The subject of this historical review is the only living male adult representative of the famous pioneer family, being a great-grandson of Martin Murphy, Sr., who was born in County Wexford, Ireland, November 12, 1785. He grew up in his native county to be an intelligent, industrious and pious man. He married at an early age, Mary Foley, whose family afterwards became prominent in America. Several children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Murphy in Ireland. As the family increased so did their desire for a larger measure of freedom than was accorded to Irish citizens by Great Britain in those days; so, taking all his children except his oldest son, Martin. and his daughter, Margaret. with him, they set sail for the New World, settling in the township of Frampton, near Quebec, where he bought land and built a home. Two years later the aforementioned son and daughter came from Ireland and joined the rest of the family. Martin Murphy, Jr., went to work at Quebec, where he met and married Miss Mary Bulger, July 18, 1831. Being still unsatisfied with their political surroundings, they looked longingly across the borders to the great republic. In 1840 the elder Murphy, with nearly all of his family, removed to Holt County, Mo. Martin Murphy, Jr., remained at Quebec until 1842, when he and his brother James, who had been left behind, also migrated to Missouri.

It was at Quebec that Bernard D. Murphy, the father of the subject of this sketch was born on the first day of March, 1841. Still longing for greater liberty and freedom than even Northwestern Missouri afforded. the family resolved to seek their ideal in far-away California. beyond the Rockies, which was then under Mexican domination. The party, with Martin Murphy. Sr., and Martin Murphy. Jr., and their . families, consequently outfitted with 100 or more wagons, numerous oxen, mules, and the first American cattle ever brought across the mountains into California. They started from St. Joseph, Mo., and traversed such a route, at such a path-breaking period that the Donner party, trailing along two years later, were able to use cabins erected by the Murphys, thus through their pioneering and hardships, ameliorating to some extent the terrible sufferings of those that came later.

Martin Murphy, Sr., with the unmarried portion of his family, which consisted of his three sons, Bernard, John and Daniel, and his daughters, Ellen, Margaret and Joanna, reached California in 1844, and soon thereafter came to what is now Santa Clara County, and purchased the Rancho Ojo de Agua de la Coche,situated on the Monterey road south of San Jose, near what later became known as "Twenty-one Mile House". Here they made their permanent home, and were loved by native Californians and highly respected by all the immigrants who came later, dispensing liberal hospitality and lived clean God-fearing lives in accordance with their highest social and religious ideals. They were foremost in matters of both church and state. Martin Murphy, Jr., at first settled near Sacramento, but before long he, too, came over to Santa Clara County and bought a vast tract of land where Sunnyvale now stands, which became known as the "Murphy Ranch." He there built the first good frame house ever built in California from lumber which had been cut and framed at Boston, Mass., according to his plans and specifications and shipped in the knock-down " around Cape Horn to California. This house is still standing; it is the summer home of Mrs. Mary Ann Carroll, and is in an excellent state of preservation, and there our subject's father, Bernard D. Murphy, grew to manhood, and as the Murphys were most excellent entertainers in addition to their being California's first pioneer family, he became acquainted with all of California's leading public men, and many other of the nation's leading characters, as for instance, Bayard Taylor American writer and lecturer, who visited the Murphys in 1859, while making a tour of California as correspondent for the New York Tribune, then owned by Horace Greeley. Mr. Martin Murphy, Jr., took a leading part in the establishment of the College of Notre Dame at San Jose, while Bernard D. Murphy was once elected to the assembly, twice to the state senate and thrice elected mayor of San Jose, being a leading politician and a most efficient and popular public servant, whose altruism and high sense of honor led him to turn over his salary to the public library fund, and to other general welfare purposes. His example would indeed be worthy of emulation by politicians of the present day.

A native son of California, Martin Murphy was born April 3, 1873, in San Jose. His early education began in San Jose; later taking a course at Georgetown University in Washington, D. C.. where he graduated with the A. B. degree with the class of 1895. After completing his course, he returned to San Jose and became clerk under Judge Wallace of the Justice Court, and remained in this capacity until 1916, when he succeeded to the same position under Judge Sontheimer, Judge Wallace's successor.

Mr. Murphy has been married twice. One daughter, Ruth, resides with her maternal grandmother, Mrs. M. D. Phelps, in San Jose. His second marriage occurred in San Jose in 1912 and united him with Miss Helene Gratapaglia, a native daughter of San Jose. They are the parents of one child: Barney D., attending St. John's Military Academy, located in Los Angeles, Cal. Fraternally he is an active member of the Eagles, and is serving the local lodge, No. 8, as vice-president. Politically he is a consistent Democrat, as were his paternal ancestors for several generations before him. In his public and private capacities Mr. Murphy has won the respect and good will of his associates, and many years of activity for the public good have established his name among the high-minded, dependable and successful men of Santa Clara County.

From Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California, published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page  908