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Francis Parnell Murphy
New Hampshire

Gov. Francis Parnell Murphy

  • January 7, 1937 - January 2, 1941
  • Republican
  • August 16, 1877
  • December 19, 1958
  • New Hampshire
  • Married Mae B. Herrick; five children
  • National Guard


FRANCIS P. MURPHY, the seventy-fourth governor of New Hampshire, was born in Winchester, New Hampshire on August 16, 1877. He graduated from high school in Hudson, Massachusetts. He went to work in a shoe factory, eventually establishing the J. F. Elwain Company, which became the leading labor employer in New Hampshire. Murphy also had a career in the military. He served in the New Hampshire National Guard as a lieutenant; was chairman of the electric power supply committee during World War I; and he served as a major on Governor’s Winant’s staff. Murphy first entered politics in 1931, serving as a one-term member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives. He also served as a member of the Governor’s executive Council in 1933. Murphy next secured the Republican gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote in 1936. He won reelection to a second term in 1938. During his tenure, construction on the state house annex was initiated; state tourism was promoted; the state’s real estate tax was eliminated; a tobacco tax was authorized; and the state police department was organized. After completing his term, Murphy ran unsuccessfully for a seat in the U.S. Senate in 1942. He returned to his business interests, as well as becoming involved in the founding of the WMUR radio and television station. Governor Francis P. Murphy passed away on December 19, 1958, and was buried in the St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Newport, New Hampshire.


New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources

The Political Graveyard

Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 3, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

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