CCGS learns ancestry of Murphy family

By Clinton County Genealogical Society

The Clinton County Genealogical Society held its Annual Meeting and Banquet Monday evening, Nov. 27 at the First Christian Church. President Gene Snyder welcomed members and guests, and the buffet prepared by Shoelaces caterers was then enjoyed.

The slate of new officers was approved, consisting of: Pam Dase, recording secretary; Susan Neuhart, assistant recording secretary; and Barbara Daulton, corresponding secretary. The president, vice president Jim Burge, treasurer Ron Johnson and assistant treasurer Jim Hackney will continue into the second year of their two-year terms.

Jennifer Hollon began her program about the Murphy Theatre with the family tree of Charles Webb Murphy, its founder and benefactor. Charles’ father Patrick Murphy was born in County Cork Ireland in 1841 and emigrated to the U. S. as a young teenager as part of the migration caused by the great Irish potato famine.

Patrick, a skilled plasterer by profession, married in Wilmington in 1866. Charles was born in Wilmington in 1868 followed by brothers James and Frank.

Jennifer explained that the three brothers all loved baseball and that the ambitious Charles became a sports writer in Cincinnati, then a press agent for the New York Giants baseball team, and then was able to purchase the Chicago Cubs. She explained that while Charlie Murphy was working his way up to becoming the owner of the Cubs at just the right time in 1906, his brother James worked with him as a baseball scout and the other brother Frank was entering the movie theater business in hometown Wilmington.

The culmination of all this was that, after selling the Cubs for a nice profit in 1914, Charlie Murphy dedicated himself to the construction of and gift to the community of the beautiful Murphy Theatre in 1918.

Honors were bestowed: The Rev. Mary Nelson Keithahn of Rapid City, South Dakota became our 125th member of First Families of Clinton County. She qualified by tracing her ancestors back to a couple who had settled in Clinton County before 1820.

Connie Sue McKinney of Wilmington and Mikala Elizabeth Hatfield from Midland along with David G. Boring from Grosse Point, Michigan were honored as new members of the Settlers and Builders of Clinton County, as they could prove an ancestor settled in the county before 1840. Well-known minister in the 1800s Rev. William Holmes was the qualifier for Connie and Mikala.

Susan Neuhart was honored with the “Genealogist of the Year” award.

By Clinton County Genealogical Society