Theodore Specht on His Parents and Grandparents


Parents: (Amesta) Agatha Murphy & Albert Victor Specht

Agatha was born in Garden City, Minnesota(?) and Albert, in Specht's Ferry, Iowa(?)

Agatha attended the Normal College for teachers in Mankato, Minn. She went to Felton, Minn. to teach. Albert attended business school and went to Felton [JS note: Felton is in the western part of Minnesota, just across the border from Fargo, North Dakota] and ran “general” store there. They met and were eventually married. They had four children, three boys and a girl.

Agatha was an organist at the Church, which she did most of her life. Albert was a sports enthusiast, and a baseball catcher on the Felton amateur team for many years. He also enjoyed playing cards with his men friends. He secured a potato cellar later, buying potatoes at harvest time and storing them to sell in the winter.

When the children were ready to go to college, Agatha & Albert decided she should go to Minneapolis with the children and he would stay in Felton with his jobs. All three boys, in turn, enrolled in the U. of Minn., all in Electrical Engineering. Agatha was again an organist in the church, and also gave private piano lessons. In Minneapolis she had a garden available and, with the children's help, had vegetables & flowers.

In her later years she became ill and died during my second year in college. Albert now was old enough to retire, and moved to Minneapolis, with Elsie and me. He moved back to Felton after Elsie graduated from high school. Elsie entered a course in office procedures, which she completed a short time later.

Albert stayed in Felton for several more years, where he worked in a hotel. Then he moved to St. Paul, to the nursing home my grandmother (Elizabeth Murphy) had lived in. After several years, he died, due to complications of an abdominal operation. He was buried beside his wife Agatha.

Maternal Grandparents: Elizabeth Brown Murphy and Garrett Murphy

Garrett and Elizabeth were from Iowa. He graduated from a medical school in St. Louis and they moved to Garden City in Minnesota (near Mankato) where he set up a medical practice. He also was a preacher in their church. Garrett developed gall stones. He did not have an operation for this, but took drugs to alleviate the pain and became addicted to the drugs. He discontinued his medical practice.

After his death, his widow (my grandmother) moved to Minneapolis and was a “practical nurse” there. She lived alone in a small house, and enjoyed gardening very much. In her later years she moved to a nursing home in St. Paul. She was also an amateur painter, and took lessons at the art institute in Minneapolis. None of her paintings survived, as the nursing home threw them away at her death.

Paternal Grandparents

I had no contact with my father's parents, as they died about the time of my birth. I knew very little about them.