Walter Murphy

Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death 5 Feb 1897 (aged 35)
Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, USA
Burial Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, USA
Memorial ID 64923478 View Source

Son of James Murphy & Susan Bispham Roe. Married Emma Benson Purves.
The Salt Lake Tribune
Saturday, February 6, 1897
page 8

Fatal Termination of a Brief Illness

Was Supposed to be Recovering when Pneumonia Supervened, Causing Death - His Brilliant Career

The announcement yesterday of Attorney Walter Murphy's sudden death was a severe shock to his many friends in this city, very few of whom had even been apprised of his illness. Mr. Murphy was attacked with the grip a week ago yesterday, but the disease readily responded to the usual treatment, and on Saturday and Sunday the gentleman was feeling much better. On Monday, however, he was attacked with pneumonia of the left side, which rapidly extended to the right side, and so malignant was the attack that medical treatment availed nothing, and Mr. Murphy breathed his last at 4:30 yesterday morning.
Walter Murphy was born on April 26, 1861, in Philadelphia. His father, James Murphy, was at the time of the panic of 1857 a member of the dry goods firm of Smith & Murphy, the largest house in the city, which went down in the general crash. He never re-entered active business, however, and died in 1895.
Mr. Murphy was educated at a private school, and at the age of 17 entered Princeton as a member of the class of 1882. George Westervelt and E. B. Critchlow of this city were members of the same class, and the latter was his room-mate. Owing to a misunderstanding with President McCosh and the refusal of parent and son to submit to what they deemed humiliating terms, Mr. Murphy entered Yale, and graduated with honors in 1882. He immediately took up the study of law, attending the University of Pennsylvania law school, and was admitted to practice in the Court of Common Pleas in 1884. During his law course and just after admission he undertook literary work, and compiled a digest of partnership in Pennsylvania and a digest of law of corporations. His graduating thesis on "Contingent Remainders to Children as a Class" was a thoughtful essay, and obtained the honor of publication by the university. In 1888 he removed to Salt Lake City, and became associated with the firm of Sutherland & McBride. In 1889 he married at Philadelphia to Emma B. Purves. Entering upon the field of local politics, he became in that year one of the founders and the secretary of the Young Men's Liberal club, organized to promote the interests of the Liberal party. At the general election in 1890 he was the successful candidate of that party for the position of Prosecuting Attorney of Salt Lake county, and was re-elected, his second term expiring January 1, 1895. His administration of that office was able and clean, no word of suspicion being breathed against his integrity. In 1895 he formed a partnership with Judge J. G. Sutherland, an alliance founded as much upon mutual sympathy and esteem as upon business considerations. This continued until Judge Sutherland's retirement through ill-health effected a dissolution last year.
Mr. Murphy was one of the founders of the University club, and was at the time of his death its president. Nobility of character, allied to genial social disposition, endeared him to the members of that body.
He leaves three children, of whom the eldest, a son, is 7, and the youngest, a daughter, is two years of age.
Mr. Murphy was a careful student, whose reading was not confined to his own profession. Of an active mind, he was interested particularly in sociology and political economy. He was an admirer of Henry George, and well versed in the single-tax theory. His friends were legion, and he bound them to himself as with hooks of steel.
He was a member of the First Presbyterian church, and a warm adherent of Rev. Dr. McNeice, who will conduct the funeral services from the residence, 436 Seventh East street, on Tuesday. The remains will lie temporarily in a vault at Mt. Olivet, to be removed eventually to Philadelphia, whither his family expect to return.
(see below)
The Salt Lake Tribune
Wednesday, February 10, 1897
page seven

Tributes to the Memory of Walter Murphy

Services at the Church
Hon. C. S. Varian for the Bar Association Speaks Eloquently of the Dead Lawyer's Life and Attributes Measured by the Impression Made on His Fellow Man - Dr. McNiece Tells of Mr. Murphy's Services to the Church and His Christian Citizenship

The funeral services over the remains of the late Walter Murphy were held yesterday afternoon at 2 o'clock in the First Presbyterian Church...
...The choir then rendered the favorite hymn of the deceased, "Hark, Hark, my Soul, Angelic Songs are Swelling." Then the casket was borne out while the congretation remained standing. The pall-bearers were George Westervelt, C. J. Pence, George Hancock, Byron Groo, R. H. Browne, and C. P. Brooks. The interment took place in Mount Olivet cemetery, the services at the grave being brief.


In their memory
Plant Memorial Trees


  • Created by: Burt
  • Added: 30 Jan 2011
  • Find a Grave Memorial ID: 64923478
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Walter Murphy (26 Apr 1861–5 Feb 1897), Find a Grave Memorial ID 64923478, citing Mount Olivet Cemetery, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, USA ; Maintained by Burt (contributor 46867609) .