MURPHY, JAMES, who for many years carried on farming in Sangamon County, since 1905 has lived in the city of Springfield, retired from active life. He is a representative Irish-American citizen, intelligently interested in whatever concerns the public welfare, and ready to perform the duties of good citizenship. He was born in County Galway, Ireland, in January 1839, son of Mathias and Catherine (Lynsky) Murphy, also natives of Ireland. The parents spent their entire lives in Ireland, where the father was a farmer, and they were parents of three sons and one daughter, and of these children but two survive: James, of this biography, and Patrick, who lives in Ireland.
Mr. Murphy received his education in his native country and helped with the work on his father's farm until he came to America, in 1864. He landed in New York City and came thence direct to Sangamon County but soon afterwards spent six months in St. Louis. Returning to Sangamon County, he took up farming and followed this occupation until retiring from active life a few years since.
October 10, 1871, Mr. Murphy was married in Springfield, Ill., to Miss Rebecca Walker, who was born in Boston, Mass., June 9, 1848, a daughter of John C. Walker. Mr. Walker was born in Limerick, Ireland, and his wife in Dublin. He came to America as a young man and for many years worked in the ship yards at Boston. He was married there and when Mrs. Murphy was two years old the family came to Sangamon County, making the journey from New York by stage. They settled in Lick Creek and Mr. Walker helped lay ties at the time fo the construction of the Chicago & Alton Railroad, which was then being built through that part of the State. An uncle of Mrs. Murphy was serving as Road Master, and Mr. Walker worked for the company the remainder of his life. The family lived for some time in a log cabin on Lick Creek, then moved to Chatham, where the father died May 7, 1888, and the mother March 15, 1877. They were parents of one son and seven daughters, of whom six children now survive, those besides Mrs. Murphy being: Letitia, Mrs. John Canham, living near Auburn, Sangamon County; Mary, wife of Jacob Hoggsheimer, of Durango, Colo.; Rachel, wife of Jerry Morford, of Mountayr, Iowa; Sarah, wife of Edward Neil, of Bronson, Iowa; Robert, of Springfield.
Five children were born to Mr. Murphy and wife, of whom four survive, namely: John M., the oldest, of Sioux City, Iowa; Carrie, deceased; James O., at home; Robert, of Springfield; and Lettie B., at home. There are four grandchildren in the family. Mr. Murphy well remembers Abraham Lincoln, whom he knew personally. He is a member of St. Agnes Parish Roman Catholic Church, and his wife belongs to the Presbyterian Church. He is a Democrat in political belief. He owns a very comfortable home at 925 West Jefferson Street, Springfield, and has many friends in the neighborhood, as well as in other parts of the county.