Murphy, Georgia


The Murphy families were among early pioneer settlers who migrated from Duplin and Sampson Counties, North Carolina to this area between the 1790’s and early 1800’s. This area and surrounding land was inhabited by Lower Creek Indian tribes with campgrounds located along the nearby Ochlocknee River. It appears that these lands, for the most part, been explored on a limited basis by early settlers (early maps indicate that DeSoto’s expedition may have also visited nearby areas). The Murphys, along with several other families (Carlton’s, Lanier’s, Sloan’s and Alderman’s) apparently made several trips between here and North Carolina, using the old Thigpen Trail, in an effort to make a permanent settlement. These early families endured many hardships and dangers to establish a farming and trading community.

After the 1814 Creek and Seminole Indian war, these lands were ceded to the United States by the Treaties of 1814 and 1818, and became part of three counties granted charters under the State of Georgia. This local area was originally part of Irwin County, then part of Thomas County and now part of present-day Colquitt County. The Murphy’s and other families acquired these lands which had been divided into Land Lots of 490 acres and granted under the State Land Lotteries of 1818 and 1820. As pioneer settlers, they brought prosperity to the region, with large sheep and cattle operations, along with other agricultural crops (corn, tobacco, and cotton). At one time, the Murphy family land holdings reportedly were from just below present-day Meigs Road near Moultrie south to areas near the current Thomas County line. These early settlers operated commercial enterprises (including a gristmill, timber and sawmill, narrow gauge rail, retail stores, and turpentine stills), and also worked to establish a post office and school for the thriving and growing Murphy community. Land for the Murphy School was purchased by L.T. Dunlap, George Murphy, J.T. Kennedy, and T.A. Redding and donated to the School Board in 1906. When the Murphy School was subsequently combined with Sunset School, the land was deeded back to the Murphy Cemetery.

Among the original settlers (including several Murphy brothers) was Henry Murphy, whose son, James Murphy, was a community leader during reconstruction and a candidate for the Georgia House of Representatives in 1876. He was defeated in a controversial election and is burled at the Shade Murphy Cemetery, where several of the original families are also interred. It is located about 2.5 miles west of this site.

This marker is located near the original Murphy settlement and on land known as the Murphy Cemetery which was donated to the community for a burial site by Gibson Lanier (his parents, Murphy and Temperance Carlton Lanier, are buried at the Shade Murphy Cemetery). Gibson Lanier and his family and eight of James and Elisabeth Ann Murphy’s children are buried here. Many of the descendants of these early families are also interred in the Murphy Cemetery. This historical marker is intended to honor the memory and sacrifices of those pioneer ancestors, who were among the original settlers of this region.


New Hope Free Will Baptist Church


Filed under --COLQUITT COUNTY GA--, Murphy GA

7 responses to “Murphy, Georgia

  1. RITA miller OQUINN

    My father was Otis Zack Miller and grew up in Murphy, Ga. His parents were William Lacy Miller and Minnie Moore Miller. My grandparents and several of their children are buried in the Murphy cemetery. Their home was down the dirt road that ran by the store. I have a photo of a group of men standing in front of the old store. It was taken by my father while on leave from the army in WWII. My granddaddy Miller had a sister whose family also lived and farmed in this area. thanks for sharing info about Murphy, Ga.

  2. Sue Bradley Johnson

    I am the GGGranddaughter of Thomas Murphy and Temperance Carlton Lanier. My father, Bryant Gibson Bradley owned the grocery store across from the cemetery and New Hope Church.

  3. Jim Carlton

    Thanks for your posting of the Murphy Settlement marker. The decendents of George and Maggie Murphy (my GGrandparents) compiled the historical information for the marker, raised funds and dedicated the marker in 2002. The marker was unvailed at the dedication by Don Turner, Blanche Carlton Crum and Ray Murphy (Grandchildren of Georga and Maggie Murphy)

  4. Harold Murphy

    My Murphys.

  5. Bill

    Interesting. My GGGGrandfather Lewis Lanier fought the Siminoles, in recognition for which Lanier County was named. I will try to connect the dots between Gibson Lanier and Lewis.

    • Debra Shearl (granddaughter of James Carlton and Bertha Carlton-Murphy

      I think Jim Carlton speaks for all of the Murphy descendants. Thank you for this posting. I have still pictures and a video of the unveiling of the marker if you would like to add them to the website. I am proud to have been able to not only attend the ceremony, but be a part of it as a Murphy descendant.

      • Allen Earl W

        Debra, I too, agree Jim Carlton speaks for, and others of having known of Murphy descendants thru the period, ’40s – ’50s. I grew up on my G-parent’s small farm east of the crossroads of Mack-Dekle Rd and Shade Murphy Rd (no doubt, previously owned by Murphy ) at that time. grandMa, sibling and I would visit often a very kind middle age Murphy couple just west of the said crossroad on the left an old homestead . Pickup pecans from his orchards across the road from his home, being paid three cents a pound. There use to be a general small store across the street from this church in the ‘Y’ and my grandmother would buy her weekly provisions Sat afternoon when my Mom would drive out from Moultrie. That Dekle Rd was the longest dusty road in the world while in the back seat of that ’49 2dr sedan going to that store.
        Would you, Debra by chance know of these find people I’ve mentioned and know where they are buried?

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