a good public-school education. At the age of nineteen years he removed to Madison county, Iowa, with his parents and older brother, Richard, and for two years lived in that locality, becoming a resident of Adair county in 1878. He located in Union township, three miles north of his present home, living there for four years, when he and his older brother dissolved their partnership and John J. Murphy came to Union county, where he has since resided. He has made his home on his present farm since the spring of 1900 and he now has two hundred and forty acres of land on section 17, Lincoln township. He is a stock and grain farmer, having a well developed place, the fields being rich and productive, while in the pastures are found good grades of stock.

Mr. Murphy married Miss Elizabeth Kepford, who was born near Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, in August, 1868, a daughter of John Kepford. Their marriage has been blessed with eight children, namely: Mary, Richard, Katharine, Elizabeth, John, Joseph, James and Emma. Of this family John died in infancy.

The parents are members of the Immaculate Conception Catholic church and were reared in that faith. Mr. Murphy is a democrat in his political views and, as every true American citizen should do, keeps well informed on the questions and issues of the day, but has never sought nor desired office, preferring to give undivided attention to his business affairs, and in the management of his farming interests he has met with a fair measure of success.

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This family biography is one of 247 biographies included in The History of Union County, Iowa published in 1908.  For the complete description, click here: Union County, Iowa History and Genealogy

View additional Union County, Iowa family biographies: Union County, Iowa Biographies

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