WILLIAM J. MURPHY, who is comfortably situated on section 31, Allin Township, is a native of this county, having
been born in Mt. Hope Township, Aug. 8,1838. His parents were Samuel and Nancy (Goodwin) Murphy, natives of Virginia,
the father born in 1799, and the mother in 1805. The parents of each removed to Ohio, where the young people were
married in Muskingum County, near Zanesville, in 1829.
They came directly to Illinois, where Samuel Murphy purchased in this county 214 acres of land on which he located, and carried on its improvement and cultivation until 1857. He then removed to Caldwell County, Mo., and settled there upon a tract of land which he occupied until his death in 1866. The mother died ten years later in 1876.
Of their children the record is as follows: William J, of our sketch was the eldest born; Eliza J. became the wife of George M. Stubblefield, of Mt. Hope Township; George W. and John T., twins, are now deceased; the former lived to manhood and married Miss Mary Williams, of Missouri; James M. is a resident of Montana; Harrison died when nearly four years of age; Isaac married Miss Alice Gildersleeve, and is now deceased; Samuel married Mrs. Emma Bozarth; Mary became the wife of E. Jones; Jeremiah served as a Union soldier in the late war, and died in the army; Charles, the youngest, is now a resident of Kansas.
Mr. Murphy received a fair education in the common schools, and remained under the parental roof until he had attained his majority. In 1853 he was married to Miss Frances Stubblefield, daughter of Robert Stubblefield, and then purchased 160 acres of land, which he improved and cultivated, and to which he subsequently added until he is now the owner of 1,000 acres. The family residence is a handsome and commodious brick structure 37x63 feet in area, and two stories in height. This was erected in 1875. The barns and out-buildings in all respects correspond to the requirements of a first-class agriculturist. In addition to general farming, Mr. Murphy is extensively engaged as a stock-dealer, in which he has had an experience of twenty-five years. Besides being a genial and valued citizen, he has been active in every enterprise calculated to forward its development and advancement, and has fulfilled all the obligations incident to his position as a gentleman of means and influence. He has been a member of the Masonic fraternity for the last ten years, holding the office of Tyler.
The wife of our subject was the daughter of Robert and Dorothy Stubblefield, natives respectively of Virginia and Kentucky. They were married in 1822, near Columbus, Fayette Co., Ohio, and came to the Prairie State in 1824, locating upon a farm in McLean County, which remained their home until their decease, that of the father occurring in 1870, and the mother in 1879. The household circle included thirteen children, four by the first wife of Mr. Stubblefield, and nine by the last. These were Absalom, Nancy, John, Mary, Adam, George M., Jessie, Frances, Edward, Isaac, Eva, William and Charles W. Mrs. Murphy is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Our subject is a straightforward Republican in politics, and cast his first presidential vote for John C. Freemont.
Of the union of Mr. and Mrs. Murphy there were born seven children: Lizzie D, married William T. Jeffrey; George T. married Miss Jennie Hironymus; James married Miss Sadie Camp, and resides in Hittle Township, Tazewell County; Charles was the fourth child; Mary B. became the wife of Elmer Ewing; Frank and Peter are single and reside at home.
Mr. Murphy has been one of the most industrious and enterprising citizens of this locality, and a progressive farmer in every sense of the word. He constructed the kiln upon his farm in which was manufactured the brick for his family residence, which cost about $10,000, and is about one of the finest structures of its kind in the county.
Portrait and biographical album of McLean County, Ill. : containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Illinois, and of the presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887), 742. Transcribed by Judy Rosella Edwards.