gmhTODAY 13 gmhToday March April 2017 - Page 66

O A Sense of Place Villa Mira Monte f the many historical treasure we enjoy in southern Santa Clara County, one of the most well-preserved and accessible properties is Villa Mira Monte, the home of Hiram Morgan Hill and his wife, the heiress Diana Murphy Hill. Construction of home began in 1884, two years after the passing of Diana’s father, 66 Written By Mike Monroe Daniel Murphy. Books have been writ- ten about the pioneering Murphy family who crossed the continent from Missouri, successfully traversing the Sierra in 1845, and arriving in the Santa Clara Valley with the patriarch, Martin Murphy Sr. finally settling in San Martin. Diana’s father accumulated vast holdings of real estate in South County as well as in Nevada and Mexico. Several members of the family were successful in the gold fields and the GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN MARCH/APRIL 2017 town of Murphy’s is named for their place in history during the Gold Rush times. Although born in the wide open ranch lands of San Martin, Daniel Murphy’s daughter decided early on to enjoy the cosmopolitan lifestyle. Diana grew up in San Jose and the excitement of San Francisco was not far away. Morgan Hill (he preferred not to use his first name, Hiram) also hailed from Missouri and was a socialite himself with a position