W. B. Murphy Doña Ana County, New Mexico

W. B. Murphy, a merchant of Las Cruces, was born and reared in Steubenville, Ohio, and in 1876 went to Austin, Texas, for the benefit of his health. Thence he went to Socorro, New Mexico, in 1882, and soon afterward went to Kingston, being there at the time of the great strike of that year. He took up claims, but was not successful in his mining operations, and turned his attention to freighting from Kingston to Nutt station. In 1884 he went to Las Cruces and leased an orchard on the river bottom. For a year his attention was devoted to horticultural pursuits and his labors resulted successfully. He then bought land adjoining Agricultural College and endeavored to establish a vineyard. On selling that place he purchased a tract of land above the town of Las Cruces, where he engaged in fruit growing. In the time of the "boom" started by the Rio Grande Land Company, about 1887, when Mesilla Park was established, he sold out to the company, and soon afterward, in 1888, established a mercantile enterprise in Organ. Since that time he has been interested in mining in the Organ Mountains. He continued to conduct his store in the town until 1896, when he returned to Las Cruces, where he established a general mercantile business, which he is now successfully conducting. He keeps a well-appointed store and has a good patronage, and his business methods are characterized by system, by honest dealings and unfaltering enterprise. He is likewise interested in Las Cruces real estate, and through judicious investment in property has added materially to his income.

During a part of his residence in Organ, Mr. Murphy served as postmaster of that town, and for one term has been county commissioner of Dona Ana County. In 1876 he became a member of Steuben Lodge No. 1, K. of P., but is not now affiliated with the order. His wife died in 1897. William Spencer Gilliam, a farmer and fruit grower at Mesilla Park, has made his home in New Mexico since 1888. He was born in Arkansas in 1850, a son of William T. Gilliam, who was a native of Tennessee, and was of Scotch-Irish descent. He died in 1864. He was a strong Union man. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Mary Spencer, was a native of North Carolina.


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Source: History of New Mexico, Its Resources and People, Volume II, Pacific States Publishing Co., 1907.

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Created 1996 by Charles Barnum & 2016 by Judy White