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Below is a family biography included in the book, Portrait and Biographical Record of Johnson and Pettis County Missouri published by Chapman Publishing Company in 1895.  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 MURPHY, a veteran of the late war, is the owner of a farm of two hundred and ten acres, located in township 45, range 25, Johnson County. He is a native of the Emerald Isle, and was born in the city of Cork, December 25, 1826. His parents, John and Eliza (Shanahan) Murphy, were born and reared within three miles of the city of Cork. The former was a mason by trade, following that occupation in connection with farming until his decease, which occurred nine days after he was taken ill. At that time John was four and one-half years of age, and therefore remembers very little about him.

Mrs. Murphy was living on a farm three miles distant from Cork at the time of her husband’s decease. She then moved to the city of Passage West, where she made her home for some time, but returned to Cork in order that her children might attend the schools of that city. She died there about 1879, after having attained the age of threescore years and ten. To John and Eliza Murphy there were born four children, of whom our subject is the only survivor. Richard, who was born in 1822, married Catherine Fitzgerald, and together they emigrated to America in 1856. He was employed at his trade, that of a mason, in Jefferson City, this state, where his death occurred, and where his widow and family now reside. Mary Ann, who was born about 1824, married a Mr. Hanly, and died in 1883. Anthony died when twelve years of age. The children were well educated in the schools of their native land, and Mr. Murphy thinks the city of Cork has the finest institutions of learning of any country.

Upon attaining his eighteenth year our subject left home and, going to London, worked for the following year at his trade, that of a mason. He then returned to his native city, and was there but a short time when he decided to try his fortunes in America. Accordingly he made all arrangements to leave, and June 17, 1847, embarked on the ship “Parliament” bound for Boston. He was on the Atlantic five weeks, and on reaching his destination remained there for one year, working in the mean time at his trade. At the expiration of that time he made his way to New York City and was employed there until 1851. In November of that year he was united in marriage with Miss Eliza Sheahan, also a native of Ireland, who was born in Cork about 1831. She was the daughter of Daniel and Hannah (Mahoney) Sheahan, also natives of the Emerald Isle, where the father worked as a stonemason, following that industry all his life. He died when his daughter, Mrs. Murphy, was about four years of age. Mrs. Sheahan departed this life about 1845. They were the parents of ten children, namely: Patrick, Thomas, Hannah, Mary, Ellen, Margaret, Catherine, Daniel and Eliza. They are all deceased with the exception of Mrs. Murphy. She crossed the Atlantic in 1847, joining a sister who was living in New York City, and while there she was married to our subject.

Mr. Murphy continued to make his home in the metropolis until March, 1856, when he moved to the World’s Fair City, remaining for sixteen months working at his trade. Upon leaving the latter place at the expiration of that time, he went to Jefferson City, Mo., where a brother was living. He was a resident of that city for the following two years, and then went to Knobnoster, this county, and for six months was employed here. In the fall of 1859 he went to Warrensburg, where he was living on the outbreak of the war. July 5, 1861, he enlisted in Company E, Twenty-seventh Missouri Mounted Infantry under Colonel Groves and Capt. M. U. Foster. He was mustered in at Benton Barracks, January 20, 1862, and on the expiration of his term of service re-enlisted, this time becoming a member of Company E, Missouri Volunteer Cavalry. He participated in many engagements and skirmishes, and while in Arkansas was injured by the breaking of a shell. On account of sore eyes he was confined in the hospital at Little Rock, from which place he was honorably discharged, July 20, 1862.

On being mustered out of service, Mr. Murphy returned to Warrensburg and resumed work at his trade, remaining there until 1868, the year he moved upon his present farm. It is fifty acres in extent, and at the time he took possession was all covered with timber. This place he improved in an admirable manner, and as the years passed, purchased eighty acres more. Mr. Murphy is also the proprietor of a tract of eighty acres in another part of this township, so that his estate includes in all two hundred and ten acres.

To our subject and his estimable wife there were born seven children, five of whom are now living. John B., who was born March 4, 1853, in New York City, remains at home and aids his father in the work of carrying on the farm. Lizzie, who was born January 7, 1857, married Patrick Sheady, and makes her home in Warrensburg. Hannah M., born in April, 1860, is now under the parental roof. Richard was born in December, 1862, and when last heard from was in Kentucky. Daniel T., who was born in 1868, is also at home. Catherine died in infancy; and Thomas died when eighteen months old.

Our subject is a strong Republican in politics, and takes great interest in the success of his party. Socially he is a Grand Army man, belonging to Grover Post No. 78, at Warrensburg. Both himself and wife belong to the Catholic Church.

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This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in the Johnson County, Missouri portion of the book,  Portrait and Biographical Record of Johnson and Pettis County Missouri published in 1895 by Chapman Publishing Co.  For the complete description, click here: Johnson County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Johnson County, Missouri family biographies here: Johnson County, Missouri Biographies

View a map of 1904 Johnson County, Missouri here: Johnson County, Missouri Map

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