Murphy, North Carolina

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Murphy, North Carolina
Town
Cherokee County Courthouse
Cherokee County Courthouse
Location of Murphy, North Carolina
Location of Murphy, North Carolina
Coordinates: 35°5′23″N 84°1′48″W / 35.08972°N 84.03000°W / 35.08972; -84.03000Coordinates: 35°5′23″N 84°1′48″W / 35.08972°N 84.03000°W / 35.08972; -84.03000
Country United States
State North Carolina
County Cherokee
Area
 • Total 2.5 sq mi (6.5 km2)
 • Land 2.3 sq mi (5.9 km2)
 • Water 0.2 sq mi (0.6 km2)
Elevation 1,604 ft (489 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 1,627
 • Density 650.8/sq mi (250.3/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 28906
Area code(s) 828
FIPS code 37-45660[1]
GNIS feature ID 1013848[2]
Website www.townofmurphync.com

Murphy is a town in and the county seat of Cherokee County, North Carolina, United States.[3] It is situated at the confluence of the Hiwassee and Valley Rivers. It is the westernmost county seat in the state of North Carolina, approximately 360 miles (580 km) from the state capital in Raleigh. The population was 1,627 at the 2010 census.

Etymology[edit]

Murphy was named for North Carolina politician Archibald Murphey.

History[edit]

Murphy in 1938

The site of Murphy, along the Hiwassee River, was known to the Cherokee as Tlanusi-yi (the Leech Place), because of a legend about a giant leech named Tlanusi that lived in the river there.[4]

The Trading Path (later called the "Unicoi Turnpike") passed by the future site of Murphy, connecting the Cherokee lands east of the mountains with the "Overhill Towns" of Tennessee.[5]

The town was first called by the name of Huntington in 1835 when the first post office, operated by Col. H.R.S. Hunter was established.

In 1836, during the Cherokee removal known as the Trail of Tears, the United States army built Fort Butler in what is today Murphy. Fort Butler acted as the main collection point for Cherokee east of the mountains. From Fort Butler the Cherokee were taken over the mountains on the Unicoi Turnpike to the main internment camps at Fort Cass (today Charleston, Tennessee). Today the Unicoi Turnpike is known as Joe Brown Highway. The Cherokee County Historical Museum located in Murphy provides information about the Trail of Tears.[6]

Cherokee County was formed in 1839 from a portion of Macon County but Murphy wasn't incorporated as the county seat until 1851.

Murphy was once the terminus of the Murphy Branch rail line built in the late 19th century, although the branch now ends in Andrews since 1985. Murphy was the home of the once well-known crafts manufacturer Margaret Studios, which operated a nationwide chain of gift stores for its woodcraft products and housewares, such as lazy susans and gift trays.

Folklorist John Jacob Niles based his well known Christmas song I Wonder As I Wander on a phrase he heard in a song sung by the young daughter of a group of traveling evangelists in downtown Murphy on July 16, 1933.[7]

Architect James Baldwin designed the Cherokee County Courthouse, located in downtown Murphy, in a Beaux-Arts architecture style. Built in 1927, it is faced with locally sourced blue marble and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places along with the Robert Lafayette Cooper House and Harshaw Chapel and Cemetery.[8][9]

Demographics[edit]

As of the 2010 Census, the total population is 1,621 people.[10]

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 1,568 people, 725 households, and 440 families residing in the town. The population density was 687.7 people per square mile (265.5/km²). There were 819 housing units at an average density of 359.2 per square mile (138.7/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 89.60% White, 5.48% African American, 1.28% Native American, 1.34% Asian, 1.15% from other races, and 1.15% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.87% of the population.

There were 725 households out of which 22.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.5% were married couples living together, 15.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.3% were non-families. 36.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 21.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.13 and the average family size was 2.71.

In the town the population was spread out with 20.3% under the age of 18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 23.2% from 25 to 44, 23.4% from 45 to 64, and 24.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 87.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.6 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $24,952, and the median income for a family was $35,234. Males had a median income of $30,395 versus $16,908 for females. The per capita income for the town was $16,926. About 16.7% of families and 22.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 36.2% of those under age 18 and 21.4% of those age 65 or over.

Economy[edit]





Circle frame.svg

Occupations of Murphy, North Carolina

  Management & Professional (25%)
  Service (15.3%)
  Sales & Office (21.1%)
  Farm, Fishing & Forestry (1.9%)
  Construction, Extraction & Maintenance (17.4%)
  Production/Transportation (19.3%)

The economy of Murphy is fairly spread out with a quarter of the population employed in the management and professional sector, about one fifth of the population are employed in either Sales/office or Construction, Maintenance and extraction sectors. The smallest percentage, at only 1.9% are employed in the Farm Fishing or Forestry sector.[11] Murphy also has a relatively low median income per household at $24,952.

The median income for a household in the town was $24,952, and the median income for a family was $35,234. Males had a median income of $30,395 versus $16,908 for females. The per capita income for the town was $16,926. About 16.7% of families and 22.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 36.2% of those under age 18 and 21.4% of those age 65 or over.

There are several employers for advanced skilled professions include Moog Components Group,[12] Aegis Power Systems,[13] Murphy Medical Group,[14] Sioux Tools,[15] and Tri-County Community College.[16] The upcoming Harrah's Casino & Hotel will soon be a major job supplier to the area, although most of the positions will be for basic skills.[17]

Education[edit]

The local public school system is run by Cherokee County Schools, which operates a total of 13 schools across the county.[18][19][20][21]

Murphy High School has won North Carolina state football championships at both the 1A and 2A division levels.[22]

Murphy Adventist Christian School is a religious private school located in Murphy. It covers grades Kindergarten through eleventh with an active enrollment of 26 students. It has a teacher to student ratio of 1:9.[23][24]

Transportation[edit]

Murphy sits just northwest of 19/74/64/129 which runs from just southwest of Murphy to Topton, just before US 129 breaks off.[25] It is easily accessed by motor vehicle.

In-town and in-county transportation is available, for a small fee, via Cherokee County Transit.[26] There are also private taxis for hire.

Western Carolina Regional Airport (ICAO: KRHPFAA LID: RHP), known locally as the Murphy Airport, Andrews Airport, or Andrews-Murphy Airport, is located between the cities of Andrews and Murphy.[27][28]

Infrastructure[edit]

Law Enforcement[edit]

Murphy and the surrounding unincorporated communities are protected by the Murphy Police Department, which is located at 93 Peachtree Street near downtown Murphy. It is headed by the Chief of Police, Justin J. Jacobs.[29]

Mission Statement[edit]

It is the mission of the Town of Murphy Police Department to increase the quality of life and create a safe environment for all citizens and visitors of the Town of Murphy. By forming a partnership with the community through Community Policing Initiatives we will work together to protect the lives and property of the citizens through fair, honest and professional enforcement of the laws, crime prevention and community problem solving.

Crime Rate[edit]

This is the 2010 Crime Rate Index for Murphy, North Carolina.[30] The numbers are compared to a national average of 100 so that a score of 200 equals twice the national average whereas a score of 50 is half the national average.

Murphy North Carolina United States
Total Crime Risk 172 110 100
Murder Risk Index 170 111 100
Rape Risk Index 170 104 100
Robbery Risk Index 107 110 100
Assault Risk Index 167 103 100
Burglary Risk Index 134 131 100
Larceny Risk Index 97 101 100
Motor Vehicle Theft Risk Index 146 92 100

Utilities[edit]

Electricity for Western North Carolina is provided by Duke Energy, sometimes referred as Duke Power. It has a total service territory covering 47,000 square miles (120,000 km2)[31] Half of its power generation for the Carolinas comes from its nuclear power plants. Some of the power is supplied via solar panel farms located in the Murphy area. There are at least four solar farms, each with more than 4,000 panels. One of the farms, called Martins Creek Solar Project, alone provides "enough electricity to power more than 150 average-sized homes and enough revenue for the district to staff approximately two full-time teachers."[32]

Natural Gas is supplied by Piedmont Gas, which services North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.[33]

Industrial and personal waste is landfilled.

Communications[edit]

WKRK 1320 AM and WCNG 102.7 FM are two radio stations currently broadcast from Murphy.

Local TV 4 is a Murphy-based television news station.

Healthcare[edit]

Main article: Murphy Medical Center

Murphy and all of Cherokee County are served by the Murphy Medical Center, a hospital located in Murphy, North Carolina. It is certified by the United States Department of Health and Human Services. It is licensed for 191 beds, of which, 120 are nursing home beds, 57 are general-use beds and the remaining 14 are dedicated to alzheimers patients.[34]

There are a variety of independent healthcare providers including the areas of general family practice, dental, OBGYN, ENT, sports medicine specialists, chiropractic, pediatrics, and holistic care.

Geography[edit]

Murphy is located at 35°5′23″N 84°1′48″W / 35.08972°N 84.03000°W / 35.08972; -84.03000 (35.089848, −84.029924).[35]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 2.5 square miles (6.5 km2), of which, 2.3 square miles (6.0 km2) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) of it (8.80%) is water.

The town is located at the confluence of the Hiwassee River and Valley River.

Topography[edit]

Murphy is located in southwestern North Carolina, approximately halfway between Atlanta, Georgia and Knoxville, Tennessee. The location in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Appalachia, has helped the community retain a fairly rural character, surrounded by wildlife such as bear, deer, fox and recently reintroduced elk.[36]

Climate[edit]

Murphy has a humid subtropical climate, (Cfa) according to the Köppen classification, with hot, humid summers and cool to mild winters,[37] with low temperatures significantly cooler than other parts of the Southeast, due in part to the elevation. Like the rest of the southeastern U.S., Murphy receives abundant rainfall, greatest in winter and enhanced by the elevation. Receiving as much as 100 inches per year in some parts, areas of Cherokee County are considered part of the Appalachian temperate rainforest.[38] Blizzards are rare but possible; the 1993 Storm of the Century dropped 15 inches (38 cm) in 24 hours, causing widespread power outages and natural disasters.

The monthly 24-hour average temperature ranges from 37.5 °F (3.1 °C) in January to 74.9 °F (23.8 °C) in July; there are 20 days of 90 °F (32 °C)+ highs, 106 days of freezing lows, and 4 days where the high stays at or below freezing annually. Extreme temperatures range from −16 °F (−27 °C) on January 21 and 22, 1985 up to 100 °F (38 °C) on July 1 and 2, 2012.

Climate data for Murphy, North Carolina (1981–2010 normals)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 76
(24)
81
(27)
88
(31)
92
(33)
91
(33)
98
(37)
100
(38)
99
(37)
96
(36)
89
(32)
84
(29)
77
(25)
100
(38)
Average high °F (°C) 49.2
(9.6)
53.1
(11.7)
61.2
(16.2)
69.8
(21)
76.8
(24.9)
83.4
(28.6)
86.4
(30.2)
85.9
(29.9)
80.4
(26.9)
71.2
(21.8)
61.7
(16.5)
51.5
(10.8)
69.2
(20.7)
Average low °F (°C) 25.8
(−3.4)
28.5
(−1.9)
33.9
(1.1)
41.0
(5)
50.3
(10.2)
59.3
(15.2)
63.5
(17.5)
62.8
(17.1)
56.0
(13.3)
43.6
(6.4)
34.5
(1.4)
28.1
(−2.2)
43.9
(6.6)
Record low °F (°C) −16
(−27)
−4
(−20)
−3
(−19)
18
(−8)
25
(−4)
33
(1)
46
(8)
48
(9)
28
(−2)
21
(−6)
6
(−14)
−4
(−20)
−16
(−27)
Precipitation inches (mm) 5.50
(139.7)
5.26
(133.6)
4.84
(122.9)
4.33
(110)
5.04
(128)
4.84
(122.9)
5.13
(130.3)
4.27
(108.5)
4.47
(113.5)
3.22
(81.8)
4.85
(123.2)
5.24
(133.1)
57
(1,447.8)
Snowfall inches (cm) 2.2
(5.6)
1.2
(3)
0.7
(1.8)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.1
(0.3)
1.2
(3)
5.3
(13.5)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 11.0 10.2 10.7 10.1 10.9 11.2 12.0 10.4 8.6 7.6 9.7 10.9 123.3
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 0.9 0.7 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.1 0.7 2.5
Source: NOAA (extremes 1879–present)[39]

Adjacent Cities[edit]

These are cities and populated areas within an approximate 15 mile radius of Murphy.

Blank map.svg
Map pointer black.svgMurphy
Small-city-symbol.svg Marble (5 mi)
Small-city-symbol.svg Andrews (14 mi)
Small-city-symbol.svg Hayesville (12.4 mi)
Small-city-symbol.svg Blairsville (15.2 mi)
Small-city-symbol.svg Warne (10.3 mi)
Small-city-symbol.svg Young Harris (14.5 mi)
Small-city-symbol.svg Culberson (10.1 mi)

Notable people[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  4. ^ Duncan, 177.
  5. ^ Duncan, 245.
  6. ^ Duncan, 185.
  7. ^ "I tried to get her to sing all the song". Appalachian History. 2011-12-08. Retrieved 2012-05-02. 
  8. ^ "Cherokee County Courthouse, Murphy, North Carolina". NCSU Libraries. Retrieved 2014-05-27. 
  9. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  10. ^ U.S. Census Bureau c/o GreatData.com
  11. ^ "Murphy North Carolina Economic Indicators". Zipskinny.com. 2007-09-20. Retrieved 2012-07-08. 
  12. ^ "Moog Components Group". Moog. Retrieved 2014-05-18. 
  13. ^ "Aegis Power Systems, Inc.". Aegis Power Systems, Inc. Retrieved 2014-05-18. 
  14. ^ "Murphy Medical Center". Murphy Medical Center. Retrieved 2014-05-18. 
  15. ^ "Sioux Tools". Sioux Tools. Retrieved 2014-05-18. 
  16. ^ "Tri-County Community College". Tri-County Community College. Retrieved 2014-05-18. 
  17. ^ "Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel". 500 Nations. Retrieved 2014-05-18. 
  18. ^ "Cherokee County School District". Cherokee.k12.nc.us. Retrieved 2012-05-02. 
  19. ^ "Murphy Elementary". Cherokeecounty.nc.schoolwebpages.com. 2008-07-30. Retrieved 2012-05-02. 
  20. ^ "Murphy Middle School". Cherokeecounty.nc.schoolwebpages.com. 2011-05-27. Retrieved 2012-05-02. 
  21. ^ "Murphy High School". Cherokeecounty.nc.schoolwebpages.com. 2011-08-19. Retrieved 2012-05-02. 
  22. ^ "Murphy High School Travels to Carter Finley Stadium to Take on Jones Senior for 1A Title". Rip the Page. November 29, 2011. 
  23. ^ "Murphy Adventist Christian School". allprivateschools.org. Retrieved 2012-05-02. 
  24. ^ "Murphy Adventist Christian School". privateschoolreview.com. Retrieved 2012-05-02. 
  25. ^ NCRoads.com
  26. ^ "Cherokee County: Transit". Cherokee County. Retrieved 19 May 2014. 
  27. ^ "Western Carolina Regional Airport (FAA: RHP, ICAO: KRHP)". Great Circle Mapper. Retrieved 15 August 2010. 
  28. ^ "KRHP - Western Carolina Regional Airport". AirNav. Retrieved 15 August 2010. 
  29. ^ "murphypolice.com". murphypolice.com. Retrieved 2012-07-08. 
  30. ^ "Murphy NC 2010 Crime Rate Index". Clrsearch.com. Retrieved 2012-05-02. 
  31. ^ Duke Energy Fact Sheet[dead link]
  32. ^ "Duke Energy Renewables Acquires Three N.C. Solar Farms". Duke Energy. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  33. ^ "Piedmont Gas". Piedmontng.com. 2010-10-15. Retrieved 2012-05-02. 
  34. ^ "Murphy Medical Services". Murphymedical.org. Retrieved 2012-05-02. 
  35. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  36. ^ "www.hikewnc.com". Hikewnc.info. Retrieved 2012-05-02. 
  37. ^ "Köppen Classification Map". Geography.about.com. 2012-04-09. Retrieved 2012-05-02. 
  38. ^ "Biodiversity of the Southern Appalachians". Highlands Biological Station, Foundation, Nature Center, and Botanical Garden. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  39. ^ "NowData - NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2013-06-28. 

External links[edit]