Senator Jeremiah Henry Murphy View All Years

Compiled Historical Information
Date of Death: 12/11/1893
Birth Place: Lowell, Massachusetts
Party Affiliation: Democrat
Assemblies Served:
Senate: 15 (1874) - 16 (1876)
Home County: Scott
Jeremiah Henry Murphy
Scott County

HON. JEREMIAH H. MURPHY died at his Washington residence, on the 11th of December, 1893. He was born in Lowell, Mass., February 19, 1835. In 1849 his father moved his family to Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, and in 1852 settled in Iowa County, in this State, on a claim lying near Old Man’s creek. Jeremiah Murphy was then seventeen years of age, a strong, energetic lad, and with a younger brother to drive the two yoke of oxen, they broke up 80 acres of prairie the first summer. In the winter following, the boys made enough rails and stakes to build an old-fashioned “worm fence” around a quarter section of the new farm. In 1854 Jeremiah entered the Law Department of the State University, at Iowa City, and completed a three years course. He then secured a position in the law office of William Smyth, of Marion, and a few months later was admitted to practice. He soon after formed a partnership with H. M. Martin, of Marengo, where the firm carried on a successful business for nine years, when Mr. Murphy removed to Davenport. He was always an ardent Democrat, and was a delegate from Iowa to the Democratic National Convention in 1864 and again in 1868. In 1873 he was elected to the State Senate, from Scott County, serving four years. In 1876 he was nominated for Congress against the veteran Republican leader, Hon. Hiram Price, but was defeated at the election. In 1881 Mr. Murphy was again the Democratic candidate, and this time was elected to Congress, serving four years. His principal work in that body was the promotion of the Hennepin canal scheme, for the success of which he worked with untiring zeal. He never ceased his labor until an appropriation was secured for that great project which is to connect Lake Michigan with the Mississippi river. He won a national reputation as the chief promoter of the Hennepin canal, and lived to see the great work inaugurated by act of Congress.