Dr. Hubert “Henry” Joseph Murphy was born approximately 19 km from Hamilton, Ontario on December 31st, 1842. The Murphy family homestead was known as “The Shelters”. He was the 4th of 6 children born to James and Mary Ann Murphy. His parents were farmers and his siblings were; John, Margaret, Samuel, Sarah and Isabella. Dr. Murphy was educated in local schools at Caledonia and Hamilton. He taught school for one year before attending medical school.
Dr. Murphy graduated M.D. from the University of Buffalo, New York in 1865. Dr. Murphy joined the Confederate Army and served as an assistant surgeon in some of the largest hospitals in Washington D.C. After the war ended Dr. Murphy returned to Canada and he enrolled in Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. Dr. Murphy graduated L.R.C.P.S.K. with honours in 1867. He set up his medical practice on King Street West in Chatham.
Dr. Murphy joined the College of Physicians and Surgeons on the 28th of October, 1868. He appears in the 1874-1875 Kent County Business Directory. According to the 1877 Town of Chatham Directory Dr. Murphy’s home was located on Dover Street near Pitt Street. In that same publication Dr. Murphy is listed as a coroner. In the 1882 Town of Chatham Directory he was residing on Wellington Street and his office was located at 148 King Street West. Dr. Murphy also appears in the 1885 Ontario Business Directory and the 1896 Town of Chatham Directory. In the 1876-1877 Chatham Directory, Dr. Murphy is recorded as being the treasurer of the Chatham Medical Society, which had been organized in 1875.
According to the 1891 census, Dr. Murphy was single and lived with his sister Sarah and his mother Mary in Chatham.
He died at his residence on Wellington Street in Chatham on the 4th of November, 1897 at the age of 54. His funeral was conducted at St. Joseph’s Church and he was buried at St. Anthony’s Cemetery in Chatham.