Throwback Thursday: September 14

News from around Johnson County as reported on Sept. 14 in the pages of the Daily Journal and the Franklin Evening Star from the last 111 years.

On this day in 1994, the main story on the front page of the Daily Journal was about a Greenwood man being reunited with his parrot.

Mike Coffey and his family spent the weekend of Sept. 10, 1994, on neighbors’ patios, placing rings of corn, peanut butter and apples in yards and calling at trees — all for the love of a bird.

The bird they were pursuing was their beloved pet Murphy, a 1 1/2 year old Congo African Gray parrot. Murphy was finally rescued from the clutches of a hungry cat on Sept. 13, 1994, by a Johnson County Animal Shelter employee.

“We’re not supposed to go for anything but cats and dogs, but we were so concerned about the bird … that we sent someone out,” said Kennel Manager Mary Furgeson.

The situation began when, thinking the bird’s wings were clipped, Coffey let the bird out of her cage to clean it outdoors. She escaped.

His family saw her in some trees near their home on Willow Lakes Drive that evening, and set her cage on the lawn so she could fly back in. She didn’t.

Coffey and his family took turns watching Murphy. At one point, they called the fire department, but they were unable to reach her.

They tried other ways to get the bird as well, but they scared her and she flew away. They tried to chase her but had to give up.

Residents at a home on Greensview Drive came to Murphy’s rescue when she landed in their yard exhausted. They called animal control after a cat cornered her.

An animal control officer picked her up, and eventually Coffey was notified they found her. When he walked into the shelter, she perked up and said, “Hey Murph.”

He gave her favorite foods. She nuzzled up against him and gave him kisses.

Other memorable Johnson County stories from this day


Nearly 100 residents from Johnson, Morgan and Shelby counties banded together to voice their opposition to a proposed natural gas pipeline.


County residents came together to pray for the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.


Plans were starting to come together for a proposed park near Stones Crossing and Morgantown roads in White River Township.