History of Taylor County, Iowa: from the earliest historic times to 1910 by  Frank E. Crosson. Chicago, The S.J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1910
(biographicals transcribed by Linda Kestner: lfkestner3@msn.com)
Page 335
J. T. Curphey, a prominent and well known resident of Lenox, is numbered among the prosperous and representative farmers and stockmen of Platte township, owning a valuable farm of two hundred and forty acres on section 10.  His birth occurred in Cuyahoga county, Ohio, on the 18th of July, 1861, his parents being Robert and Margaret (Cain) Curphey, both of whom were natives of the Isle of Man, where four of their children were born.  In 1858 they crossed the Atlantic to the new world, settling in Cuyahoga county, Ohio, where the father reared his family.  At the time of the Civil war, he enlisted (page 336) in defense of the Union as a member of the Forty-sixth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, with which he remained until discharged on account of disability, having been shot through the leg.  On recovering from his injury he once more enlisted, joining the One Hundred and Second Ohio Volunteer Infantry, with which he served until the close of hostilities between the north and the south, being honorably discharged in August, 1865.  His demise occurred in March, 1907, when he had attained the venerable age of ninety-three years, while his wife had been called to her final rest in 1905 at the age of eighty years.
J. T. Curphey spent the first sixteen years of his life in the county of his nativity and there pursued his education. On leaving the Buckeye state he made his way to Iroquois county, Illinois, where he worked by the month as a farm hand for several years.  Subsequently he removed to Custer county, Nebraska, where he homesteaded a claim of one hundred and sixty acres, opened up a farm and devoted his attention to general agricultural pursuits for ten years.  Returning to Iroquois county, Illinois, he was there married on the 26th of May, 1886, to Miss Carrie Barnum, a native of Tazewell county Illinois.  When seven years of age she was brought by her parents to Iroquois county, where she was educated, completing a course at the Grand Prairie Seminary on Onarga.  For about two years prior to her marriage she successfully followed the profession of teaching.  The young couple began their domestic life on the Nebraska farm -- fifty-five miles from the nearest railroad.  Mr. Curphey hauled the lumber for his house and barn from Kearney, a distance of one hundred miles.  As the years went by he brought the fields under a high state of cultivation and placed a number of substantial improvements on the property, which still remains in his possession.  In 1893, he leased the place and again returned to Illinois, purchasing a farm of one hundred and sixty acres in Iroquois county, in the operation and improvement of which he was actively engaged until 1900, when he sold out to good advantage.  In that year he came to Taylor county, Iowa, and bought his present farm of two hundred and forty acres on section 10, Platte township, to the cultivation and further improvement of which he has since given his time and energies.  There were two good barns on the place but he has erected another, has also rebuilt and remodeled the residence and has both a double and single corn crib, a hog house, and so forth.  He has partly tiled the land and altogether  has a very valuable and productive farm, the field annually yielding golden harvests in return for the care and labor which is bestowed upon them.  Since coming to his county he has made a specialty of the raising and feeding of shorthorn cattle and Percheron horses and is a well known dealer in pure blooded stock, having bred and sold some fine animals.  In March, 1909, he purchased a nice residence in Lenox, where he has recently established his home in order that his children may enjoy the advantages of the Lenox schools.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Curphey have been born two sons and three daughters, as follows:  Ross E., a farmer by occupation, who is married and makes his home in Lenox, Elva and Robert Harold, both of whom are high school students; Edith, who is likewise attending school at Lenox; and Grace Lucile.
Since age conferred upon him the right of franchise Mr. Curphey has given his political allegiance to the men and measures of the republican party.  He served as highway commissioner while a resident of Iroquois county, Illinois, and likewise acted a a member of the board of education there.  He has also been a school director in Nebraska and in this county, having served in that capacity altogether for twenty-two years.  Both he and his wife attend the Methodist Episcopal church and he contributes to its support.