Living History actor to portray cavalry soldier


WALLA WALLA -- The Living History Company of Fort Walla Walla Museum, 755 Myra Road, presents a saga of immigrants and the early military history of the region in the museum's pioneer settlement.

Featured is immigrant Philip Murphy, born in 1844 in Kilkenny, Ireland.

Murphy will be portrayed at 2 p.m. Sunday by retired Umatilla County Sheriff Greg Hodgen. Hodgen is co-author with Larry Purchase of "The Rocks are Ringing: Bannock-Paiute Indian War, Oregon 1878."

Murphy and wife Bridget emigrated from Ireland in the mid-19th century. Upon arriving, he joined the U.S. Army, eventually being posted at Fort Lapwai, Idaho, Fort Walla Walla, Camp Logan, Ore., and other posts throughout the West as part of the 1st and 8th U.S. Cavalry regiments.

During his military career, Cpl. Murphy was awarded the Medal of Honor at Seneca Mountain, Ariz., on Aug. 25, 1869, for gallantry in action in the Apache Wars.

After he retired from the Army the couple settled in Milton-Freewater. Murphy died in 1923 at 78. The couple's headstones can be found in Walla Walla's Mountain View Cemetery.

The Oregon Trail Band plays 19th century popular music at 1:30 p.m. preceding the Living History performance.

Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, April through October, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day, November through March. Admission is free to members and children under 6, $3 for children ages 6-12, $6 for seniors 62 and older and students, and $7 general admission.

Membership includes free admission to more than 40 Living History performances and other benefits, beginning at $27.

For more information, call Fort Walla Walla Museum, 509-525-7703, email or go to


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