Murphy, John H.

Born: 1807-12-07 Virginia

Died: 1891-12-15 Missouri

Flourished: Vermilion County, Illinois

Murphy moved with his parents to Edgar County, Illinois, in 1819. In 1827, he moved to Danville, Illinois, and commenced the study of law under the tutelage of John J. Brown. He gained admittance to the Vermilion County bar in 1833. During the Black Hawk War, Murphy served as a private in James Johnson's (later Isaac Pugh's) company of the 5th Regiment of Mounted Volunteers. From 1836 to 1840, he represented Vermilion County, as a Whig, in the Illinois House of Representatives. On July 8, 1841, Abraham Lincoln and other attorneys examined Murphy for admission to the practice of law in Illinois. Murphy passed the examination, and the Illinois Supreme Court issued him a license to practice law. In 1849, the Taylor administration appointed Murphy receiver at the United States Land Office in Danville. In 1850, Murphy lived in Danville and owned real estate worth $4,000. Murphy was the law partner of John Kavanaugh, but their partnership was formally dissolved in January of 1853. After the dissolution of his law practice, Murphy moved to Alton, Illinois. He resumed the practice of law, and he also served on the city council. In 1860, he was practicing law in Alton and owned real estate valued at $7,000. In 1865, he served as district court judge in Topeka, Kansas. In 1828, Murphy married Cynthiana (Cynthia) Alexander, with whom he had four children. Cynthiana Murphy died in 1840, and in December 1840, Murphy wed for a second time, marrying Addah (Adda) Pinson.

Gravestone, Maple Park Cemetery, Springfield, MO; Isaac H. Elliott, Record of the Services of Illinois Soldiers in the Black Hawk War, 1831-32, and in the Mexican War, 1846-8 (Springfield, IL: H. W. Rokker, 1882), 104; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Vermilion County, IL, 610; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Alton, Madison, IL, 175; Sangamo Journal (Springfield, IL), 23 April 1836, 1:6; Theodore C. Pease, ed., Illinois Election Returns, 1818-1848, vol. 18 of Collections of the Illinois State Historical Library (Springfield: Illinois State Historical Library, 1923), 294, 316; John J. Duff, A. Lincoln: Prairie Lawyer(New York: Bramhall House, 1960), 295; Illinois Weekly State Journal(Springfield), 3 October 1849, 3:2; Illinois Daily Journal(Springfield), 21 January 1853, 3:2; Return I. Holcombe, History of Greene County, Missouri (St. Louis, MO: Western Historical, 1883), 789; Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, Vermilion County, 12 December 1828; Edgar County, 7 December 1840, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL.