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

WILLIAM C. MURPHY. There was a valuable acquisition to the Greene county bar when William C. Murphy began the practice of his profession in Springfield. Although young in years, he has had the proper preliminary training for a lawyer and also possesses the required natural characteristics. He is deserving of the highest degree of success in his chosen vocation, for his ambition is a laudable one and be has fought his way upward from an early environment that was none too auspicious.

Mr. Murphy was born at Festus, Jefferson county, Missouri, July 11, 1879. He is the son of John J. and Delia Iola (Bradfield) Murphy. The father was born in New Albany, Indiana, of Irish parents. He grew to manhood at New Albany and there received his education in the public schools and learned the glass workers' trade. In 1876, when twenty-one years of age, he went to Crystal City, Missouri, where he met and married the mother of the subject of this sketch. She is a daughter of Charles R. Bradfield and wife, whose family consisted of five children. To John J. Murphy and wife ten children were born, namely: William C., of this sketch, and John Patrick, twins; Elizabeth married Albert Welch, a merchant, farmer and stockman of De Soto, Missouri, and they have one child, Lynn; James C., who lives in Festus, this state, married a woman from Tennessee and they have three children; Daniel L. is a stenographer and lives at Festus; Nellie died in infancy; Thomas Lee was accidentally killed at the age of seventeen; Francis H. is farming on the old home-stead in Jefferson county; Dennis, born on February 22, 1899, lives at Festus and is by nature an artist of ability; Edgar W. was born in 1905.

William C. Murphy was reared on the home farm and there did his share of the work when of proper age, and in the winter he attended the public schools at Festus, Missouri, and was graduated from the high school there, also was graduated from the high school at Crystal City, this state, after which he entered the State Normal at Kirksville, borrowing money in order to do so, and graduated from that institution in 1905. He subsequently entered the law department of Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, also took other studies, such as political economy, and was graduated from that institution in 1907 with the degree of Doctor of Laws. Returning home, he took the state bar examination in 1907, which he successfully passed. But instead of beginning at once the practice of his profession he taught school two years with success. In 1909 he went to Malvern, Arkansas, where he became superintendent of city schools, after which, he went to Stuttgart, that state, and taught a year. In 1910 he came to Springfield, Missouri, opened an office in the Woodruff building in partnership with his twin brother, J. Patrick Murphy, and here they have been engaged in the practice of their profession with ever-increasing success, and are regarded as among our most promising young lawyers.

William C. Murphy was married on May 23, 1908, to Elizabeth Heddell, a native of Festus, Missouri, where her family has long been well known and highly respected, and there she grew to womanhood and received a good education. To this union three children have been born, namely: Ruth Elizabeth, born on March 1, 1909; Esther Heddell, born on December 9, 1910, and Major Wilson, born on November 4, 1913, was named after the governor of Missouri and the President of the United States.

Politically Mr. Murphy is an ardent Democrat and is active in political affairs. He was appointed city tax attorney of Springfield in 1912 and he made such a commendable record that he was re-appointed to the same office in 1914, and is now serving his second term in a manner that reflects much credit upon himself and to the satisfaction of all concerned. Fraternally he is a member of the Knights of Pythias and the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons. Religiously he is a member of the Presbyterian church.

Mr. Murphy and his twin brother have been very closely associated with each other all their lives, and doubtless the friendly rivalry that has always existed between them has been in no small manner instrumental in their success. They are deserving of a great deal of credit for what they have made of themselves, possessing the characteristic thrift, wit, keen discernment, broad-mindedness and high sense of honor of the Celtic race, from which they descended.


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