John Morphy and Family
John Morphy 1994-1860, eldest son was married in 1821 to Mary Willis, daughter of Thomas Willis of Morphy’s Falls. As Jennifer from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum said: “These were inhabitants of the new village, who were you going to marry? A Moore, Willis or Morphy– those were your choices”. So, Thomas and George Willis, gave their daughters in marriage to John and William Morphy.
John Morphy along with James Wallace and William Wilson of Ramsay township were the three intelligent farmers of the neighbourhood recommended by Robert Bell, Esquire, of Carleton Place in 1838 for appointment by the lieutenant commissioners to manage the semi-annual market fairs then being established by provincial charter to Carleton Place.
When the Carleton Place Mechanic’s associations and Library Association began in 1846 John Morphy was one of the original subscribing members. John’s farm house was located near the river at the east end of Mill Street. Its site was located between the present large stone textile mill building ( McArthur) and the CPR railroad line. (Right where the town yard is)
The last occupant of this home was the watchman of the Bates and Innes textile mill. Its timbers were still sound, when in the course of making a new road to the mill, it was dismantled.
At their farmhouse on the east end of Mill Street John and Mary Moore raised a family of six sons and six daughters. The eldest Elizabeth was said to be the first child born in the Morphy Falls settlement born May 5th 1822. John was a Baptist church member when he died in his home November 15,1860 at the age of 66.
Thanks to Doug Moffat for giving me these great notes by Howard Morton Brown.
With the Morphys and the Moores, the Willises long were among the widely known earliest owners of farm land coming within the present boundaries of the town. It is well recorded that the whole central section of the present town was first located to the Morphy and the Moore families in 1819 as Crown grants of farm land; the part extending north of Lake Avenue to four of the Morphys, and three hundred acres at the south side of Lake Avenue to three of the Moores. William Moore is said to have aided in the founding of the town by opening its first blacksmith shop in 1820, the first year of settlement as a community. About the same time the first marriages here were those of Sarah, daughter of George Willis, to William Morphy, and Mary, daughter of Thomas Willis, to John Morphy. Well known descendants of these families continue to live in the town and district.