by David Boyd
August of 2003, the new
opened for classes. Murphy,
has a long history of
settlement and education. This
vignette was written in honor of the opening of the school for presentation to
Bonnie Manley, its first principal.
had several names during
early settlement. Among these are
Rowlett and Muddy Creek but McMillan called the town that sprang up closeby
“Old Decatur” in honor of his hometown.
had a gin, a church and a
school, three physicians, and the general store,” one historian has observed (Zavitz).
W. Gentry was a teacher in Old Decatur, Texas.
He was possibly the son of a Baptist Minister who had been involved in a
dispute in the “four corners incident” where the counties of Collin,
Grayson, Fannin and Hunt join. The
dispute is reportedly to have been concerning Union sympathies versus the
followers of a local Confederate officer, and resulted in the death of a
’s Gentry arrived at the
time of the disturbance and he remained in the area for the rest of his life.
this area was referred to as the
district, by the
Collin County Commissioners
(2:101) and it was 64 square
miles in area; that is, eight miles long by eight miles wide.
“It ran eight miles east from Rowlett creek and eight miles north of
in their own neighborhoods operated early schools in the area.
In about 1880
started providing money to
provide schooling for the whole county. In
that year, the sum of $18,000 had been set aside for the school fund, and it
provided financing for a hundred schools in the county.
Among those mentioned is
, under the instruction of A.
J. Berryman “a young man of good attainment holding a first grade certificate
is giving general satisfaction. Fund
$134.23.” Historical Edition
April 3, 1880
to Maxwell Branch to avoid
, being the county seat of Wise.
Ben P. McPherson was the first postmaster of Maxwell Branch, which was
McPherson was a settler who came from
It was the home of his daughter, Mrs. D. C. George, which was taken to
and is preserved to this
the St. Louis and Southwestern Railroad built its right of way through William
Murphy’s land and the town got its third name, Murphy, Texas.
May 27, 1818
, William Andrew Murphy
married Dorothy Hudeberg in
. They left their home and
and moved again to
in 1849 accompanied by his
brother Eli Murphy and an early Peters Colony Settler, William McCreary.
Murphys had five daughters, Susan, Mary, Ann, Kate or Dorothy and five sons,
James B. (T?), William J., Franklin Pierce, Pleasant W. and John H.
Murphy’s daughter, Susan, married James Lilburn Moulden in 1866.
He was later to be Collin County Sheriff from 1893 to 1897.
Murphy founded the
The local cemetery at Old Decatur was full and Murphy had to bury his
sister, Susan Murphy Emerton on his own land.
January 30, 1891
, Murphy got its first post
office, which was headed by William Murphy’s son, James Murphy, postmaster.
The post office remained in town until February 1954 when local mail
delivery service was moved to
descendents still live in the area and the town continues to bear the family
Hall, Capt. Roy F. and Helen Gibbard Hall, Collin County Pioneering
in North Texas, Quannah, Texas, 1975.
Texas: The Early Years, Friends of the Plano Public
Library, Henington Publishing Company, Wolfe City, Texas, 1985.
& Stambaugh, A History of
, Elaine Young Ancestry.com
Bev, Living in Murphy,
Bev, Living in Murphy,
, Photographic Folio,