Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Dedication of Monument for Marine George Murphy of the Civil War

Today was the dedication of the monument for Marine George Murphy of the Civil War. If you look close you will see a small square above the eagle, if your smart phone can read this it gives the website for the biography of George Murphy.

This all started about 20 years ago, John Witte did a book on the Civil War Veterans buried in Spokane County, and he tried to find information on all the veterans, but many he did not find. Fast forward to today and the internet provides much more information than was available when John did his book. EWGS wanted to put a list of Civil War veterans online and asked John for permission to use his book. 
Using the internet EWGS member Barbara Brazington found information on Marine George Murphy. John had only found one Marine buried in Spokane and the Marine Corps League had put a monument on the first Marine's grave. The government only authorized 4000 Marines in the Civil War and they had to enlist for 4 years, so it took till 1864 to get the whole 4000.
The ceremony started out with the Marine Color Guard, the National Anthum and the Marine Hymn.

T.J.Morgan of the Marine League was the master of ceremony.

T.J. Morgan introduced Barbara Brazington and she told of the life of George Murphy. George was born in Limerick, Ireland about 1842, came to New York about 1858. He enlisted in the Marine Corps 6 February 1862 and did his basic training in Brooklyn, New York. He was then assigned to the USS Fort Henry a steam driven sidewheeled, ferryboat from New York that had been converted to a gunboat, and was ordered to the west coast of Florida as part of the blockade of the Confederate states.

Here is Barbara Brazington telling the story of her George Murphy.
After the war George moved to California and obtained his citizenship. George opened a stationery store in the Dalles, Oregon and returned to California to marry Isabelle Burns. They then moved to Sprague, Washington where George and his brother-in-law J.J. Burns opened a stationery and sundries store. Unfortunately that store was destroyed in the 1895 fire at Sprague, so George and Isabelle moved to Spokane, Washington. George worked as a clerk for the IXL Clothing Store, became a jailer at the county courthouse, and finally as a constable in  Judge Stocker's court. George collapsed while on the job and was sent to the veterans home at Retsil, Washington where he died about a year later. His body was sent back to Spokane and he is buried in Fairmount Cemetery.  His wife Isabelle (1853-1934) is buried next to him. Those records from Retsil are online today at the Washington State Digital Archives. Barbara wanted to get George a military stone, but the red tape made that impossible so she contacted T.J. Morgan of the Melvin M. Smith Detachment #586 of the Marine Corps League to see if he could get a military stone.
T.J. contacted several monument companies in Spokane and Ron Bohman of Genesis Granite Inc., offered to do a stone for free for George Murphy.
John Witte is the gentleman on the left and the three others are Barbara Brazington of EWGS, T.J. Morgan from the Marine Corps League, and Ron Bohman of Genesis Granite Inc.

Our TV station KHQ was there interviewing T.J. Morgan. Lindsey Nadrich was asking T.J. about the dedication of the stone for George Murphy.

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