Biography - William Murphy

William F. Murphy, one of the wealthy retired citizens of Tuscola, was born in Ohio, January 9, 1821. His great-great-grandfather came from Ireland and settled in Maryland, in which state his father, Wilson Murphy, was born in 1787; he served as a soldier in the war of 1812. In 1815, with his wife, who was Nancy Slaughter, he removed to Ross county, Ohio.
William F. Murphy was reared on the farm and attended school about two months in the year, remaining on his father's farm until he had arrived at age, when he worked on the farm at six dollars and twenty-five cents to fifteen dollars per month, and in 1839 came to Illinois, subsequently visiting Douglas county, then a part of Coles. He was favorably impressed with the country and determined to settle here. Therefore he returned in 1847 and began life here with two hundred dollars in money, a wagon and three horses. He seized the first favorable opportunity to get possession of land and in July, 1850, bought one hundred and sixty acres of school land and about eighty acres of timber in Sargent township, paying for it six hundred and forty dollars. Since that time he has been dealing extensively in real estate and is at present one of the wealthiest men in this county. For many years he was engaged in banking at Newman, succeeding Z.S. Pratt. He now owns about oen thousand four hundred acres of valuable land in the county, and three hundred and thirty-five acres in Jasper county, Indiana.
He has been three times married: First to Miss Adelia H. Smith, a native of Kentucky, this marriage occurring January 15, 1845. His second wife was Miss Rebecca J. Maddox, of Ohio. After her death he married Miss Julia Page, of New York, who is a lady of fine literary accomplishments and prominent in church work. In 1891 he removed to Tuscola, where he and his wife reside in one of the city's most beautiful residences, surrounded by all the comforts of life. The only offices Mr. Murphy has ever held were township supervisor, and trustee appointed by the governor to build the asylum for the insane at Kankakee.
William F. Murphy has throughout his life been a shrewd business man, and his success has been the result of his own efforts. During the Civil war he largely assisted in filling the quota of his township under President Lincoln's different calls for troops. His life has been one of action and his accumulations of this world's goods have been the result of economy and close attention to business.

Extracted by Linda Lang from the Historical and Biographical Record of Douglas County, Illinois, pages 152-153.

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