1/1965 Letter from James R. Murphy, M.D. to Theodore R. Specht

Jan. 7, 1965

Dear Mr. Specht,

You certainly write most interesting letters and enjoyed reading both very much. Also am amazed at all the names and details you have collected -- not as many people can do as well. Both letters have been copied and will be passed on to Grace Morphew who is writing the book. I know she will enjoy reading them. Incidentally she married a descendant of a brother of William Morphew, father of your Garrett. So she actually is a fairly close relative.

The information I had on Garrett and family was pretty sparse and not especially reliable. The mention that Garrett married three times came from Marion H. Morphew, half brother of Garrett. This was last January. Since then Marion passed away at Minneapolis in June, so cannot recheck this. As far as I am concerned, your information is correct information. You might be interested that Marion went on to say: "In going over memory records, there is no record of Murphy, only of my Father's 3 sons -- Garrett, Riley, and Cal. All of these were married as Morphew except Garrett's 3rd marriage." I honestly don't know what Marion meant by this. He did go on to add James Garrett Murphy married first " ? "; second Amestia Ewing; third Elizabeth Brown. No one else ever has ever mentioned the possibility of a third marriage. I do know Garrett married Elizabeth Brown at Nora Springs and she was so young that it required her parents' permission. The marriage records at Nora Springs used Murphy for Garrett's last name. The only one who might add anything is Garrett's sister Lucy E. Eaton of Garden City, Minnesota. She is still living.

You might be interested in 2 bible records which have recently been found. The first bible belonged to William Morphew and has these entries included:
James William Morphew -- b. Jan. 10, 1829
Sarah Allenbough -- b. Oct. 20, 1830
Married June 18, 1846; their children:
1. James Garrett Morphew -- b. Jan. 3, 1850
2. Riley Hanson Morphew -- b. Jan. 1, 1853
3. Rebekah Ann Morphew -- b. Nov. 9, 1854
4. William Elijah Morphew -- b. June 8, 1857
James William and Sarah, son and daughter of James and Rebekah

Apparently the bible became lost after 1857, and when the Morphew clan (execpt William and Sarah) went to Nora Springs, the bible also went along. It is now in the hands of a descendent of Humphrey Sturges Morphew, brother of William.

Less than a month ago, another bible was located - that of William Morphew's father, James Morphew. There are many entry dates, but you might be interested in these (as related to James):

Nancy Hogan, Oct. 15, 1775 mother-in-law
Joseph Morphew, Jan. 1, 1771 father
Rebeckah Morphew, Nov. 28, 1799 wife
Nancy Morphew, Oct. 5, 1826 daughter
General William Morphew, Jan. 10, 1829 son
Rebeckah Morphew, Aug. 4, 1831 daughter
Elizabeth Morphew, Dec. 23, 1832 daughter
Ruth Ann Morphew, Nov. 13, 1834 daughter
James Ryley Morphew, Aug. 26, 1836 son
Humphrey Morphew, Jan. 26, 1839 son
Daniel Huram Morphew, Feb. 9, 1841 son
Avis Selene Morphew, Feb. 17, 1842 daughter
Ester Margaret Malinda Morphew, Jan. 10, 1846 daughter

James and Rebeckah Morphew, Oct 5, 1825
Moses Tatum and Ruth Ann Morphew, Nov. 6, 1850 or 1859
Humphrey Morphew and Mary Ellen Shields, Sept. 16, 1858

James Morphew Sept. 24, 1871 father of William
William Hogan, Feb. 14, 1826 father-in-law
Aviz Morphew, March 24, 1823 mother

This bible is in the hands of Harold Morphew, descendant of James Riley Morphew, brother to William. That General William is most curious. I don't understand it. On William's marriage application at Fulton County, Illinois when he was 17 years old, he put down General Jas William Morphew. That was the last time it appears. From then on it's William exclusively. This general was apparently also mentioned by a descendant of James Riley Morphew. Rather than a name, I wonder if William was the butt of a monstrous joke?

You might also be interested in what Lucy Eaton said last August. I had asked why William didn't go along to Nora Springs? She replied she didn't know. But on asking her about why William went to Kansas, she said:
"My brother Riley and family visited us near Woodburn, Iowa in December 1892 - January 1893. Thru his influence my parents sold their farm and moved to Kansas in March 1893. They bought a farm there and planted a big acreage. The dry weather and hot winds destroyed everything that year. In July, 1893, we packed up and shipped back to Woodburn, Iowa. Farmed there for the next year, then rented a larger farm new Humiston, Iowa. Lived there about 3 years or so. My brother Lee had moved to Lebanon, Mo. and wrote for us to come there so we again packed up and finally settled not far from Conway, Mo. Bought a small acreage and lived there two years. Dr. Garrett Murphy came to our home for a visit and as usual thru his influence my folks decided to move to Minnesota. We settled in Garden City in the fall of 1899. My brother Dr. Murphy had lived there for many years and had a big practice. He really was a fine Doctor. I do know that my father was born Jan. 10, 1829 in Putnam County, Indiana."

Better close for now. Again I want to thank you for the hard work you have done and will see that your corner gets included in Grace's book. Incidentally you may notice my Texas address -- it won't be good for long, so use my permanent [Michigan] mailing address.

Most sincerely,

James R. Murphy, M.D.

P.S. In Omak, Washington where Sarah Murphy lives, is also a Mrs. Donna Alumbaugh. She's a relative to you via the Allumbaugh clan, although at the moment I don't understand the connection. I will see if I can get her to visit Mrs. Reeves. Donna apparently intends to write a book on the Allumbaughs (Alumbaughs) and has collected over 450 of them. The Allumbaughs were interesting people. My next actual address will be somewhere near Fairbanks, Alaska where I'm serving with the Army -- but don't have the address up there. I will probably be there until Sept. 1966, then will be back in ole Michigan. Will let you know any new developments -- there is sure enough going on.

* This letter is dated "Jan. 7, 1964", but it clearly follows the Dec. 5, 1964 letter. (No doubt the common mistake of failing to adjust to the new year quickly enough....)

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