Obituary Details

Joseph Earl Murphy

(01/02/1892 - 07/28/1954)
Courtesy of Johnny & Margaret Thon Files, 07/31/1954

Earl Murphy Dies in Forsythe, Montana

Thon Book No. 7

Joseph Earl Murphy, 62, well known rancher of Niobrara County for over 30 years, died at the Forsythe, Montana hospital Wednesday night, of a heart attack. He had been in the hospital for a week and had been ill a few days longer.

Funeral services were held this Monday afternoon from the Peet Mortuary, and burial was in the Harrison Cemetery beside Mr. Murphy's parents. Clyde Spaulding, pastor of the Lusk Church of Christ, officiated at the mortuary service and the burial service at Harrison was conducted by the Lusk Masonic lodge with C. E. Marvin, long time friend of Mr. Murphy, officiating as master.

Pallbearers were members of the lodge, Levern James, Leonard DeGering, Richard James, Don C. Taylor, Alfred Taylor and Bryan Burge. A quartet composed of Mrs. Lafe Culver, Jr., Mrs. Carl Peterson, L. E. Johnsonbaugh and Donley Unruh sang for the service and Mrs. J. P. Watson was organist.

Mr. Murphy was born in Keosauqua, Iowa, January 2, 1892, the son of Joseph A. and Louisa Jane Murphy. It was in that state that he received his academic education. Upon its completion he entered the educational field and served for a number of years as an elementary and high school instructor.

For 35 years he has been engaged in farming and ranching in Niobrara County and Sioux County, Nebraska. He was a veteran of World War I; a member and past patron of Niobrara Chapter No. 26, Order of Eastern Star; and a member of Harmony Masonic Lodge, No. 24 in which he was senior warden.

Mr. Murphy was unmarried, but neighbors of earlier days tell of his many acts of kindness in homes where illness and other hardships had fallen. One described him as the most selfless person ever seen.

Survivors are three sisters, Mrs. O. C. Pape of Spokane, Wash.; Mrs. John Berggren and Miss Mary W. Murphy of Lusk, and a brother, James of Lame Deer, Mont. Mrs. Pape, James Murphy, and his son, Bill of Los Angeles, and Mr. and Mrs. Milton Bixler of Nebraska were here for the service. Mr. Bixler is an uncle of Earl.

Earl had gone to Lame Deer to work with his brother on the ranch there early in the spring. He had been ill off and on during the winter but from other causes.

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