William Murphy, Donner Party, returned to TN

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William Green Murphy

Birthplace: Weakley Co., TN
Death: Died in Marysville, Yuba Co., CA
Immediate Family:

Son of Jeremiah Burns Murphy and Levinah Murphy, Donner Party
Husband of Damaris Kathleen Murphy
Father of Tullulah Murphy; Kate Nye Murphy; William Green Murphy, Jr.; Charles Mitchell Murphy; Ernest Murphy and 2 others
Brother of Harriett Murphy, Donner Party; Sarah Foster, Donner Party; Landrum Murphy, Donner Party; Mary Murphy, Donner Party; Lemuel Murphy, Donner Party and 1 other

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About William Murphy, Donner Party, returned to TN

Survived, and later returned to Tennessee with his brother.


b. 15 Jan 1836 Weakley Co., TN m. 03 Dec 1861 Weakley Co., TN to Damaris Kathleen Cochran

    Ch: Tullulah "Lulie" T., Kate Nye, William Green, Jr., Charles Mitchell, Ernest H., Harriet F., Leander B.

d. 04 Feb 1904 Marysville, Yuba Co., CA

      Young William set out with the Forlorn Hope with other members of his family, but had no snowshoes and had to turn back. Had he not done so, he almost certainly would have met the same fate as his brother Lemuel. Two months later, on his way out of the mountains with the First Relief, William’s feet became so badly frostbitten that he couldn’t continue, but it came to a choice of walk or die. He walked.
      After their rescue and recuperation, the two surviving Murphy boys flourished in California. In 1849 their sister Mary Covillaud wrote, "William and Simon are large helthy boys and as like the other boyes was William can ride wild horses like a spaniard they can talk spanish and indian to[o]." William acted as an Indian interpreter at Bidwell’s Bar in 1848-49.
      In December 1849 William and Simon Murphy accompanied their sister Harriet and brother-in-law Michael Nye east via the Isthmus of Panama. At Gorgona they met John Sutter’s family, who were on their way to Sacramento escorted by Heinrich Lienhard. After arriving at New Orleans, William and his companions traveled on to Dresden, Tennessee, where the family still owned property.
      The Nyes returned to California but the boys stayed on, living with a local family. Evidently William, as the eldest surviving son, was expected to continue his education. His schooling had been scanty, however, so he had to be tutored until he was ready to enter the University of Missouri at Columbia for the school year 1852-53. In 1854 he returned to California, helping to drive a large herd of cattle back to Marysville, but after a few years went back to Missouri and completed his education, graduating in 1861.
      William returned to Marysville, where he was admitted to the bar in January 1863. In August of that year he was admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court of Nevada and practiced law in Virginia City for three years, but in 1866 went back to Marysville for good. His law practice was very successful. He served as court commissioner for twenty-seven years and also as district attorney of Yuba County.
      Murphy stood more than six feet tall, loved children, was a noted orator, a staunch prohibitionist, and a founder of Marysville’s Christian  Church (Disciples of Christ). His passing in 1904 was sincerely mourned by his fellow citizens.
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William Murphy, Donner Party, returned to TN's Timeline

Weakley Co., TN
Age 68
Marysville, Yuba Co., CA
Missouri, United States
Tennessee, United States
Missouri, United States