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Daniel D. Murphy


Posted By: Ken Wright (email)
Date: 3/11/2009 at 23:16:46

Clayton County Centennial Edition
July 1, 1936

Daniel D. Murphy, one of Iowa’s most famous attorneys, made his home in Clayton County for nearly half a century. Mr. Murphy was born near New Diggings, Lafayette County, Wis., Aug. 22, 1862. His parents were Mr. and Mrs. John G. Murphy, both natives of Ireland, who came to this country when they were quite young. His boyhood was spent in working on farms in the summer time and attending school in the winter.

When 17 years old, he taught country school one winter and entered the State Normal school at Platteville, Wis., from which he was graduated in the spring of 1883. After serving for three years as superintendent of the public school at Guttenberg, he entered the law school of the University of Iowa and graduated in 1887. He returned to Guttenberg and for a few months practiced law there and worked in the Clayton County bank, which had then just been established. He married Henrietta Johnsen in 1888. The same year he went to Elkader and practiced law there until his death, May 30, 1931. He was county attorney from 1891 to 1895.

President of State Bar

Mr. Murphy was president of the Iowa State Bar association, member of the American Bar association, the American Academy of Political and Social Science, and the board of regents of Columbia College, Dubuque.

He was also a member of the state board of education, having in charge all educational institutions in the state, from the time of its creation in 1909 to 1920. For 14 years he was president of the board and was generally regarded as the most influential and dominating figure.

Mr. Murphy had wide business interests in addition to his law practice. He was president of the Elkader State bank and a director of the Clayton County State bank of Guttenberg. He served as a director of other banks which have been merged with the Elkader State bank. He served on the town council and as member of the local board of education.

His son, Clarence, continues the law firm established by his father under the title, D. D. Murphy and Son.


Clayton Biographies maintained by Sharyl Ferrall.
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