Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens
Lawrence County Pennsylvania 1897


[p. 660] This gentleman, a resident of Mahoningtown, has been performing the duties of engineer for the P., F. W. & C. R. R. for over a quarter of a century, and it is very probable that there is no engineer of long or short service in Lawrence County who is so well known and as favorably known as he is. The very fact of his being continued in the service of one company for such a length of time shows that his work must have been satisfactory at all times and up to all the requirements of the road, and it also illustrates his staying qualities, for as long as no fault was found with him and he was not shabbily treated he was content to remain in the employ of the same road on which he commenced railroading thirty-two years ago. His is a splendid record, and he may well feel a little pride that he is held in such high regard by his superiors in the service. His friends are practically without number, for go where you will, you will find somebody who has a good word for him, or a yarn to tell of the days when they were together in the service of the P., F. W. & C. R. R.

Mr. Murphy was born in Allegheny City Sept. 27, 1846, and was a son of Thomas and Nellie (Daady) Murphy, both natives of Ireland, where they grew up and married. Thomas Murphy was a farmer in the old country; he died in Allegheny City, when his son, the subject of this sketch, was only four or five years of age.

Edward J. was reared in the Second Ward of Allegheny City, and attended the public schools until he was fourteen years of age, making his home in the meantime with his uncle, his mother's brother. His first work was in the establishment of a tobacconist, a Mr. McGinnis. He commenced his railroading in September, 1865, for the P., F. W. & C. R. R., working in the car yards for a year. Then for five years he served as fireman; about this time, while oiling an engine, it was started through the carelessness of the engineer, and inflicted injuries so serious on Mr. Murphy that for two years he was unable to perform any of his duties. When he was again able to work he was promoted to the post of engineer, beginning work in that capacity in June, 1870, at which time he came to New Castle, and ever since then has been in charge of an engine for the P., F. W. & C. R. R. From 1874 to 1883 he lived in Youngstown, from 1883 to 1886 in New Castle, and since that date in Mahoningtown.

On Jan. 27, 1874,,he was married in New Castle to Fannie Robinson, daughter of Andrew G. and Frances (Edwards) Robinson. Andrew G. Robinson was born in the region of Hollidaysburg, Pa., about 1812, one of a family of sixteen boys and one girl, and followed charcoal burning until bituminous coal took the place of charcoal in the iron furnaces, when he learned the trade of an iron-worker, and was employed in the iron mills the remaining years of his life. He died in New Castle at the age of seventy-three years. His wife was born in Wales in 1813, and with her two brothers, they being left orphans at an early age, came to the United States and settled in Hollidaysburg. Of the family of eleven children born to her, seven boys and four girls, in the aggregate, seven survive. Following is the record: Sarah Jane, who married Howard Huttenbaugh, an operative in the rolling mills of New Castle; David, who was killed in the late war; Thomas, deceased: Zechariah, a mill operative of New Castle; Joseph, the chief of police of New Castle; Andrew, a puddler in the iron works of New Castle; Edward, deceased; Lizzie, deceased; Margaret, the wife of Charles Owery, a mill operative of New Castle; James W., whose sketch appears elsewhere in this volume; and Fannie, the wife of our subject. Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Murphy; Andrew Gerry and Nellie Frances. The family are attendants of the M. E. Church. Mr. Murphy is a Republican in his politics. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and has taken seventeen degrees of the ritual, and belongs to the following organizations: Western Star Lodge No. 21; Mahoning Chapter No. 93; Mahoning Council of Youngstown, Ohio, No. 45; Lawrence Commandery of New Castle, No. 62; and Zem Zem Temple of Erie, Pa.

Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens Lawrence County Pennsylvania
Biographical Publishing Company, Buffalo, N.Y., 1897

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