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’.