Marye Murphy Greer


March 17, 1909 - April 21, 2000
Role: Ranch Family Member, Rancher
Maiden name: Murphy

Marye was born in Victoria, Texas. Her grandfather, Michael Murphy, immigrated from Ireland in 1855 and married Julia Teal, who was the granddaughter of Nicolas Fagan. Fagan was one of the original Irish immigrants who had amassed considerable land holdings, creating one of the early South Texas ranching empires. Although Marye was raised in town, her grandmother often took her out to the ranch. Through a succession of inheritances, Marye acquired her own ranch dating from 1971. Having been raised in a ranching family she had a love of the land that was foundational to her life and she ran her ranch until her death in 2000. “I love the land, the beauty of it, and what it can produce. What you learn from the land no one can ever take away from you. I need that land. I can’t imagine ever selling it. It keeps me busy.” Tiny in stature, Marye was sitting in a chair at Louise O'Connor's Gaffney Ranch on the San Antonio River and with her feet not reaching the floor, looked down into the river bottom and declared, “If the San’tone River could talk, the tales it could tell.” Hence, the two volume work by Louise O’Connor was named “Tales from the San’tone River Bottom’.

Introduction to Marye Greer

Louise S. O'Connor
Voice of Marye Greer
Mary Greer – It must have been Tom O'Connor because I remember my father saying that he came up to Grandma Teal and he said, "Annie," he said, "I need some money." And she said, "Well, I don't have very much; about $20,000 in that trunk." And he said, "Well, I need more than that. And she said, "Well, you better go up to see Ripley Terrell because he's got all the money." So, they came down this road a little bit further and I think he had about $50,000 in her trunk. So, I'm sure Tom O'Connor was buying some more land. That's when they were buying it for a dollar an acre, you know. I remember that distinctly and I also remember Grandma Teal. My father lived with his grandmother out here. This was all Indian country. And I remember Daddy telling me about they dropped off a little Indian boy at…it must have been the first ranch house up here in the Terrell place. And he would sit outside and he'd eat dirt. And Grandma Teal would take food out to him and give it to him. And he gradually got so he would eat. And so after about ten days, the Indians came by and picked him up and they were good neighbors. But, if anything would have happened to that little boy, they would probably have stole all the cattle and the horses, and burnt the house down, too.