You can see it in their eyes. They come for a tour of St Pat's Cemetery looking for the grandiose monuments they saw in the Lowell Cemetery or even at Mt Auburn. They seem disappointed. Where are the works of art in stone? St Pat's is very much a working man's cemetery. The stones are more geared to being utilitarian rather than artistic. There are a few gems though. Daniel Murphy's monument is one of them. I remember standing by it with Catherine Goodwin. The extreme of arches and cravings dazzled the eye. Catherine explained that in this era if something was good, just add more of it. And that's what they did. But when you look again, you ask yourself who was this guy and how did he get to have one of the most visual stones in the entire cemetery.
This week's guest blogger is Karen Murphy Hickey. You guessed it; this is her family's stone. Karen shares with us a little of the life of another of Lowell's Irish immigrants.
|Murphy Liquor Dealer, Dutton Street|
He was born in Anniscaul, Kerry, Ireland in 1842 and came to this country with his parents in 1847, settling in this city. In the 1860s after working for various local men for a few years he went into business for himself with continued success. He was a beer agent and liquor dealer and owned and operated D. J. Murphy Saloon on Dutton St. in downtown Lowell circa 1870 to 1900.
In fraternal as well as business circles, Mr. Murphy was a prominent figure, not only locally but throughout the country and state. February 1867, with a few other men who had been born in Ireland and who had in their hearts the desire to further the Irish cause in this country, he founded Lowell’s Division 1, Ancient Order of Hibernians.