Benjamin L. Murphy

BENJAMIN L. MURPHY,* one of the prosperous business men of Weir City, engaged in the manufacture of ice, was born in 1869 in Perry County, Illinois, and is a son of James B. and Martha (Moore) Murphy.

The late James B. Murphy was a well known citizen and substantial farmer of Cherokee County, in which he settled in 1884. He was a native of Illinois, where he grew up to be a successful agriculturist and continued farming operations after coming to Kansas. His death occurred in 1889 at the age of 68 years. He was a strong Democrat and something of a political leader. His educational and oratorical talents caused him to be much in demand as a campaign speaker and he was well known over various sections of the State. He married Martha Moore, who was born in Tennessee and still resides at Cherokee, Crawford County, Kansas, at the age of 72 years. They had 12 children, the survivors being: Maggie, who married Edward Crowley, and has four children,—Vinnie, Edna, Ruby and Agnes; Joseph S., who married Blanche Kenair, and has four children.—Rosa, Ralph, Lloyd and Ray; Benjamin L., of this sketch; and Samuel, who married Maggie Durshane, and has two children,—Minnie and Douglas.

Benjamin L. Murphy accompanied his parents when they came from Illinois to Kansas, in 1884, and he followed farming in Cherokee County until 1892. Then, in partnership with his brother-in-law, Edward Crowley, he entered into the ice business, under the firm name of Crowley & Murphy, at Weir City, Kansas. The business until 19O1 was the buying and selling of ice, but at this time their territory had extended and their patronage grown to such extent and volume that they felt justified in forming what is now the Scranton-Murphy Ice Company, the officers being: L. G. Scranton, W. L. Weir, Edward Crowley and Benjamin L. Murphy. They erected an artificial ice plant, 84 feet long, 44 feet wide and 17 feet high, with cold storage capacity of 15 tons every 24 hours. This enterprise met with success from the very first, the plant being the pioneer in this line in this section.

In 1890, Mr. Murphy married Nannie North, who was born in Cherokee County, Kansas, and is a daughter of William North, who was a soldier of the Civil War, a member of the Federal Army. William North came to Cherokee County in 1871 among the early settlers, and followed farming until his death. at Weir City. He married Lucretia Longer, who still survives, aged 64; her mother is still living, at the age of 84 years. Mr. and Mrs. Murphy have two children: Clarence and Lena, both born at Weir City.

Mr. Murphy stands high in the business world of Weir City and is connected with one of the most prosperous business concerns of this section.


History of Cherokee County Kansas and its representative citizens, ed. & comp. by Nathaniel Thompson Allison, 1904, transcribed by Carolyn Ward, instructor from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, 6-27-97


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