Above is a faded copy of Lawrence and Ellen Brady Murphy's wedding certificate, dated February 28,1876. It is interesting to note the photo of Eleanore (Elllen) on the right. On the marriage certificate, her face is almost blacked out, but son Peter was able to restore the photo somewhat with Photoshop. It is the only known photograph of Eleanore Murphy!
The parents of Lawrence Joseph Murphy were John and Margaret (Pendergast) Murphy, both born in Ireland. Margaret died in childbirth shortly after the family's arrival in the United States and is buried in Lafayette, Indiana. In addition to their son, John and Margaret had two daughters, Bridget, born about 1837, and Margaret, born I839, both in Ireland. In young womanhood Bridget entered the Order of the Sisters of Loretto whose mother -house is in Kentucky; she took the name of Sister Dolorosa. Margaret is “Aunt Maggie” in this text.
Lawrence (Bobo) was an immigrant at age three and Eleanore Brady Murphy was a second generation from the old country. Eleanore Brady Murphy had three brothers, Robert, Frank, and Terence, and one sister, Mary. Of the three men, only Terence married. Mary married one Michael Linskey; she is mentioned several times in Mary Margaret's thesis. They had two children, Joseph and Maude. The Linskeys lived and died in Kokomo. Editor Eleanor loved early childhood visits to Kokomo and remembers Bobo and great-uncle Bobby plus great-aunts Margaret, Lillie, Nellie, and Nana (my grandmother, who we lived with in Hammond. We also made many a visit to ““Cousin Maude” Linskey’s home in Kokomo.
Mary Margaret writes in her theses that she had in her possession a letter dated September 3, 1888, from Ellen to Larry and the older children written after she and the two younger ones had traveled ahead of the others from St. Louis to Kokomo, Indiana, where they had decided to move. Mary Margaret suspected it was not they who had made the decision but my grandfather, who all of his long life played the role of pater familias to the limit. Work in and around St. Louis had become scarce. The attraction in Kokomo was the relatively new (l886) plant of Diamond Plate Glass Works. Also, Ellen had a sister, Mary, in Kokomo.
Ellen Murphy's letter told a touching story.
She reported that rents were "dear," that they would have to pay $8.33 a month for "one side of a house." She said the fruit which they had taken with them to eat on the train "played out" and they had nothing to eat or drink until they reached Mary's home. She wrote, "Fresh meat is cheap and grocers is cheap but it must be cash. No book here. No work no eat." Then she added, "There is 28 saloons in this town." The most poignant statement in the letter was Ellen's reference to herself: "I still have fever every day but my cough does not bother me as much as it did." Little more than a year later she was dead of tuberculosis—"consumption" they called it then.
Following Eleanore Murphy’s death, daughter Margaret (my great-aunt) managed the family until Aunt Maggie arrived from Kentucky and took over. These Murphys were from County Kilkenny where the ancient language prevailed longest. It is barely possible that Aunt Maggie spoke Gaelic but, at any rate, her endearing name for Uncle Bobby was “buachaill,” which, in Gaelic, means “boy.”
Bob Murphy eventually bought a seven-acre farm just outside of Kokomo; he died in 1941, followed by Uncle Bobby in 1943. Hopefully I’ll add individual bios of the above Murphy clan members in future Bugle editions.
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