the early 1800’s, a small settlement located on the confluence of the Valley
and Hiawassee Rivers was called Huntington, where from the inn’s name was
chosen. It wasn’t until years later that the town adopted the name Murphy,
in honor of Archibald Murphey, the founder of the North Carolina
Public School System.
one hundred years ago, J.H. Dillard and his wife Dixie built their
home in the town of Murphy, which is nestled in the mountains of Western
North Carolina. Mr. Dillard, an prominent attorney for Southern Railway,
was mayor of the prospering town and was twice elected to the North Carolina
House of Representatives from Cherokee County. The Dillards were pillars
of the Murphy Presbyterian Church.
Dillard, aka "Colonel Jack" was instrumental in the incorporation
of the John C. Campbell Folk School. He was one of several who pursued
the idea of a Danish folk school moving to Brasstown with Dame Olive
Campbell, wife of the late John C. Campbell.