James Garrett Murphy 1850 - 1905


James Garrett Murphy, M.D. – 7th generation Morphew

  Mary Jane Wright

  Amesta Ewing

  Elizabeth Ann Brown



·         Daughter, Adelaide Murphy Close

·         Added Census Records

·         Additional wife, Amesta Ewing



James Garrett Murphy, M.D. “Garrett”

   Born:  3 January 1850 in Iowa.  (Iowa from 1900 U.S. Census)

   Died:  1905 at Pontoria, Cass County, Minnesota


1st to Mary Jane Wright in January 1867 near Bladensburg, Wapello County,  


2nd to Amesta Ewing on 12 October 1871, Warren County, Iowa (from Jerry      Specht e-mail 12/2002)

3rd to Elizabeth Ann Brown on 12 November 1876 at Nora Springs, Floyd

         County, Iowa           

   Parents:  William Morphew (1829 – 1912) and Sarah Allumbaugh (1830 – 1872)


Mary Jane Wright

    Born: 1850/51 Iowa

    Died: not known

    Married 2nd to Daniel Sheehan, born 1828/29 Ireland and lived in Williamsburg,

               Josephine County, Oregon in 1880.  See census record.    


Elizabeth Ann Brown

    Born:  12 May 1859 at Gratiot, Wisconsin

    Died:  27 February 1945 at St. Paul, Ramsey County, Minnesota

    Parents names: William C. Brown and Amelia Stevens (Mn. Death Record)


              2nd Edition, Morphew/Murphy Story – J.R. Murphy, Prior revision 3 August 2011; this revision 1 February 2013.    


Thanks go to Donna Alumbaugh for numerous additional information and corrections, emails 6, 7, 8 July 2011 and 3 August 2011.


From Walter A. Specht:  “Regarding Garrett Murphy himself, my material indicates he married Mary Jane Wright in January 1867, near Bladensburg, Iowa.  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. 


Walter Specht continues:  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. Children are:


Children of Garret Murphy and 1st wife Mary Jane Wright:


1.  Adeline (or Adelaide) Murphy (born 22 November 1867 to 23 December 1960, buried at IOOF Cemetery, Grants Pass, Josephine County, Oregon) married about 1891/1892 at Grants Pass, Oregon to Wallace H. Close (born May 1867 Ohio to 1906, buried same cemetery).  Before Adelaide was married, she completed teacher’s training at Mankato, Minnesota and taught in the State, before meeting Wallace Close.   Wallace was a grain buyer in Minnesota and a foreman for a dynamite team building railroad lines.  He was killed about 1906 in a cave-in while tunneling for a railroad in Oregon.  Wallace was credited with getting everyone else out alive in the disaster (from Eileen Davis, e-mail 24 June 2002).


            From Adeline Murphy Close 1960 obit, undated: “Adeline Murphy Close, 93, of Rio Dell died Friday morning in Eureka….   She was born in Garden City, Iowa and had lived in Rio Dell for the past four years, moving there from Laytonville.  She had lived in California for 26 years.  She was a member of the Southern Baptist Church of Rio Dell, of the Eastern Star, Pinole, Calif., and a gold star mother of the American legion.  Her son, Stewart Close, was killed in World War I.   She is survived by…14 grandchildren and 12 great-great-grandchildren.”   (Thanks go to Donna Alumbaugh, email 3 August 2011)  


They lived in some of following locations: At or near Grants Pass, Josephine County, Oregon; then Minnesota; North Dakota; East Grand Forks, Polk County, Minnesota, estimated 1894 to 1901/05; again (near) Grants Pass, Josephine County, Oregon, beginning 1901-05, with their first location at Wilderville where son Robert was born in 1904.   As a widow, Adelaide lived in the following locations: Brookings (state?), Portland, Multromah County, Oregon (1920 Census), later in California, at Oakdale, Pleasonton, Bell Glen, and Rio Dell.


Children of Wallace Close and Adelaide Murphy:


(i)   Hayden Close (August 1893 North Dakota).

(ii)  Friede Close (July 1895 Minnesota).

(iii) Stuart Close (9 May 1899 East Grand Forks, Polk County, Minnesota to  18 October 1917 San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas at age 18, and buried Salem Pioneer Cemetery, Marion County, Oregon).   Stuart was a member of the 76th Aero construction corps at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, Kelly Field and died some sickness at Fort Sam Houston while in service for his country.   (Info courtesy of Donna Alumbaugh, email 7 July 2011 – from Oregon Statesman 24 and 27 October 1917).

(iv) Carol Close (7 January 1901 to 8 January 1990 from gravestone) married ­__­ Poe.

(v). Robert Perry Close (11 February 1904 Oregon to 8 November 1976 Sonoma County, California - CA death record).  Some dates from census records.


Children of Garret Murphy and 2nd wife Amesta Ewing:

(1). Marie A. Morphew (31 August 1872 to 8 September 1873 and buried at New Virginia Cemetery, Warren County, Iowa).  Findagrave.com info states she was daughter of G and A, aged 1 month and 5 days.


Children of Garret and 3rd Wife Elizabeth Ann Brown Murphy:


1.   Annie B. Murphy, born 26 August 1877 at Rock Falls, Iowa and died the same day.


2.  Eugene Darwin Murphy, born 29 June 1878 at Rock Falls, Iowa and died 18 August  1880 at Garden City, Minnesota as a child.


3.  Lula Rosebud Murphy, born 18 August 1880 at Garden City, Minnesota and died 26 February 1882 at Garden City, Minnesota.


4.  Amesta Agatha Murphy, born 11 March 1882 at Garden City, Minnesota and died 30 April 1937 at Columbia Heights, Anoka County, Minnesota.  Married to Albert Victor Specht (30 April 1873 at Specht’s Ferry, Iowa to 20 December 1956 at St. Paul, Minnesota.   In 1920, Agatha and Albert were living in Felton, Clay County, Minnesota.   They had the following children:


(i) James Edward Specht (26 December 1909 at Anoka, Anoka County, Minnesota) married in 1930 to Myrtle Puhl and had two children

(ii) Walter Albert Specht (17 June 1912 at Felton, Clay County, Minnesota to 30 October 1999) married 1933 to Doris Mae Smith.  Lived last at Farmington, San Juan County, New Mexico.   Two children.

(iii) Theodore Richard Specht (8 July 1918 at Felton Clay County, Minnesota) married on 28 June 1946 to Dorothy Elizabeth Deissler and lived at Sharon, Mercer County, Pennsylvania.  Five children.

(iv) Elsie Victoria Specht (1 February 1920 at Felton, Clay County, Minnesota) married 30 August 1951 to Arthur F. Peterson.  Lived at Minnetonka, Hennepin County, Minnesota.    One known child.


5.  Irene G. Murphy, born 27 January 1884 at Garden City, Minnesota and died 1954 at Hibbing, St. Louis County, Minnesota.  Married 1st on 30 May 1903 at Blue Earth County, Minnesota to Clarence S. Griffith (county record), 2nd to Joseph S. Hynec, and 3rd to Lyle Reeves in Sunnyside, Yakima County, Washington.  The 1920 census shows Hynec information.   In 1930, Irene was living with her 3rd husband, Lyle E. Reeves (1892) in Haxun, Phillips County, Colorado.  They had two children (family record): (i) Fred Griffith, (2) Mabel Griffith


6.  Mignonette Murphy, born 6 January 1886 at Garden City, Minnesota and died 1945 at Hibbing, Minnesota.  Married Benjamin Betchelder, who died in 1930 at Hibbing, Minnesota.  No children.


7.  Cleveland Garrett Murphy, born 13 January 1888 at Garden City, Minnesota and died 1909 at Grants Pass, Oregon at the age of 21.


8.  Christine B. Murphy, born December 15, 1889 at Garden City, Minnesota and died 2 days later.


9.  Sarah Theresa Murphy, born 20 January 1891 in Minnesota.  Married to 1st Irving S. Sorenson, lived at Excelsior, Hennepin County, Minnesota and divorced about 1935, 2nd to __ Bostrom, and 3rd to __.    In 1920 Sarah husband Ewing (or Irving) Sorenson were living in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  They had four children:


(i) Theodore W. Sorenson

(ii) Robert Sorenson

(iii) John Sorenson

(iv) Mary Sorenson.


10.  Clement Joseph Murphy, born 6 August 1893 at Nora Springs, Iowa, and died July 1963.  Married 1st to Pauline __ in 1928 at Hibbing, Minnesota.  Married 2nd to Dorothy ___ by 1956.  Had an adopted boy, Patrick Murphy.


11.  Genevieve Murphy, born 17 February 1897 at Garden City, Minnesota and died 15 December 1897 at Garden City, Minnesota the same year.


12  William B. Murphy, born 26 May 1899 at Garden City, Minnesota, and died the next day.


13.  Gineva Murphy, stillborn 26 May 1899 at Garden City, Minnesota





1880 U.S. Census of Garden City, Blue Earth County, Minnesota


Murphy, Garrett, age 30, born Iowa. Physician-Surgeon, father-Indiana, mother-Pa; Elizabeth A. Murphy, wife, age 21, born Wisconsin, father-Ohio, mother-Indiana; Eugene D. Murphy, son, age 2, born Iowa


1880 U.S. Census of Williamsburg, Josephine County, Oregon (page 154A)


Sheehan, Daniel, self, 51, Ireland; Mary J. Sheehan, wife, 29, Iowa; Adaline Murphy, step-daughter 12, Iowa; Ellanora Sheehan, daughter 6, Oregon; Andrew E. Sheehan, son, 5 months, Oregon. (family histories fail to mention Sheehan)       


1900 U.S. Census of Garden City (Village not incorporated), Garden City Township,               

               Blue Earth County, Minnesota.


 Murphy, Garrett, head, January 1850, 50, married 24 years, born Iowa, father born

                            Indiana, mother born Illinois

               Elizabeth A., wife, May 1859, 41, married 24 years, 13 children, 6 living, born

                            Wisconsin, father born Ohio, mother born Indiana

               Cleveland G., son, January 1888, 12, single, born Minnesota

               Sarah T., daughter, January 1891, 9, single, born Minnesota

               Clement J., son, August 1893, 6, born Iowa.


1900 U.S. Census of Pomrey Street, 2 Ward, East Grand Forks, Polk County, Minnesota, Page 140:


Close, Wallise H., head, May 1867, age 33, married 8 years, Ohio, father-N.Y. Mother-Ohio.

            Adaline, wife, November 1867, 33, married 8 years, 3 children, 3 liviing, Iowa, parents born Iowa

            Hayden (M?) , August 1893, 6, North Dakota

            Friede, daughter, July 1895, 4, Minnesota

            Stuard M, son, May 1899, 1, Minnesota

            (also 6 roomers listed in household)


1920 U.S. Census of Multnomah County, Portland City, Oregon


Close, Adeline, head, 52, widow, Iowa, parents born Iowa

           Hayden, son 25, single, North Dakota

           Friede, daughter 23, single, Minnesota

           Carol, Daughter, 19, single, Minnesota

           Robert (middle name ?), son 15, single, Oregon


1920 U.S. Census of Felton Village, Clay County, Minnesota


Specht, Albert V., head, 46, Iowa, Iowa, Iowa, Salesman Potatoes;

            Agatha A., wife, 37, Minnesota, Ia, Pa.

            James E., son, 12, Minnesota

            Walter A. son, 8, Minnesota

            Theodore, son, 1 5/12, Minnesota

              Griffith, Mable, E., Niece, 15, single, Minn, Minn., Minn.  


1920 U.S. Census of Clay County, Minnesota


Hynec, Joseph S., head, 44, Minnesota, Ireland, __.

            Irene, wife, 35, Minnesota, teacher

              Griffith, Frederick, son, 10, Minnesota (family histories fail to mention Hynec)


1920 U.S. Census of Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota


Sorenson, Ewing S., head, 34, Minnesota, Denmark, ?, motorman street railway

            Sarah, wife, 29, Minnesota

            Robert, son, 2 11/12???, Minnesota

            John, son, 2 4/12, Minnesota


1920 U.S. Census of Nashwauk Village, Nashwauk Township, Itasca County, Minnesota


In household of Lawrence Petire: Murphy, Clement J., 27, single, Iowa, Kentucky, Wisc., Bookkeeper Brokens-Martifie(?)


1930 U.S. Census of Haxtun, Phillips County, Colorado: Lyle E. Reeves, age 38, born Iowa and Irene G. Reeves, age 46, born Minnesota.