Michael A. Murphy - Republican, Elected


  • AG05_MurphyMichaelAMichael A. Murphy - Nevada Historical Society

5th Nevada Attorney General
Term:  January 6, 1879 - January 1, 1883

Biography

Shortly after his birth in New York State in 1837, Michael A. Murphy’s family moved to McHenry County, Illinois.  At age 16, Murphy ventured to California to search for gold and at age 26, he moved to Aurora, Nevada (then in Esmeralda County; present day in Mineral County), to become a miner.  He studied law and entered political life, serving a term as Esmeralda County Assessor.  He gained admittance to the Nevada State Bar on February 29, 1872[1]. In 1874, and again in 1876, Esmeralda County voters elected him as their District Attorney.[2]

Election of 1878

Elected as Nevada’s fifth Attorney General on November 5, 1878, Murphy (Republican) received 9,995 (52.7%) of the 18,952 votes cast, and incumbent Attorney General John R. Kittrell (Democrat) received 8,957 (47.3%) votes.[3]  Murphy became the first lawyer to defeat a sitting Nevada Attorney General.

Office Administration and Duties

Murphy had no deputies or other support staff according to the Nevada Attorney General’s budgets for the 1879–1881 and 1881–1883 state biennial fiscal periods:

1879–1881 Budget

$7,200

 

$7,200

Attorney General’s Salary

 

 

Office expenses came from an appropriation “[f]or a current expense appropriation, to defray the telegraphic, postage, and contingent expenses of the several state officers, Supreme Court, and State Library, to be expended under the direction of the Lieutenant Governor, State Controller, and Secretary of State, $9,000”

 

1881–1883 Budget

$7,200

 

$7,200

Attorney General’s Salary

 

 

Office expenses came from an appropriation “[f]or a current expense appropriation, to defray the telegraphic, postage, and contingent expenses of the several state officers, Supreme Court, and State Library, to be expended under the direction of the Lieutenant Governor, State Controller, and Secretary of State, $8,000”

The 1879 and 1881 Nevada State Legislative sessions did not add any additional duties to the office of the Attorney General.


[1] Nevada Reports, Number 22, p. 12.
[2] Nevada Historical Society Quarterly, Volume XXVII, Spring 1984, Number 1, p. 13.
[3] Political History of Nevada, 2006, p. 357.

    Last reviewed 1/4/2015