San Francisco 1906 Earthquake Marriage Project

IMAGE: Annie M. Kelly and Daniel C. Murphy, wedding portrait, circa 1906Daniel C. Murphy (03 Dec 1881-18 Mar 1952) and
Annie M. Kelly (02 Feb 1885-12 Mar 1963)
Married: 25 April 1906, San Francisco

Daniel Cornelius Murphy, a printing pressman for The Call newspaper, and Annie M. Kelly, a laundress, had planned to be married in St. Rose's Church on Wednesday, April 18, 1906. But, nature intervened that day and the wedding had to be postponed.

That morning of the 18th, Daniel had been working the night shift. After the earthquake, he eventually left the newspaper building and began to walk home. Dorothy Murphy, daughter of the couple, related what Daniel had said about his experience: "...a disaster like that brings out the best and the worst in people. Lots of people were there helping each other, but you had looters and so they had to call in the National Guard. And, a lot of them were just trigger happy, you know, they had never been in this situation before. Someone tried to shoot him because he was saying he was walking home from work and they didn't believe him, and, but he finally convinced him."

Meanwhile, Annie Kelly was living with her parents at 406 Main street. Dorothy tells her mother's story: "Well, she said the main thing was the noise. The noise was just very frightening...she said that it didn't shake for very long. And, it...was a very sharp quake...if it hadn't been for the fire, there wouldn't have been all the damage... But, people went to work very early in those days. And, the earthquake was something like five o'clock in the morning and the people were getting ready for work. So, everyone had a fire in their stove to cook breakfast and it was when the chimney's flue, you know, were knocked down that the fire started. And, that's what really caused it..."

Annie's father, Henry Kelly, was trying to evacuate his family from their home and moving all his important papers and items to his office in the Embarcardero, except for Annie's wedding dress. Dorothy continues: "...she would not leave without her wedding dress. And, he kept saying 'There are so many important things to take.' 'Nothing is more important than my wedding dress.' So she wouldn't leave without it, and she could be pretty stubborn when she set her mind to it. She left complete with wedding dress.'"

Daniel Murphy eventually found Annie, and her family probably stayed with Daniel at his house at 1046 Shotwell street, which was well outside the burnt area. Dorothy states, " mother's people never spent a day in Golden Gate Park, and neither did my father's people. Which, of course, many, many people had to do during the 1906 earthquake."

IMAGE: Annie M. Kelly and Lilly, circa 1904Annie had another major concern that week. Her best girlfriend and maid-of-honor, Lillian Burger Olcese, was missing. Dorothy tells the story, "...she was trying so hard to find her...she was roaming over all South of Market, south of where Lil lived. And, she said, you know, she was crossing the street and this wagon came by and there was Lil sitting on a pile of lumber. And, her brothers were driving it. So, they had a big reunion. So, she was able to be at the wedding." (Annie and Lillian are shown together in the picture with the Cliff House backdrop.)

IMAGE: Marriage Certificate for Daniel C. Murphy and Annie Kelly, 25 April 1906.The wedding was performed a week later, on the 25th, in St. Peter's Church in the Mission neighborhood. Dorothy relates this description by her cousin, Irene, "she said she remembers...going to the wedding and she said that St. Peter's had beautiful stained glass windows...[and] it was just such a beautiful ceremony...[Also,] there weren't too many people there obviously." But, Annie had another problem: "...the traipsing all over San Francisco in one pair of shoes. Well, the streets were a mess obviously after the earthquake and fire. And, so her shoes were just awful, and she was kind of upset about that. So, my father's sister, my Aunt Mamie, said she would wear my mother's shoes. Well my father's family were all very big people, including my grandmother who was over six feet and wore a size twelve shoe. And, my mother's people were all very, very small. My grandfather, my maternal grandfather...was like five feet tall. And, my mother, who was claimed to be the tallest in the family was like five feet one. So she had to tie Aunt Mamie's shoes on her..."

Daniel and Annie Murphy had five children: Daniel C. Murphy (Attorney, Chairman of the State Industrial Accident Commission), J. Philip Murphy (Civil Engineer), Richard A. Murphy (Certified Public Accountant), Francis J. Murphy (Civil Engineer), and Dorothy A. Murphy (Social Worker for Catholic Social Charities of San Francisco and San Francisco Dept. of Social Welfare). Some of the projects that Francis and J. Philip Murphy worked on include the Bank of America building, Transamerica Pyramid, and the Richmond-San Rafael, San Mateo-Hayward, Coronado (San Diego), and Vincent Thomas (Long Beach) bridges.
IMAGE: Daniel C. Murphy (1881-1952)Daniel C. Murphy (1881-1952) would go on to become a California State Senator (1922-1930), San Francisco Sheriff (1936-1951), President of the Web Pressmen's Union, President of the Allied Printing Trades Council, President of the San Francisco Labor Council, President of the California State Federation of Labor, President of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, President of the South of Market Street Boys Association, a member of the Mission Parlor, N.S.G.W. (Native Sons of the Golden West), a member of the State Board of Education, the Fraternal Order of Eagles, Knights of Columbus, Loyal Order of Moose, Peace Officers Association, and a Vice President and Branch Manager for the Bank of America. IMAGE: Annie M. Kelly (1885-1963)Annie M. Kelly (1885-1963) was the daughter of Henry J. Kelly and Catherine "Kate" Daly and came from a family of six children. Her father was in the wholesale produce business, supplying ships.
Daniel C. Murphy, husband of Annie M. Kelly, was actually the second Daniel Cornelius Murphy in a long line that continues to this day:

Daniel C. Murphy (1848-1892)
Born (1848) in County Cork, Ireland. Married Margaret Mary Leahy at Stoneham, Mass. on 11 February 1872. Died in San Francisco.
Occupation: hostler. Probably arrived in San Francisco in 1878.

IMAGE: Daniel C. Murphy (1881-1952)Daniel C. Murphy (1881-1952)
Born (03 Dec 1881) and died (18 Mar 1952) in San Francisco. Married Annie M. Kelly (25 April 1906) in San Francisco.
Occupation: see separate box above.

IMAGE: Daniel C. Murphy (1907-88)Daniel C. Murphy, Jr. (1907-1988)
Born (18 March 1907) and died (19 September 1988) in San Francisco.
Occupation: Attorney, Chairman of the State Industrial Accident Commission.

IMAGE: Daniel C. Murphy (1935-)Daniel C. Murphy III (1935-)
Born (07 October 1935) in San Francisco.
Occupation: Attorney, former Deputy Chief Counsel in charge of the San Francisco Legal Office of the State Department of Transportation.

Daniel C. Murphy IV
Born in Sacramento.
Occupation: Computer Information Systems.

Daniel C. Murphy V
Occupation: student.

Daniel C. Murphy III relates that, "As a native San Franciscan, it was always one of my dad's [Daniel C. Murphy, Jr.] regrets that he had missed the 1906 earthquake by 11 months. When he died in 1988, no one, of course, realized that he would also miss the 1989 San Francisco earthquake a year later. In short, the poor guy, a real civic booster, missed both of San Francisco's great earthquakes. I'm sure he is in Heaven trying to explain the situation to anyone who will listen."
IMAGE: Daniel C. Murphy & Annie Kelly Marriage Certificate, 25 April 1906, San Francisco
Credits: Dorothy A. Murphy's stories were given in a 1999 interview to Daniel Murphy III. Permission was given by Daniel Murphy III to use portions of that interview, along with other information and pictures. Permission was given by Geri Murphy, granddaughter of Daniel and Annie Murphy, to use the picture of the wedding certificate and other biographical information. Also, thank you to Katie Murphy.

15 August 2005; updated 27 August 2005, 03 September 2005, 07 September 2011 | copyright © 2005 SFgenealogy All rights reserved.