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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : blogsold : verde heritage May 26, 2016

Verde Heritage
By Glenda Farley, Cottonwood, AZ
Local historian Glenda Farley guides us on a journey back in time to discover fascinating moments that make up our Verde heritage and history.
Thursday, October 17, 2013

1888: JEROME; Walter Murphy Shot; Died October 16, Part 2.

Glenda Farley

"WALTER MURPHY'S DEATH: His Murderer Arrested and Lodged in Jail; Repentant Over the Act."

"As foreshadowed in yesterday's 'Journal-Miner,' the ball from 'Windy Bill's' six-shooter, fired into the stomach of Walter W. Murphy, proved to be the death wound for the latter. N. O. Murphy, brother of Walter, accompanied by a physician, arrived in Jerome about four o'clock. It required but a glance from the latter to see that the life of the wounded man was fast ebbing away, and that a few hours at most was all that there would be left to him. Such aid as could be rendered was given, but it proved of no avail, as he breathed his last a few minutes before six o'clock in the evening. The body was immediately prepared for shipment to Prescott, and arrived here this morning at 9 o'clock."

"Henry Murphy, a brother of the deceased, was with him when the unfortunate and sad tragedy occurred. F. M. Murphy, superintendent of the Congress mine, who was at the latter camp, was telegraphed the sad news yesterday, and arrived in Prescott early this morning after an all night's ride."

"The funeral will take place from the Congregational church to-morrow morning at 10 o'clock. Friends and acquaintances of the deceased, and those of his brothers, are invited to attend."

"THE MURDERER was arrested on the road, near Jerome, yesterday afternoon, by Sheriff Mulvenon, and was lodged in jail at 2 o'clock this morning. He was interviewed by the 'Journal-Miner' man this morning, and expressed the greatest penitence over his act, saying that he had been on a terrible drunk for several days, and could not account for it. He admitted that previous to the shooting he had an altercation with Murphy, and that the latter had gotten the best of the fight."

(Arizona Weekly Journal-Miner; Prescott; October 17, 1888; page 3; from Wednesday's Edition.)


"On Tuesday morning the mining camp of Jerome was the scene of another shooting scrape. Walter Murphy, a brother of N. O. and F. M. Murphy, had a quarrel with William Harper, commonly known as 'Windy Bill' in which he got the worst of it. The trouble was thought of no more at the time, but in the night about 12:30 o'clock Harper went up to Murphy and placed his gun to his (Murphy's) stomach and fired; the ball passed through him. After he was shot Murphy walked into a saloon holding his hands to his stomach, and on examination the wound was found to be fatal. Harper disappeared after the shooting but has since been captured."

"Murphy died the next evening about 6 o'clock and was buried the next day at Prescott."

(The Arizona Champion; Peach Springs; Mohave County; October 20, 1888; page 3, column 2.)

"The preliminary examination of Wm. Harper, for the murder of Walter W. Murphy, was continued this afternoon before Judge McGrew. The testimony thus far elicited is very damaging to the defendant. Witnesses who testified stated that, what was at first reported as a quarrel between the defendant and his victim was a friendly sparring match, and that after its termination Harper borrowed a dollar from Murphy to treat the boys with, remarking that the latter had got the best of him. No ill feeling apparently existed between them, and Walter and his brother, Henry Murphy, were on their way home together when hailed by Harper, who deliberately shot the former, without warning."

(Arizona Weekly Journal-Miner; Prescott; October 24, 1888; page 2, column 2; from Friday's Daily.)

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