Gatton Murders - Daniel Murphy Senior

Gatton Murders

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Daniel Murphy Senior

Daniel Murphy (Sen).

Born in the County of Cork Ireland.

Described as a somewhat stupid old man. He was an illiterate.

Mr. Murphy, who is 56 years of age, came to the colony in 1864 (aged 22), in the ship Mansfield, and shortly after landing he engaged with Messrs. Peto, Brassey, and Betts to assist in the construction of the railway line from Ipswich to Toowoomba.

For some considerable time he worked for the firm in the neighbourhood of Ipswich.

About two years later on the 10th of April 1866 he was married by the late Rev. Father Brun, of Ipswich, Mrs. Murphy (nee Holland) having come out to the colony in the ship Charlie Palmer (1865).

Shortly after their marriage they removed to a farm on Sandy Creek (now called Ma Ma Creek), about a mile nearer to Gatton than the land, which they now tenant.

They were there engaged in cotton-growing for some years.

It was at this place that the deceased, Michael and Norah, were born, but Ellen-or Nellie, as she was familiarly called-was born at Spring Creek, a few miles to the north of Gatton, whither Mr. and Mrs. Murphy had removed, and where they lived up till about nine and a-half years back, when they took the late Mr. Norman Rule's farm, and have been living on it ever since.

Whilst at Spring Creek Mr. Murphy engaged in grazing pursuits, and took contracts for road work and fencing.

For some years after removing to Blackfellows' Creek, he also tendered for road and other work; but of late years he has left that class of labour to his sons and has confined his efforts to farming.

Daniel Murphy died on 31 May 1927, at the age of eighty-four years.

In reporting the passing of the devout and kindly old man, a newspaper commented:

Time and time again he was urged to move to where fresh associations might relieve the poignancy of his grief and that of his wife but he would not.

He was living at Tent Hill when the murders were committed and it was at Tent Hill he died.

Daniel and Mary Murphy lie buried in Gatton cemetery not far from the monument, which marks the grave of their beloved children, Michael, Norah and Ellen.

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