Patrick  Murphy1839

Patrick Murphy 1839

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The Father of Joplin

Patrick Murphy was the son of Michael and Margaret Murphy and was born in Monaghan County, Ireland, on January 6, 1839. The Great Hunger pushed them out of Ireland and into Bucks County, Pennsylvania. He arrived aboard The Hibernia January 12, 1850, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, along with his mother Margaret and his siblings Thomas, Margaret and James. He had arrived to join his father Michael and older sister Mary, in Northampton, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where his father farmed, and where the whole family was united. His father died in 1861 in Pennsylvania, but his mother Margaret lived a long and useful life.

The call of the West enticed him and in 1859, he traveled to Colorado, and had success in the mining field in August 1860. From 1861-1866 he engaged in freighting on the Plains, including serving as his own wagon-master on a train across the Plains in 1865, and which he crossed 31 times.

In 1866, he briefly went to Fort Scott, Kansas, and engaged a partner, W. P. Davis, but rapidly opened a branch business in Carthage, Jasper County, Missouri.

On November 19, 1868, in Carthage, he married Isabelle Workizer, and they began their family. The couple would have six children together: Ida, Howard, Lula, Frank, Nim and Nettie.

By 1870, he was a very successful merchant. He became interested in the lead and zinc mining business, and after his partnership dissolved in 1875, he formed the West Joplin Lead and Zinc Mining Company. He was again successful in his business dealings, and understanding what a challenge it was for the miners to keep their earnings safe, he had a fourth interest in the Miner’s Bank of Joplin, Missouri. Originally it was known as the Banking House of Patrick Murphy, but he changed it.

Patrick Murphy was closely associated with the history of Joplin, Missouri, helping form the nucleus of West Joplin, which became known as “the town” of Murphysburg, now a neighborhood. Joplin and Murphysburg merged into the name of Joplin in 1873, at Patrick’s own suggestion. He had built a very fine home in Joplin, and the Knights Templar laid the cornerstone for the home in 1897. He was the fourth mayor of Joplin in the early days, and was a stockholder in the first railroad in Joplin, as well as the owner of the first telephone there.

Patrick died October 12, 1900, in Joplin. His funeral was attended by thousands. One of his obituaries noted him as “one of nature’s noblemen, and of him, everything good can be said without flattery or boasting.” And “In his clean heart there was no conception of an unkind or an unjust act. He did the right, not for reward, because in his nature he could not do else.” "An honest man is the noblest work of God and such a one was he.” "He was a generous gentleman and as manly a man as ever battled for a friend.” He also had a charitable heart, giving generously to the Catholic church and others, donating land so churches and a hospital could be built, and giving to those who were unfortunate or in need. His family was bereft, leaving his widow and five children. “A Prince of Good Men”. “The Father of Joplin.”

His Findagrave memorial, with photos, can be accessed here:


Additional Information
Date of Birth 6th Jan 1839 VIEW SOURCE
Date of Death 12th Oct 1900 VIEW SOURCE
Names of Siblings Mary [Smyth], John, Thomas, Margaret [Schlayer Kelly] and James Murphy.
Father (First Name/s and Surname) Michael
Mother (First Name/s and Maiden) Margaret Murphy
Townland born Monaghan County, Ireland
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