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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Murphy

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[This information is from Vol. I, pp. 289-291 of Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, edited by Cuyler Reynolds (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 929.1 R45. Some of the formatting of the original, especially in lists of descendants, may have been altered slightly for ease of reading.]

The Troy, New York, family of Murphy, whose record follows, was founded in that city by Edward Murphy, a native of Ireland. He came to the United States by way of Canada in 1832, located in Troy in 1833, where he established a brewery and prospered. He was a Democrat in politics and a member of the Roman Catholic church. He married, in Ireland, Mary Murphy, born in Queens county, died in Troy, New York. Children: Two who died in infancy; Edward (2), see forward.

(II) Edward (2), son of Edward (1) and Mary (Murphy) Murphy, was born in Troy, New York, December 15, 1834. He was early educated in the Troy schools, entered St. John's College, Fordham, New York, where he was graduated, class of 1859. Returning to Troy from college, he became his father's business assistant and was of great value to the enterprise not yet well established. After several years his father retired and Edward (2) entered into a partnership with William Kennedy (also a brewer) and established the firm of Kennedy & Murphy, later the Kennedy, Murphy Malting Company, of which Mr. Murphy was vice-president and treasurer. The company became one of the large concerns of Troy and did an extensive business, and Mr. Murphy retained an active interest in the company until 1903. His outside business interests have been important. In 1889 several small gas companies of Troy and vicinity consolidated. He was chosen the first president of the new corporation — the Troy Gas Company — and continues in that office. He is vice-president of the Manufacturers' National Bank, with which he has been connected officially since its establishment as a national bank. He is heavily interested in real estate and in Troy improved and unimproved property. His estate at Elberon, New Jersey, is situated directly on the ocean front and has been his summer home since 1875.

He entered public political life at an early age. When but twenty-five he was a delegate to the Democratic state convention that nominated William Kelly for governor, and was a delegate to most of his party conventions ever afterward until the retirement from active public life. His political career was one of unbroken success, and he served his city and state well. In 1864 he was elected a member of the board of aldermen of Troy, serving in that body continuously, until 1874, when he was elected fire commissioner. He had always been interested in that department and was a member of one of the volunteer fire companies. In 1875 he was elected mayor of Troy and re-elected in 1877-79-81. He was again nominated, but declined a fifth term. In the mayor's chair he gained a reputation for wise executive ability and courage that was fairly earned. Under him the new city hall was built at a cost of $18,000, without the appropriation. He gave the city a good system of granite pavement, improved the water supply, and left the city a smaller bonded indebtedness than any city of similar size in the United States. When he took office the bonds of the city were below par. When he retired from office they were at a premium. During the eight years he served as mayor he did not draw his salary of $2,000 for himself, but at Christmas time distributed it among the charitable institutions of Troy, regardless of creed. While mayor he came to the rescue of a leading bank of Troy and saved it from ruin. During his absence from the city a run was started on the Manufacturers' Bank and he was telegraphed to return. By pledging his private fortune in addition to the securities the bank had, and aided by his friends, George P. Ide and William Earl, the collar manufacturers, he obtained a quarter of a million dollars from the other banks. He carried in this vast sum and deposited it in sight of the frightened depositors, who were convinced that their deposits were safe, stopped the run and saved the bank. He also showed the quality of his physical courage during his term of office. Rensselaer county had in its population a large body of Protestant and Catholic Irishmen. As far back as 1840 these two bodies often clashed over the Orange parades, and for years there had been none. In 1876, the year of the Nation's Centennial, it was decided to have an Orange parade. The Catholic body withdrew from the proposed centennial parade, and threats were made that there would be bloodshed if the Orangemen persisted in marching. Ordering out the entire police force, Mayor Murphy placed himself at their head and in command led the Orange line. Neither insult nor outrage was offered the paraders. He was a member of the New York delegation to many national Democratic conventions. He was an ardent supporter of Samuel J. Tilden in the warfare upon the celebrated "Canal Ring," and was a delegate to the St. Louis convention that nominated Mr. Tilden for president. In 1880 he was a delegate to the National Democratic convention that nominated General Winfield S. Hancock for president, although Mr. Murphy favored the nomination of Samuel J. Tilden; whom he believed had been defrauded of the presidential chair by the electoral commission who awarded it Rutherford B. Hayes. In 1882, in the state convention, he was in favor first of Erastus Corning for governor, but later cast his vote for the Rensselaer county delegation for Grover Cleveland, which completed his majority in the convention, his nomination being at once announced. At the convention of 1884 he favored Roswell P. Flower for president. In 1888 at the St. Louis National Convention he supported President Cleveland for renomination. In 1892 he was one of the four delegates-at-large from New York to the National Convention which met at Chicago. He favored the nomination of David B. Hill, but acquiesced loyally in the nomination of ex-President Cleveland. In 1887 he became chairman of the Democratic state committee and held that office until 1894, In 1887, when he became chairman, both branches of the New York legislature were Republican. After his taking the reins this party never elected its candidates on the state ticket and when he retired both branches of the legislature were Democratic. This exemplifies his skill as a political leader in a most remarkable manner. In 1892, when it was found the Democratic party would have a majority in the legislature, a general demand arose in the party in favor of the election of Mr. Murphy to succeed Frank Hiscock as United States senator from New York. In the caucus following the assembling of the legislature Mr. Murphy was chosen, elected by the joint session and took his seat as United States senator at the extra session of congress in March, 1893. In addition to membership on other committees he was chairman of committee on relations with Canada. His term expired in 1899, when he returned to Troy, retired from active political life and devoted himself to his business affairs, never, however, losing his interest in politics, retaining his influence and popularity to the present day. He is now (1911) a resident of Troy, alert, active and as full of courage and dtermination as of yore. He is a member of St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church and of various social clubs and organizations of Troy, Albany and New York City. His career as a public man deserves commendation. As a citizen he has been true to his obligations, and as a friend and neighbor he is kindly, courteous, generous and sympathetic. A characteristic trait that has shone forth in every station he has filled is a scrupulous regard for his given word, "always keeping his promises."

He married, in Troy, Julia Delehanty, daughter of one of Albany's prominent merchants and public men, Michael Delehanty, who was born in Ireland, was a wholesale dealer in stoves and house furnishing goods in Albany, active in public affairs, superintendent of public buildings of the state of New York under Governor Roswell P. Flower. He married Mary Quinn, born in Albany in 1823, died 1907. They had eleven children, of whom Julia was the eldest. Children of Edward and Julia (Delehanty) Murphy:

  1. Mary, born March 21, 1868, died 1892; graduate of Sacred Heart Convent, Kenwood, New York.
  2. Edward, born in Troy, April 13, 1870; educated at Troy Academy; was graduated from Georgetown University, Washington, D. C., A.B., 1890; Albany Law School (Union University) LL.B., 1892; admitted to the bar 1892; began practice in Troy as member of the firm of Shaw, Bailey & Murphy, general legal practitioners; he is a director of the Manufacturers' National Bank, and of the Security Safe Deposit Company, both of Troy; he served in the New York National Guard, 1890-1900. In 1898 he enlisted for the war against Spain and served in the Phillipines in Company A, Second Regiment New York Infantry; was appointed captain and assistant adjutant-general, May 25, 1898, served until 1899, mustered out January 16, 1899; he is an active Democrat; a member of St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church, the Troy Pafraet Dael, Saratoga Turf, St. Bernard Fish and Game clubs, of Alexis Du Mont, Canada. He married, June 7, 1899, at Albany, New York, Helen, daughter of Henry Townsend and Lydia (Lush) Martin; one child, Helen (2).
  3. Julia, graduate of Sacred Heart Convent; married Hugh J. Grant, of New York City; children: Julia, Edna, Hugh J. (2). Hon. Hugh J. Grant, a prominent lawyer and politician, was born 1855, graduate of Manhattan College, 1871; Columbia Law School LL.B., 1877; practiced law and operated extensively in real estate; received Democratic nomination for alderman of nineteenth district, New York City, 1882, and was elected; re-elected in 1883 to the "Boodle Board," where his straightforward and honorable course was in marked contrast to the crooked acts of most of his fellow members, whom he was largely instrumental in exposing and punishing; nominated for mayor of New York, 1884, but was defeated by William R. Grace in a close contest; nominated for sheriff in 1885 and elected; nominated for mayor, 1888, and elected; re-elected 1890; nominated for third term, but was defeated by William L. Strong; since retiring from the mayor's office devoted his attention to management of his large real estate interests; served as receiver of the St. Nicholas Bank, Brooklyn Wharf and Warehouse Company, and Third Avenue Railroad; he is now deceased.
  4. William E., born May 4, 1874; educated at Georgetown University; not in active business; is a great traveler.
  5. John J., born 1876; president and treasurer of Murphy Construction Company, New York City.
  6. Joseph J., twin of John J.; treasurer of United Waste Manufacturing Company of Troy; president of National Textile Manufacturing Company of Troy and Cohoes; treasurer of Hudson River Terminal Warehouse Company of Troy.
  7. Jane Lodge, graduate of Sacred Heart Convent.
  8. Richard C., born 1880; educated at Georgetown University; dry goods commission merchant of New York City; married Elizabeth Warren, daughter of Isaac McConihe, a noted political leader of Troy; prior to Mr. Murphy was mayor of the city; one child, Elizabeth.
  9. Helen, educated at Sacred Heart Academy.

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