Donated by Dianna Parks-Isam, the great great grandaughter of Dr. Peter Patrick Murphy, MD. Dr. Murphy practiced medicine in Stark and was an Assemblyman for New York 1834-1835. He was the father of Mary Catherine Murphy, Dianna's grandmother.


"Peter Patrick Murphy was a colorful fellow and upstanding citizen. He was born in Albany, New York in 1801 and was the son of Peter Murphy and Catherine Conner.

Peter P. Murphy came from a very colorful family, his grandfather served in the Revolutionary War in the Navy. His cousin was Charles Murphy, a celebrated Indian fighter whose wife and children were killed during the French and Indian War.

He was educated at Albany Academy. He moved to Herkimer County in 1820 where he taught school. He then decided to become a physician and studied with the well known Dr. Joseph White in Cherry Valley, NY. He graduated from Fairfield Medical College of Herkimer, NY in 1826 and began his practice in Southville, town of Stark, Herkimer County. He served in the New York State House of Representatives from Herkimer County in 1834 & 1835 as a Democrat and that fall moved to Royalton, Niagara County. There he purchased 26 acres of Orsmus Atwood to which he added more later. He was the leading physician of Royalton and during the Civil War served as examining physician for that Provost District.

He also involved himself politically in the life of Royalton and Niagara County. When the Democratic Party divided he became a Free Soiler and then was one of 28 Niagara County men who helped organize the Republican Party. He was vocal as an anti-Know Nothing and they twice set his house on fire. He was elected to the New York State Senate from the 20th district and served in 1860 and 61. In his life he served in both Assembly and Senate of the legislature in New York.

He was also very community spirited. He served on the Railroad Board, the Medical Board (of which he was President for some years) and was an original Trustee of the Royalton Free Academy, the first free school in New York.

He was a very important and eminent Manson and Knight Templar. I have included the summary made by his lodge."

The Masonic Summary

Dr. Peter P. Murphy was born in Albany in 1801. He graduated with the M.D. Degree in 1825. Represented Herkimer Co, in 1835 in the State Assembly and in the fall of the same year came to Royalton Center. The house in which he lived is still standing. He became the leading Physician of Royalton and during the Civil War was examining Surgeon for this Provost District. He was a State Senator in 1860-61, Trustee for the Royalton Free Academy and was identified with many other enterprises in Niagara County.

He was a Mason in the Mowhawk Lodge 266 in Minden, not far from Albany. He affiliated with Ames Chapter in 1835 and Lockport Lodge in March 1839. He assisted in moving the Paraphanlia of Genesee Commandry from Batavia to Lockport in 1839 and served as Eminent Commander from 1841-60; then again in 1864-5-6 or 22 years in all.

In Ames Chapter he served as High Priest from 1853-57. He served as Grand High Priest of the State for 1857-58.

About 1838 he had been appointed Grand Visitor for this G. V. District and served until 1846. Thus earning the title of R.W. In 1853, he was one of the Petitioners for Cataract Lodge and in 1857 & 62 represented this Lodge in Grand Lodge. During the period from 1858-1862 he was extremely active in Grand Lodge, serving on numerous committees. He was one of the Incorporators of the Masonic Historical Society of NY; Grand Standard Bearer in 1859-60 and in 1862 was Junior Grand Warden of the the Grand Lodge; Commissioner of Appeals in 1861. I assume his job as Examining Surgeon during the Civil War prevented his advancement in L.L. He had all the qualities necessary for a G.M.

"He died in 1880. Ames Chapter records contain his Obituary and his picture. He had been a Mason for 60 years. I believe when you print another Roster he should be included in your list of Grand Lodge Officers."

Back to Town of Stark Page

Back to Meet Your Ancestors Section

Back to Herkimer/Montgomery Counties GenWeb

Back to New York State GenWeb

Created: 2/11/00
Text Copyright© 2000 Dianna Park-Isam
All Rights Reserved.