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Murphy, Charles Francislocked

(20 June 1858–25 April 1924)
  • Nedda C. Allbray


Murphy, Charles Francis (20 June 1858–25 April 1924), Tammany Hall political boss, was born in New York City, the son of Dennis Murphy and Mary Prendergrass (or Prendergrast), Irish immigrants. Throughout his life Murphy lived and worked on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, known as the Eighteenth Assembly District or Gas House District, which was the bastion of his political strength. At age fourteen he quit public school and took his first job at Roaches Shipyard. Two years later he became a driver for the Crosstown Blue Lines Horsecar Co., which transversed the district. In 1878, using $500 that he had saved, he purchased the first of his four saloons and named it Charlie’s Place. The saloon, which did not serve women, was a gathering place for local dock workers and laborers. The second floor of the building housed the Sylvan Social Club for young men ages fifteen to twenty, whose baseball team Murphy had organized in 1875. With the saloon, club, and baseball team as his anchors, Murphy began to emerge as a political figure....

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