McMurphy, Alberta Shelton

From Lane Co Oregon

Alberta and Robert McMurphy married on July 31, 1893. Robert McMurphy became manager of the Eugene Water Company (founded by his late father-in-law). In December 1901 McMurphy incorporated the Willamette Valley Woolen Manufacturing Company, of which he was president and general manager for a number of years. Robert was a member of a number fraternal lodges, active in the First Congregational Church, and one of the organizers and officers of the Eugene Commercial Club. Robert McMurphy died at Mercy Hospital in Roseburg on December 7, 1921.

Between 1894 and 1904, the McMurphys had four daughters and two sons. (Lois, Robert, Adah, Elsie, George and Lylah).

Alberta Shelton McMurphy, the only child of Dr. T.W. Shelton and Adah Lily Lucas Shelton, was born in 1872, and moved into the "Castle on the Hill" upon its completion in 1888. Alberta received a certificate in piano from the Conservatory of Music in 1888, which at that time was not an official part of the University of Oregon, but became so in 1902. In 1891, at 19, Alberta journeyed with a Christian Endeavor youth group to Minneapolis to attend a Christian Conference where she met Thomas McMurphey. Alberta loved photography, and for a time worked at the Winter Photography Studio.

Although Alberta spent much of her time caring for her 6 children, she was also civic minded and involved in many organizations.

In 1899 Alberta was President of the Musical Alumni of the University of Oregon, and served as the first President of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Commercial Club in 1908. In 1909, Alberta, in conjunction with the City Beautification Project, dedicated the ornate electric fountain in Depot Park. She served as Worthy Grand Matron of the Eastern Star for Oregon 1919-20, served on the board of education for Eugene city schools, including a term as Board President in 1920-21. Alberta, for many years one of the most influential women in Eugene because of the vitality of her personality and through her many civic interests and activities, passed away in 1949.

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