Benjamin Murphy _____________________________________________________________
The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 477-478
Clay

BENJAMIN F. MURPHY is a man of thought and action,
and has demonstrated in many helpful ways his fine civic
loyalty, with the result that his influence has been large
and benignant in his home community, his native county
and in connection with governmental affairs in West Vir-
ginia. He is essentially one of the most progressive and
influential citizens of Clay County, and is a leading busi-
ness man of the village of Clay, judicial center of the
county. Mr. Murphy was born at Ivydale, this county, July
29, 1873, and is a son of Henry H. and Sarah J. (Dawson)
Murphy, and he is a scion of one of the oldest and most
honored families of what is now West Virginia. His great-
great-grandfather, Patrick Murphy, was born and reared in
Ireland, and upon coming to America became the first
settler in the Elk River Valley of what is now the State of
West Virginia.

After having profited by the advantages of the public
schools of his native county Benjamin P. Murphy became a
student in the Concord State Normal School at Athens,
West Virginia, where he well fortified himself for the peda-
gogic profession. For thirteen years he was a successful
teacher in the schools of Clay County, and he has continued
to retain a most lively and helpful interest in educational
affairs. For a time ho was a teacher in a private school at
Clay, or Clay Court House, which is still the railroad
designation of the judicial center of Clay County. Mr.
Murphy gained valuable magisterial experience by four
years of effective service in the office of justice of the peace,
and as county superintendent of schools for four years he
gave a most able and progressive administration, besides
which he was a member of the state grading board on teach-
ers' licenses under the administrations of State Superinten-
dents Miller and Shawkey. Thereafter he served one term
as representative of his native county in the House of
Delegates of the West Virginia Legislature, in which he
made a characteristically excellent record, he having been
chairman of the committee of education and a member of
other important committees of the Lower House. At Clay
he established the mercantile business which is conducted
under the title of Murphy & Company and which is one
of the important enterprises of the village. Mr. Murphy
lias had much of influence and leadership in the councils and
campaign activities of the republican party in this section of
the state, and he has been specially prominent in the
furtherance of educational work and service in his home
county, he having been the prime factor in the movement
which resulted in the establishing of the Clay County High
School, of which board he is the secretary. He is a director
of the Elk Valley Bank at Clay and of the American
Grocery Society in the City of Charleston, besides having
other capitalistic interests of important order. He and his
wife are zealous members of the Methodist Episcopal
Church, and for the past several years he has been Clay
Connty secretary in connection with the International Sun-
day School Association.  He is a past master of Clay
County Lodge No. 97, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons,
and a past noble grand of Pisgah Lodge No. 180, Independ-
ent Order of Odd Fellows.

On the llth of January, 1892, was solemnized the mar-
riage of Mr. Murphy and Miss Emma F. Friend, and of the
nine children of this union seven are living: Myrtle N.
is the wife of Dr. Thomas H. Fast; H. Mark graduated
from the high school and thereafter attended the Mountain
State Business College at Parkersburg, and also the Uni-
versity of West Virginia; Victor B. graduated from the high
school, was for two years a student in the University of
West Virginia, and is, in 1922, attending the West Virginia
Wesleyan College at Buckhannon; Maysel is attending the
Clay High School; and the three younger members of the
attractive home circle are Friend Paul, Benjamin C. and
Mildred.