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Below is a family biography included in The History of Darke County, Ohio published by W. H. Beers & Co. in 1880.  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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WILLIAM H. MURPHY, banker and lumber dealer, of the firm of Kusnick. Murphy & Co., Versailles, Ohio; was born in Montgomery Co., Ohio, on the 6th day of September, 1818; he lived with his grandmother until her death, which occurred in the year 1831; worked on the farm by the month and day for different persons, performing all kinds of labor until he was about 17 years old, when he commenced to learn the carpenter’s trade, continuing at the same for a period of about eight years, meeting with good success, after which he sold out, and engaged in farming till the year 1862, when he sold his farm, and moved to Covington, Ohio, and engaged in the grocery and provision trade, which he followed for about one year; he then removed to Wayne Township, where he purchased a farm, in Sec. 19, near the corporation of Versailles; farmed, and carried on the hardware business in Versailles; sold his farm and continued the hardware business for a period of about six years, with fair success; sold out his store and connected himself with the bank on the 1st of January, 1878, with Francis Kusnick; since having added the lumber business—which is the only lumber-yard in Versailles; Mr. Murphy was left an orphan, being thrust out in the cold world to fight the battles of life alone, which he has braved through with unflinching nerve, gaining the victory, and is now reaping the reward of a handsome fortune, which he has accumulated by his own hard labor; he obtained a good common-school education. He has in no sense of the word been a political aspirant, although he has had his full share of township offices; while living in Miami Co., he served one term as Justice of the Peace; also served as Township Trustee two years; and in Wayne Township, where he now resides, has held the office of Justice of the Peace for a period of nine years, and is now serving his fourth term; and two years as Township Trustee, and Township Treasurer one year; he is a live, energetic, thorough businessman, and is beloved by all who know him. The Squire has passed the many struggles, incidents and dangers so common to the early pioneers of the great West, and is today hardy and robust at the ripe old age of 62; was an active member of the Christian Church at the breaking out of the great rebellion, when he withdrew from the church. Was united in marriage to Miss Mary Sipe on the 7th day of January, 1838; thirteen children were the fruits of this union, viz.: Catharine, born Oct. 3, 1838; Leander, March 12, 1840; Sarah, April 19, 1841; Simon, Sept. 15, 1842; Angeline, April 1, 1844; John, May 10, 1845; William H., June 19, 1847; Mary M., Nov. 20, 1849; Ellen, Aug. 4, 1851; Esther, March 27, 1853; Elizabeth, Sept. 26, 1855; Susan, Aug. 21, 1857; Joseph, Aug. 6, 1860. Mary, his wife, died Sept. 30, 1862; was united in marriage to Mrs: Mary Arnold (whose maiden name was Thompson), on the 8th day of February, 1864; she was born in Montgomery Co., Ohio, on the 8th day of July, 1823. Leander, his eldest son, who lived four miles southeast of Columbia City, Ind., went to see a neighbor, on some business, who lived about three-quarters of a mile off, and has never been heard of since; this was on the night of the 4th of December, 1866; it seems that he had some difficulty with the gentleman, the facts of which could not be obtained; it is supposed that he was murdered; his father received a letter from him on the same day, stating that he was well, and getting along very well, and, in three or four days after, Mr. Murphy received a letter from Leander’s cousin, conveying the sad news that his son had very suddenly disappeared, and could not be found; he left all his effects at home, or the place where he was working.

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This family biography is one of 659 biographies included in The History of Darke County, Ohio published in 1880 by W. H. Beers & Co.  For the complete description, click here: Darke County, Ohio History and Genealogy

View additional Darke County, Ohio family biographies here: Darke County, Ohio Biographies

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