James Alexander Murphy was born June 11, 1828, at Buford, in Highland County. His father was Andrew Murphy and his mother, Mary Chapman. His father died when he was only two years of age. At the age of ten years he was apprenticed to a blacksmith, Jack McQuitty, at Buford. and served until he was eighteen years of age. At that age, he went to High school at Greenfield, Ohio. He studied medicine with Dr. Higgins, in Buford, and completed his medical course in 1850. He located in Rarden, Scioto County, and practiced medicine there until 1852. He then gave up the practice of medicine and began keeping a store at Locust Grove. January 19, 1854, he married Miss Eliza Ann Crabb. at her father's (Alexander Crabb) home, near Locust Grove. Her mother's maiden name was Sarah McCutcheon. Our subject and his wife began housekeeping in the Grove and resided there until 1857, when they removed on the Crabb farm now occupied by George Murphy.


In November, 1861, Mr. Murphy returned to merchandising in Locus Grove and continued it until August 19, 1862. when he became Captain of Company E. 117th O. V. I., afterwards Company E, First Ohio Heavy Artillerv. and served with this company until the twenty-fifth of July, 1865. Captain Murphy was a brave and a patriotic citizen and he induced his neighbors and friends very generally to enter the service. He certainly did his full share by influence and example in the suppression of the Rebellion. When he returned from the army, he resumed the business of merchandising and conducted it until 1872, when he sold out his stock of goods and purchased the Platter farm, to which he removed, and on which he continued to reside until his death. He conducted his farm from 1872 until 1884. In the latter year his health gave way and he was unable thereafter to farm or attend to any active business. From that time until his death on September 2, 1893, he was an invalid. He died of pulmonary consumption brought on by the hardships and exposures of his service in the Civil War. His life was undoubtedly shortened many years on account of his army service, and of him it may be truly said his life was a sacrifice to his country. Captain Murphy was a large man of powerful physique and commanding presence. His personal appearance would attract attention anywhere. He was of a pleasant and courteous disposition and very well liked by his neighbors. In his own business he was a good manager and he was a forceful man in the community. He was a Whig and a Republican. At one time he was a Trustee of his Township. He was a candidate for County Treasurer on the Republican Ticket, in 1869, but was defeated. He was a member of the Masonic order and was always a good citizen. His widow still survives. His eldest daughter, Sarah Ann, is the wife of Dr. James S. Berry, of Peebles. His second daughter, Mary A., is the wife of William Custer, of Peebles. His son, John Andrew, is at home with his mother. His son, Canova Vandexter, resides in Clinton County and is a farmer. His son. George Washington, lives on the home farm north of Locust Grove. His son, William David, is a physician in Fayette. Fulton County, Ohio.

 

From "History of Adams County, Ohio from its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time" - by Nelson W. Evans and Emmons B. Stivers - West Union, Ohio - Published by E. B. Stivers - 1900