Murphy, Owyhee County, Idaho Genealogy

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United States > Idaho > Owyhee County > Murphy

Quick Facts[edit | edit source]

Murphy is an unincorporated community in Owyhee County, Idaho, and is the county seat. It is one of the smallest county seats in the nation. It became the county seat of Owyhee County in 1934, when the seat of government for the county was moved from Silver City. It is distinguished by having the only working and enforced parking meter in the county, located directly in front of the courthouse.

Geographic location:

Murphy is in the north-central part of Owyhee County, Idaho

City Hall[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Biography[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Church History and Records[edit | edit source]

Faith Tabernacle‎
Mission Ln
Murphy, ID 83650

(208) 495-2718

Directories[edit | edit source]

The Idaho State Archives has a collection of city, county, state and regional directories.

The Gem State Rural's 1918-19 Farm Directory of Owyhee County Idaho and Malheur County, Oregon is available online. It lists landowners by town, including those owning land in these two counties, but residing elsewhere. The amount of acreage owned, the location of the land, and a list of crops raised on each farm is also included. The resident land owners of the Murphy area are listed on pages 87-90.

History[edit | edit source]

In 1897, the Boise, Nampa and Owyhee Railroad built a bridge over the Snake River a few miles upstream from Walters Ferry.

The town of Murphy, named for Cornelius "Con" Murphy (a crew boss on the railroad), grew up around the railhead established at Rabbit Creek. It was originally intended to be a stop on a line to the town of Dewey in the Owyhee mining district. Due to a drop in prices fo the metals being mined around Dewey, the railroad was never extended beyond Murphy.

Murphy did become a significant link to Owyhee County, delivering passengers, mail and freight to the Owyhee mining districts. It also became the largest shipping point for livestock in the Pacific Northwest in the early 1900s. The railroad continued operation until 1947.

At its highest point, Murphy had three saloons, two hotels, two livery barns, two grocery stores, a stage barn, a lumber company, a harness shop, a restaurant, and a railroad warehouse.

In 1934, the county seat of Owyhee County as moved from Silver City to Murphy. In 1935, a new courthouse was build on the hill above Rabbit Creek, which was prone to flash floods.[1]

In 1937, the townsite of Murphy was laid out around the new courthouse, consisting of nine city blocks. Three of the streets were named Pioneer, Idaho, and Owyhee. The other three streets were named Basey, Hailey, and Tilford Streets after the three men then serving as county commissioners -- Dave Basey, John T. Hailey, and Roy R. Tilford.[2]

The town of Murphy had a school which was moved to the courthouse hill in late 1935. It remained in use until 1963.

The town had no church and no cemetery.

Maps[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

The Idaho State Archives has a copy of this newspaper, published in Murphy.

Owyhee Avalanche -- 14 Feb. 1919

School Records and Yearbooks[edit | edit source]

Websites[edit | edit source]

Wikipedia page for Murphy, Idaho.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Idaho's Owyhee: Snake River Country - An Auto Tour. Souvenir Edition. [n.p., c1987].
  2. County Subdivision, Murphy Townsite, Owyhee County, Sept 25, 1937. Original in Owyhee County Courthouse, Murphy, Idaho.