David Whittaker Murphy, son of Recompense Murphy and Catherine Newkirk, his wife, was born in Salem County, New Jersey, in 1800. He was brought by his parents to Adams County when five years of age. This incident occurred when our subject was about twelve years of age. He and another boy near his own age were crossing the Ohio River in a canoe, one sitting at either end. When they had gotton far into the current, they noticed a large animal swimming toward them. It proved to be a bear, nearly grown, and was almost exhausted by its efforts. Seeing them, it made for their canoe and climbed in. The boys, of course, were very much frightened, but nevertheless, continued paddling their canoe to the landing. The moment they touched the shore, bruin sprang out and disappeared. The boys were as glad to be rid of their shaggy companion as he was of their company.

Our subject grew to manhood in Sandy Springs neighborhood, having the advantages of such schools as were there, and having the fun and sports that boys of his time were privileged to have. His first wife was a Miss Julia Ann Turner, whom he married in Bracken County, Kentucky. By this marriage there were two sons and a daughter; James, William and Anna Maria. The sons both went South before the Civil War, and were soldiers in the Confederate Army. William was Lieutenant of a Mississippi Battery.

David Murphy's second wife was Cynthia Givens, a widow, whose maiden name was McCall. The children of this marriage were David A., married to Jennie M. Ball, of Portsmouth, Ohio, now living at Oxford. Ella M. Evans, wife of Mitchell Evans, a prominent citizens of Scioto County, residing at Friendship, Ohio; Leonidas Hamline, a partner in the well known wholesale shoe house of C. P. Tracy & Company, of Portsmouth; John Fletcher Murphy, a clerk in the Auditor's Office of the Baltimore & Ohio Southwestern Railway Company, in Cincinnati, and Miss Tillie M. Murphy, residing at Valparaiso, Indiana. Our subject and his second wife, Cynthia Givens, were earnest members of the Methodist Church all their days. Until 1848, he was a farmer, residing in Adams County, Ohio. In that year he left Adams County and removed to Buena Vista, just over the line of Adams County, in Scioto County, where he kept a hotel for awhile. He was postmaster at Buena Vista from 1868 until 1873. His home in Buena Vista was a delightful one where it was always pleasant to visit. After the death of his second wife, in 1873, he made his home with his daughter, Mrs. Evans, of Friendship, Ohio, until his death in 1892. Mr. Murphy had a great deal of dry humor and could express himself so as to entertain his hearers and amuse them at the same time. He was always anti-slavery, and once, a long time before the war, being asked if he would help execute the Fugitive Slave Law, he said, "Yes, if called by the United States Marshal to be part of a posse to catch fugitives, I would help, as I must obey the law, but I would be very lame." He served as a Justice of the Peace in the two counties of Adams and Scioto, for a period of fifty years, and his decisions gave general satisfaction. He could draw an ordinary deed as well as any lawyer. In politics, he was a Whig, until the Republican party was organized, when, after 1856, he went into that party and remained a member of it during his life. However, he voted for Fillmore for President in 1856, because he felt that his election would better preserve the Union. In 1860, he voted for Lincoln and for every Republican presidential candidate from that time until 1888, his last presidential vote, which was for Benjamin Harrison. He died in February, 1892.

 

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