Taken from “History of Taunton, Massachusetts: from its settlement to the present time” by Samuel Hopkins Emery
Dr. Joseph Murphy was a native of Clones, County of Manahan, Ireland, born in August, 1818. He was educated at All Hallows College in Dublin and received a diploma from the college, as also from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in London and one from the Apothecaries’ Hall, Dublin and one from Meath hall, Dublin. These diplomas came as a result and fitting testimonial of thorough medical study and an assurance to the pubic of a skilled practitioner. Dr. Murphy, graduating June 18, 1839, practiced medicine in Ireland five years. Called thence to Manchester, England, he served as professor of anatomy in the Royal School of Surgery in that city twelve years. An acquaintance of Father Hearne, of the St. Mary’s church, Taunton, he accepted an invitation to visit America, which resulted in a settlement in our city, then a town. He at once secured a large practice and earned a wide reputation in his profession, which often called him abroad for consultation in difficult cases. He was ever an active, interested member of the Massachusetts Medical Society. He served four years on the Taunton Board of Health and was its first chairman. He was also four years an alderman of the city. He was a member of the Old Colony Historical Society and of many benevolent societies in St. Mary’s church and elsewhere. A long, laborious, useful life came to its close the 15th of September 1890, at the age of seventy-two years, twenty-two days. A worthy tribute to his memory appeared in the Taunton Gazette the following day:
Dr. Joseph Murphy is dead. The news of his final rest from labor was not unexpected, because he has been withdrawn from the activates of life many months and has been slowly reaching the time when an enfeebled body can no longer afford a fitting tabernacle for the soul. Full of years, with a record of a well-spent, laborious life made up, respected by the whole community and loved by those who knew him most intimately, a good citizen, a wise physician and counselor, his work was well done and his end was peace.
Dr. Murphy was twice marred; first in Manchester, where his wife died, again to Mary Frances, daughter of Artemas Briggs, of Taunton, who survives him with six children. Three sons, Joseph, Francis and Charles, follow the profession of their father. Dr. Joseph B. Murphy is located in Taunton, Dr. Francis Murphy in Boston, and Charles is about completing his course of study. The daughter Agnes, who took music lessons with a distinguished professor in Manchester, England, was honored with the degree of L.L.C.M., Licentiate of London College of Music, and was married in August 1892, to Dr. John B. Gillon, of Taunton. Ellen is a sister in the House of Mercy, in Brooklyn, N. Y. Ida is unmarried.