John Tolford and David H. McMurphy


Danny J. McMurphy
Great-great & Great-grandson Respectfully
June 1998

John Tolford McMurphy

John Tolford McMurphy was born on 6 September 1806 near Alexandria, New Hampshire. He was the son of David McMurphy Sr. and Judith Cross John Tolford moved with his family to the Hardin/Pope County area of Illinois in approximately 1818. On 31 March 1835 he married Volley Bradley in Posey County Indiana (See Pension File). In 1832 he fought in the Black Hawk War serving as a private in Captain Diarman's Company 2nd Regiment 1st Brigade under the Third Army detachment of Lieutenant James G. Corder. He was mustered into service on 15 May 1832 and mustered out on 2 August 1832. He received $ 10.00 for his service. John T. was a farmer and had owned at least 120 acres in southern Illinois. On 1 March 1848, during the administration of James K. Polk, he was deeded 80 acres on Certificate No. 10.859 recorded in the Register of the Land Office, Shawneetown, Illinois, Vol. 22, page 269. This property was acquired through the 24 April 1820 Act of Congress entitled "An Act Making Further Provision for the Sale of the Public Lands". He again acquired property, 40 acres, on 12 June 1852, during the administration of Millard Fillmore. This is recorded on Warrant No. 9.148, Record of Miscellaneous Military Grants, Vol. 29, Page 325. This latter 40 acres was entitled under the 28 September 1850 Act of Congress, "An Act Granting Bounty Land to Certain Officers and Soldiers who have been engaged in the Military service of the United States". He died on 10 October 1862 in Hardin County, Illinois near Eichorn and is buried in the McMurphy family graveyard on the old homestead. Volley was born in 1815 and died on 1 January 1895 (See Pension File). Volley may be buried next to her husband in an unmarked grave. From 1892 until her death she was in the care of her son-in-law, Wm. L. Stilley, who had proceeded to have her declared insane and have himself appointed as conservator of Vollie and her estate. This is well documented in the records of the Pope County Courthouse in Golconda, Illinois. John Tolford and Volley had the following children:

1- Hannah H. McMurphy born 7 February 1837 and died on 30 July 1876. She is buried in the McMurphy family cemetery near Eichorn, Illinois in Hardin County along her sons John W. and James A. She married Wm. L. Stilley. They had at three or four children: John. W., James A. (1860-1878), others?.

2- David H. McMurphy born 23 November 1838 in Elizabethtown, Illinois and died on 5 March 1891 (See Pension File). He is buried in Paris, Monroe County, Missouri. David married Mary Jane Burner on 13 March 1870 in Hardin County, Illinois. They had at least eight children: Frank Burner born 31 January 1871 at Stoutsville, Missouri; Mary Buchanan born 20 April 1873 at Stoutsville, Missouri; Josephine L. born 20 August 1875; Elizabeth Celeste born 23 February 1878; John Edward born 16 February 1883 at Paris, Missouri; George Washington born 13 May 1885; Louella Mae born 3 August 1887; and an infant that died.

3- Judeth McMurphy born in 1841. In the 1870 census she was unmarried and living alone. No other record of her has been located.

4- Rolie B. McMurphy born 20 February 1843 and died 13 January 1867. He is apparently buried next to his father in the McMurphy family cemetery near Eichorn, Hardin County, Illinois.

5- Elizabeth Celeste McMurphy born in 1845. She married William J. Herring Jr. on 10 March 1867. They had at least 10 children: Hannah Vollie (1868-1870), Lillian A. born 1870, W.C. born 1872, Lucy A. born 1875, Mary E. born 1877, John R. born 1880, Tivis L. and Olive L. (twins?) born 1884, Grover born 1887, and Otto Ralph born 1889. Her husband and daughter Hannah Vollie are buried in the McMurphy family cemetery near Eichorn, Hardin County, Illinois.

The pension file of the widow of John Tolford McMurphy, Volley McMurphy contains the original marriage license of John and Voley McMurphy and affidavits on his service record in the Black Hawk War. The file indicates John was about six feet tall, dark complexion, black hair, and dark eyes. On the 'Widow's Claim for Pension' dated 8 May 1885, Volley claims that John died from pneumonia contracted in the service.

David H. McMurphy

David H. McMurphy was born 23 Nov 1838 in Hardin/Pope County, Illinois. He was the son of John Tolford McMurphy (1806-1862) and Volley Bradley of Indiana. Between 1861-1864 he served as a corporal in the 6th Illinois Calvary, Company G. David is described on the muster rolls as being 5 feet 10 inches tall, gray eyes, dark hair, and dark complexion. He was mustered into service on 19 November 1861 at Camp Butler, Illinois by Captain Pitcher. He reenlisted on 10 March 1864 in Germantown, Tennessee by Captain Charlesome and was mustered into service on 30 March 1864 at Memphis, Tennessee. He was mustered out as a sergeant on 5 November 1865 at Selma, Alabama by Lt. Hassen and returned home to Illinois. He married Mary Jane 'Mollie' Burner (1848-1929) in Hardin County, Illinois on 13 March 1870. They had apparently met during the Civil War. Mary Jane was the daughter of George W. Burner and Martha (or Margaret) Sheldon from Pilot Knob, Missouri. Mary Jane also served as a mid-wife. The farm land in southern Illinois was sold to his brother-in-law and others before the family moved to Paris, Monroe County, Missouri. David died on 5 March 1891 and is buried in the family plot at the Walnut Grove Cemetery in Paris. Mary Jane died on 29 November 1930 according to her death certificate (the pension file indicates 30 November 1930). She is also buried in the family plot at the Walnut Grove Cemetery in Paris. Mary Jane's gravestone mistakenly states that she died in 1929. The 1930 date is substantiated by her death certificate and pension file. David and Mary Jane had the following children:

1- Frank Burner McMurphy (Uncle Frank) born 31 January 1871 at Stoutsville, Missouri and married Helen Gertrude Davy on 3 October 1904 at Kalamazoo, Michigan. Frank died in July 1958 in North Bend, Oregon. They had four children: Katherine H., who was born 4 July 1906 at Three Rivers, Michigan, and is buried at Carthage, Missouri; Walter E., who was born 7 September 1907 at Kalmazoo, Michigan and died 23 May 1985, he is buried at Lewistown, Missouri; David D., who was born 8 November 1909 at Paris, Missouri and died in 1978/79 at Picayune, Mississippi; Mary Jane, born 1 April 1912 in Hannibal, Missouri died at the age of 15 in 1925; and (Frank) Buerk who was born 8 June 1915 at Hannibal, Missouri and resides in Lakeside, California.

2- Mary Buchanan McMurphy born 20 April 1873 in Stoutsville, Missouri. She died 12 May 1931 and was buried at Walnut Grove Cemetery at Paris, Missouri. She had one daughter, Linna Burner McMurphy, out of wedlock. Linna was born 5 March 1900 at Paris, Missouri and died 17 November 1951 at St. Louis, Missouri where she is also buried. Linna married Alfred Baker Rowland on 26 November 1919. Linna and Al had one daughter, Florence Marilyn Rowland, born on 10 November 1923 in St. Louis and one son Donald who resides in Columbia, Missouri.

3- Josephine L. McMurphy (Aunt Joe) born 20 August 1875. She died on 21 November 19__ and is buried in Barkley Cemetery at New London, Missouri. She married Edward W. Dorman, a harness maker. They had no children.

4- Elizabeth Celeste McMurphy (Aunt Tots) born 23 February 1878. She died 28 April 1973 and is buried at Walnut Grove Cemetery at Paris, Missouri. She married George Brooks. They had one daughter Mildred.

5- John Edward McMurphy (Mac, or Mickey) born 16 February 1883 in Paris, Missouri. He died on 2 July 1948 in St. Louis and is buried in the I.O.O.F. Cemetery (McCoy plot) at Sullivan, Missouri as John Edward MacMurphy. He married Dulcie Love Vest on 18 May 1906. They had two sons, Edward Payne, born 14 June 1911 in Paris, and George Franklin, born 16 January 1915 in Paris. Dulcie died in October 1918 and is buried in Paris, Missouri. He married Clara Jeanette McCoy on 10 May 1920 in Sullivan, Missouri. They had two daughters, Betty Jean, born 31 May 1922 in Sullivan, and Wanda Lee born 10 November 1923 in Sullivan.

6- George Washington McMurphy (Uncle Moody) born 13 May 1884. He died on 3 September 1964 and is buried at Walnut Grove Cemetery at Paris, Missouri. He married Anna Marguerite Wilson on 13 October 1917. 'Aunt' Marguerite was born 24 August 1897 in Paris. George was a tailor and ran a dry cleaning establishment until he became indisposed from his working conditions. He spent his remaining years at a home in Fulton. George and Marguerite had one daughter, Patsy (Patricia) Louise who was born 3 December 1917 and died 23 June 1978 from cancer. Patsy worked for McDonnell-Douglas in California until her death. Marguerite lived with Patsy in the Los Angeles, California area until Patsy's death. She then moved back to Paris, Missouri. Patsy never married and had legally changed her name from Patricia to Patsy. Patsy is also buried at Paris. Marguerite lived for about ten years in a nursing home at Paris until her death on 24 April 1992. Her body was cremated and the remains buried in the Walnut Grove Cemetery in Paris.

7- Louella Mae McMurphy (Aunt Lou) born 3 August 1887 in Paris, Missouri. She died on 21 August 1971 at Rosemead, California. and is buried in Westminster, California. She married William Cave on 13 May 1906. They spent their remaining years in a home for the aged in the Los Angeles, California area.

David's service record is verified in his pension file along with his marriage to Mary Jane Burner and the birth of their children. The file indicates that David contracted measles on or about 15 October 1861 while at Camp Butler in Illinois. The disease was prevailing among the soldiers in the camp. Subsequent exposure developed into lung disease at Columbus, Kentucky in the Spring of 1862. He was again attacked with inflammation of the lungs in the Winter of 1864/65 near Eastport, Mississippi. This affected him during the remainder of his term of service.

He was also thrown from a mule at Nashville, Tennessee about 4 July 1865 and received injuries to the back, right hip, and right shoulder. David was considered insane and under legal guardianship of his wife from about 1874 until his death in 1891. It is not known what his middle initial 'H.' stood for as it only appears on his gravestone.


Sources for the above records include: family and personal records; census records; Rev. Jesse Gibson MacMurphy - Journals/Letters; military pension records as well as the following publications (see the bibliography on McMurphy Family - it was removed from here to save space).

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