Schoharie County NYGenWeb Site

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Peter Murphy


But a few of the near children of the heroic fathers of our Country, left an imprint of their faces and forms, that we may have an idea of the physique of men brought up under the labors and frugal mode of living that were peculiar to their lives. Under the modern habits of living, great changes are wrought in the general physical appearance of families from one generation to another. They are to such an extent that the children of today are as much unlike their ancestors of one hundred years ago, as if they were of another nationality. The pioneers of the County were a hardy, muscular people, and it was characteristic of their children, down to within fifty years, when their accumulations of wealth and their lightened labors, permitted a more easy and extravagant mode of living, which grew upon them as the country made its advancement.

We are pleased to present a true type of "the fathers" in the likeness of Peter Murphy. It is far more agreeable from the fact that he is a son of Timothy Murphy, the gallant hero of the border settlements, in the trying days of the Revolution, in which the patriots and enemies of our country, alike, surmised that Providence or the Evil One, had instilled a magical spirit peculiar to the fabled heroes. We are told by those who were intimately acquainted with the father and the son, that the latter is a counterpart of the former in general appearance. The father died at the age of sixty seven, and when Mr. Murphy had arrived at that age, the very close resemblance was noted by the aged people, and they looked upon him with nearly that degree of honor they did his father while he was among them.

The subject of this sketch was born upon the old Feek farm, in 1794, and is still active yet bearing the marks of age. The outlines of a ruddy countenance, hardy form, and a bold, determined spirit, are easily traced, regardless of time's work with his "defacing fingers." Mr. Murphy inherits many other of his father's characteristics, not the least of which are frankness and honesty. He has followed agriculltural pursuits, from his youth, working hard, early and late, and like many who aspire to positions, never urged official favors upon the strength of his parent's services and reputation. On the contrary he has always manifested a reluctance in accepting proffered positions, yet has been the recipient of many town honors, among which was that of Supervisor in 1850. He adheres zealously, as did his father to Democratic principles and party without exceptions, never having cast a vote against a candidate for nomination, and has ever been present at the polls, regardless of obstacles.

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