Virgil was born in Shawano County. He is the son of James and Leila Murphy. Virgil grew up in the logging town of Hollister, Wisconsin. He attended Hollister Grade School and Crandon High School. Virgil remembers his childhood fondly. He remembers knowing pretty much everyone in the community. "The town was so small, nobody was a stranger." Said Virgil. Virgil also remembers the Northern Wisconsin Winters. He remembered hunting and going sledding. He remembers one time where his father made a bobsled for Virgil and his siblings. One day, they took their bull calf and tied it in front of the bobsled with a harness made by Virgil’s dad. During that winter, they taught the bull calf to pull the bobsled. Within a matter of weeks, the bull calf was pulling Virgil and his siblings around.
When Virgil graduated from High School, World War II was starting to develop. Virgil, along with his brothers enlisted in the military. Virgil became part of the United States Air Force and was immediately sent to fight in the war. He remembers while going through the enlisting process, people were being turned away. "Men really wanted to be part of this war, and when they were turned away because of health problems, they would start crying," said Virgil. Virgil spent a majority of his time in Europe during the war.
While in the service, he met a member of the United States Marines by the name of Ernestine Quinney. The couple married. Virgil and Ernie will celebrate their 58th wedding anniversary this November. Four children were born out of this marriage. Virgil and Ernie, along with their four children, now enjoy 13 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren.
Today, Virgil and Ernie enjoys going on trips, being actively involved with the Mohican Veterans, Working for their church and going to the elderly center. Some accomplishments that Virgil is most proud of include his tenure as the Tribal Chairman. "Everyone was so great to me during my term," said Virgil. During his term, he and Ernie did a lot of traveling. These places included Washington D.C., Arizona, New Mexico, and Cancun, Mexico.
His advice for the youth is to be proud of who you are, be proud of your country and take pride in your parents.