Walter A. Specht Note on J. Garrett Murphy (1965)
From Walter A. Specht [copied from www.ancestry.com (the James Garrett Murphy entry in the Gary Tharp database). Originally from a 10 Jan 1965 letter from Walter A. Specht to James R. Murphy, M.D.]:
" Regarding Garrett Murphy himself, my material indicates he married Mary Jane Wright in January 1867, near Bladensburg, Iowa. Garrett was baptized 7 February 1867. Mary (with child) abandoned him that summer and went to Oregon. The daughter Adeline was born out there on 22 November 1867, but Garrett never saw her. Adeline (the daughter) grew up and married Wallace Close. Broken in spirit, Garrett went to live with his parents who were now at New Virginia, Iowa (fall of 1867). "
" My notes now have a complete gap until 1876. The record I have indicates Garrett and Elizabeth were married 12 November 1876. He was 26 and she was 17. Between 1867 (age 17) and 1876 (age 26) he also attended and graduated from medical college. This was at what is now George Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, which has an excellent Medical School. He probably graduated in 1875 or 1876. It may be possible to find him in their records. He married Elizabeth as "Garrett Murphy" apparently. I note that his father remarried in April 1876. My guess is that Garrett went through Medical School as Morphew, and that in protest to their father's remarriage, the three boys changed their name. Note father (William Morphew) was 47 at the time of his remarriage. The three older boys were 26, 23, and 16, the 4th (Charles Lee) was only 6 years and kept "Morphew ".
"I have in my possession a glass paper-weight which I received from Elizabeth (my grandmother) in about 1931 when she gave up living alone and moved into the Linnea Home, St. Paul. This paper-weight was a cherished possession of hers. When Garrett and Elizabeth were on their honeymoon, they went to an Exposition at St. Louis. While walking down the 'Great White Way.' They stopped to watch a glass blower at work. Elizabeth admired a glass paper-weight he had made, and her doting new husband bought it for his sweet young bridge. She kept it until 1931. Of all her children and grandchildren, I alone asked for it. (I assume there was an Exposition in St. Louis in 1876, but I have never checked on her story.)."
"The record of child births tells pretty well where Garrett and Elizabeth lived. The first child was born in Rock Falls, Iowa in August 1877. Then they moved to Garden City, then to Nora Springs, then back to Garden City."
"About 1901 apparently they decided the only possible hope for Garrett was to live a completely outdoor life and they purchased a 40 acre piece of wild timber land in the vicinity of Pontoria, Minnesota. Pontoria is about 50 miles north of Brannerd. They lived in a log cabin on this land until his death in 1905. The land was subsequently lost by the family due to non-payment of taxes. I have seen their log cabin as a boy in about 1919. Garrett was ordained a minister about 1892."
Garrett and Elizabeth had 13 children and many grandchildren. However none carry the name of Murphy today, with the daughters and granddaughter passing on the Murphy line.
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