Located in the southeastern part of Collin County, primarily at the crossroads of Farm to Market Road 544 and Murphy Road, Murphy was part of the empresario grants issued by the Peter’s Colony before Texas was a state. Collin County was created by a legislative act on April 3, 1846, and was once part of Fannin County. The first settlers to Texas came from Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Missouri, Alabama, North and South Carolina, Virginia, Indiana, Illinois, and Ohio.
The first settlers in the Murphy area were Comfort and Lydia McMillen and their six children who arrived from Arkansas in 1846, settling on a branch of Muddy Creek which was later named Maxwell Creek. With the McMillen family were Lydia’s brothers, James and Henry Maxwell. By 1850, the William and Dorothy Murphy family also settled on Maxwell Creek. These founding fathers were rugged individualists of Scotch-Irish and Presbyterian descent and were drawn to the area with the promise of abundant land, fertile soil and ample rainfall, a long growing season, bounteous fish and wild game for food, and sufficient timber for building cabins.