Our funeral home was founded in 1872 by John J. Murphy and has been in continuous operation since that time. Our first funeral home was located on Broadway in Kingston, NY in a four-story building next to the J. J. Maroon Confectionery Store. Subsequently, the founder’s son Nicholas, took over the business at 9 Andrew Street.
James M. Murphy, whose name was carried at the 176 Broadway location, was the grandfather of James F. “Digger” Gilpatric. For a time, he was a field supervisor for Consolidated Edison in New York City, but returned to Kingston and the funeral directorship. For a time, brothers Nicholas and James ran separate funeral homes.
Jim Gilpatric’s mother, Marie Cherney became the youngest licensed woman undertaker in New York State in 1925. She, her father, and James Gilpatric, all were graduates of Renouard Training School of Embalmers, New York City.
Obituary for James Murphy
One of County's Oldest Morticians Dies at Benedictine Hospital, James Murphy of Family in Undertaking Line 82 Years was Ill for Two Weeks
James M. Murphy , one of Ulster County’s oldest morticians, whose father opened a funeral parlor here in 1872, died Tuesday night, January 12, 1934 at the Benedictine Hospital after an illness of two weeks, He was 74.
The well-known funeral director was stricken after supervising a burial, and was ordered to the hospital by his physician. Although he maintained his usual high spirit, he grew weaker daily until death occurred last night.
Mr. Murphy conducted his own funeral home at 176 Broadway for 38 years, after returning from New York, where he was associated with the New York Edison Corp. for some years.
In the early period of his business he had a partner, Edward Scherer, one of this sections legendary baseball pitchers, who is in critical condition at the Benedictine Hospital himself.
Prior to going to New York, Mr. Murphy was with his father, John J, Murphy, who established a funeral parlor in the downtown part of the city 82 years ago. His mother was Roseann Smith Murphy of Kingston.
A brother, the late Nicholas D. J. Murphy, was also connected with the father whose business he continued after the death of his parent.
Born in Kingston, Mr. Murphy attended the old Christian Brothers Academy that formerly adjoined St. Mary's Church and was a member of the congregation with his family all his life. He prepared for his profession at the Renouard Training School for Embalmers, New York from which he received his certificate more than a half century ago.
Mr. Murphy was president of the Ancient Order of Hibernians when the society was active in Kingston, and belonged to the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick in New York, whose parade he attended annually on March 17th. He was a member of St. Mary's Holy Name Society, St. Mary's Rosary Society, Kingston Council 275, Knights of Columbus; the Fourth Degree Assembly of the council and Kingston Lodge, BPO Elks.