Jonathan Fairbanks and Clyde Edwin Tuck

Past and Present of Greene County, Missouri

Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens

LAWRENCE J. MURPHY. There is a great deal of satisfaction to the biographer in contemplating a life like that of Lawrence J. Murphy, former superintendent of the Springfield Wagon Company, the prestige of which he has done much to augment, having been connected with the same for over a quarter of a century or ever since he cast his lot with the people of Greene county. He seems to have inherited many of the traits that win in the battle of life from his sterling Irish ancestors and there is added interest in his career in view of the fact that he is one of our honored veterans of the Civil war, having fought gallantly for the Union during its great crisis a half century ago. Having lived a wholesome life, kept a clear conscience and thought rightly as well as kept busy, he is still hale and active although well past his allotted three score and ten years, which limit was set by the great Psalmist on man's mortal life.

Mr. Murphy was born, March 25, 1937, in Seneca county in the state of New York, and he is a son of Timothy and Margaret (Desmond) Murphy, both parents born in Ireland, where they grew to maturity and were educated and married in the city of Cork. They remained in the Emerald Isle until 1827 when they emigrated to the United States and settled in the state of New York. The father devoted his life to farming and became well established in the New World through his industry. Politically, he was a Democrat. His family consisted of seven children, only two of whom are now living, namely: William died in 1900; John is deceased; Mary died in 1850; Daniel is deceased; Lawrence J., of this review; Abby is deceased; Timothy is the youngest and lives in Dubuque, Iowa, and is secretary of the school board.

Lawrence J. Murphy was reared partly in the Empire state and there assisted his father with the general work on the farm when he was a boy and he received his education in the common schools. However, he was only eleven years old when he removed with the family to Illinois in 1850, and on to Iowa in a short time, and in that year the father died.

Our subject learned the trade of wagon maker in the factory of Hartsock & Welsh at Dubuque, Iowa, where he went to work when a boy, remaining there until August 26, 1862, when he enlisted in Company F, Twenty-first Iowa Volunteer Infantry, under Captain Hoar, and during the three years Mr. Murphy was at the front in the South he saw much hard service, taking part in a number of important campaigns and battles, including Hartsville, Missouri, Port Gibson, Baker's Creek, Black River, siege of Vicksburg, all in Mississippi, also Fort Blakely and Spanish Fort in Alabama. He proved to be a faithful and brave soldier, and was honorably discharged on July 15, 1865, with the rank of second sergeant, Which had been conferred on him for meritorious conduct. After the war he returned to Iowa and secured a position in the Cooper Wagon Works at Dubuque and remained there for a period of seventeen years, during which he. mastered the various phases of the wagon manufacturing business. He came to Springfield, Missouri, in 1884 and at once secured a position with the Springfield Wagon Company, one of the largest and best known concerns of its kind in the Southwest, and he has been connected with the same to the present time, Having done much to build up the vast trade of the company and make their output eagerly sought, for the high grade workmanship and superiority of this wagon in every respect is, well known over Missouri and adjoining states. He long occupied the position of superintendent, the responsible duties of which he discharged in a manner that reflected much credit upon himself and to the satisfaction of the other officers and stockholders of the company.

Mr. Murphy was married, January 22, 1867, to Maria F. Crowley, who was born in 1851 in Dubuque, Iowa, and there she was reared and educated. She is a daughter of William and Mary (Harrington) Crowley, both natives of Ireland. Mr. Crowley has devoted his life, successfully to farming.

To Mr. and Mrs. Murphy four children have been born, namely: William, formerly engineer on the Frisco Lines out of Springfield; the second child died in infancy; Mary, who married John Irwin, division superintendent of the Canadian Northern Railroad, with headquarters at Dauphin, Manitoba, and Lawrence Albert, who is with the Canadian Northern Railway, at Dauphin, Manitoba.

Politically, Mr. Murphy is a Democrat, and he is a faithful member of the Catholic church.


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