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Mayor Eugene Grimes Murphy

Portrait of Mayor Eugene Grimes MurphyEugene Grimes Murphy was born in Fort William, Ontario in 1894 and attended Loyola College in Montreal. He spent several months in England with the Canadian Forestry Corps depot and entered the Royal Flying Corps as a flight cadet. In November 1919, Murphy was called to the Ontario bar and he opened his own firm in Fort William in March 1920.

Murphy served as a Councillor from 1924 to 1928. When his father James Murphy passed away that year, Murphy decided to retire from politics to take over the presidency of his father’s company, which included Murphy Coal and the Fort William Times-Journal. He re-entered politics to run for the 1931 Mayoralty and won by only 45 votes over Nathaniel Bascome Darrell. Murphy was acclaimed for a second term in 1932.

While Murphy was Mayor, Fort William saw the completion of the Neebing River interceptor sewer and sewage treatment facility in December 1932. The completion of this system helped relieve the unsanitary conditions facing the East End.

In October 1933, Murphy travelled to New York City with relatives on a business trip. Three days after arriving, he died falling from a tenth story window of the Park Avenue Hotel where he had been staying. Some say he was simply trying to open the window when he suffered a heart attack or other complication due to heart disease, while others believe it was suicide.

Murphy holds the honour of being the first Mayor of Fort William to have been born in the city. He was also the first Fort William Mayor born to a previous Fort William Mayor.

Born: May 16, 1894 in Fort William, Ontario
Died: Oct. 20, 1933 in New York, New York at the age of 38
Councillor: 1924-1928, 1930
Mayor: 1931-1932

 

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