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Paul C. Murphy

Mr. Paul C. Murphy
Paul C. Murphy

Eminent Farmer

County: Pennington

Paul C. Murphy was born at Brownville, Nebraska in 1872, and came to the Black Hills with his parents in 1879. His father, John Murphy, bought the first sawmill to the Black Hills, at Custer, in 1876.

The family moved to Rockerville in 1879 and lived here until the spring of 1884 when the father filed on a preemption and homestead between Battle Creek and Spring Creek about seven miles from the present town of Hermosa. It is there that Paul Murphy developed his large sheep ranch, the Flying U.

Paul attended school in Rockerville, and high school in Rapid City for two years.

From 1894 until 1900 he set type for the Rapid City Journal and the Rapid City Republican and one other early-day newspaper.

He was married to Mary Pivny of New Underwood, South Dakota, in 1910. They have two children.

The elder Murphy first brought sheep to the homestead in 1884 and with the exception of one year, sheep have been handled on this ranch ever since. Doane Robinson in his history of South Dakota, recognizes the Murphys as the most extensive sheepmen in the state, who have operated continuously since pioneer days. Paul and his father at one time had as many as 6,000 sheep. The ranch expanded to 6,000 acres owned, and one to two additional thousand rented.

Since 1925, Mr. Murphy has handled Corriedale sheep, which he considers the ideal type for Pennington County.

Mr. Murphy helped to organize the Cooperative Wool Growers of South Dakota in 1920 and served many years as president of the organization. Before the state association was formed, he was active in the Pennington County Wool Growers, of which he was president.

He has been a member of the Farm Bureau, and always worked closely with the county agent.

Mr. Murphy has been a member of the school board in his district, is active in the Catholic Church, and was a member of the citizen’s committee which liquidated the old Pennington County bank.

The Murphys divide their time between their ranch and a home in Rapid City.