Biography of Rev. D. C. Murphy

D. C. Murphy was born in Hickman County, Kentucky, the son of James Murphy, of Cork, Ireland. Mr. Murphy was educated at the county schools and soon after his father’s death commenced laboring on his mother’s farm, where he remained until fourteen years of age. The twelve months following he spent endeavoring to learn the printers’ trade in Hickman, Fulton County, Kentucky, but a certain wild vein in his nature conquered his disposition to learn the trade and he ran off without a farewell, wandering he cared not whither, and with no other object than the gratification of a love for excitement and adventure. Mr. Murphy’s life for the twenty years following is, to use his own words, “better forgotten than recalled” being wild and reckless in the extreme. He was virtually dead till his conversion in 1869, which happened at a Methodist meeting in Henry County, Tennessee. In 1871 he moved to Sebastian County, Arkansas, and in 1875 became a licensed preacher, though he did not commence preaching until 1881, when he joined the Claremont circuit under Rev. Y. Youing, presiding elder. After eighteen months at this point, the subject of our sketch moved to the Caney circuit, where he remained for four years. About 1885 he was ordained by Bishop Granville, at Skulliville. When on mission work among the Osage Indians, Mr. Murphy organized the first Protestant church ever established in their nation. It was situated on Candy Creek, and had but seven members. Later, in the town of Pawhusky, he established a membership of eighteen, seven of whom were full bloods. But the mission was not a success, as was proven when the board ordered Mr. Belcher to supersede Mr. Murphy. The new incumbent being a college graduate, the board concluded to try his educational experience among the aborigines, but to no purpose, as the few converts made through the agency of Mr. Murphy soon fell away, retiring to their worship of the Great Spirit. Soon afterwards the board abandoned missionary work among the Osages. Mr. Murphy has been stationed for the past twelve months at Eufaula, among the Creek Indians, whom he finds very susceptible to religious training. They generally, however, fall in with the creeds of their parents, or the first missionaries who happened to fall among them. Mr. Murphy has been married three times. First to Barbara Pewitt, in Fulton County, Kentucky; secondly to Adeline Pewitt, of Williamson County, Tennessee, by whom he has eight living children, and lastly to Mrs. Lucy Lowry, who is now living.


Indian Territory,

O'Beirne, Harry F. and Edward S. The Indian Territory: Its Chiefs, Legislators, and Leading Men. St. Louis. 1898.

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