History touches lives of newspaper, women, regionBefore media consolidation, newspapers were family owned. In 1890, John T. Murphy, 29, bought the Superior Telegram and laid the foundation of what has been called a media empire, with more than 100 years of innovation by the Murphy family that encompassed newspapers, radio, television and cable companies.
By: By Kathy Laakso, Superior Telegram
Before media consolidation, newspapers were family owned. In 1890, John T. Murphy, 29, bought the Superior Telegram and laid the foundation of what has been called a media empire, with more than 100 years of innovation by the Murphy family that encompassed newspapers, radio, television and cable companies.
Because the Telegram offices were on Tower for many years, it fits in with our History Sunday theme of downtown, in connection with our latest exhibit called “Open ‘til 9: Thursday Nights on Tower.” At 2 p.m. Sunday, Mary Cadigan Murdoch presents “Mrs. Morgan Murphy and the Superior Evening Telegram” at the Douglas County Historical Society, 1101 John Ave.
Upon Morgan’s death, Elizabeth Murphy stepped into the position of chief executive officer of the company enterprises and kept the empire intact until their children, John and Elizabeth could assume control. Murdoch’s mother and Elizabeth, or Betty as she was called, were friends, and she draws on knowledge of this relationship as well as research to portray Mrs. Murphy saying, “I am honored to introduce this remarkable woman to a whole new generation of people in the hope they will be inspired by the achievements of Betty Beck Murphy and her invaluable role in the ‘Evening Telegram.’”
History Sundays are free to members and $3 for non-members. Refreshments are served.
If you have worked for the Telegram when the Murphy’s owned it, we’d love for you to attend this History Sunday and afterward, share your stories.
The coming year will be an exciting one at DCHS because our Vasa Hall will be accessible to everyone to enjoy History Sunday programs and History Theatre productions.
In December, the city council approved our proposal for a Community Development Block Grant to help fund the construction of a lift and accessible restroom.
The project is in the planning stages.
Our next History Theatre production observes Women’s History Month with Waiting for MacArthur, an original play by P. Paullette MacDougal. Seventy years ago — six months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor — Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s base of operations on Corregidor Island in the Pacific was under daily attack and the fort’s hospital and operations room were moved into an underground tunnel. When it looked like the Allies could no longer defend the island, MacArthur left with his family, promising: “I shall return.” It was years before he did. The play describes the experience through letters of a young U.S. Army nurse.
The four women in the cast are Jennie Ross, Molly McFarlane, Cheri Tesarek and Jen Dobbins. The play, sponsored by Superior Choice Credit Union, begins at 7:30 p.m. March 2 and 3, and 2 p.m. March 4. Tickets are $10 and on sale now at DCHS.
Take a drive on Highway 13 by the Davidson Windmill and you’ll see the addition of the Old Taylor’s bridge that, for almost 70 years spanned the Middle River on Bayfield Road just southwest of Poplar.
It is amazing how much work the small group that makes up Old Brule Heritage Society does to preserve history such as this but they still need a bit of help to pay expenses for an easement they needed to place the structure at the Windmill site.
Potential donors can send a designated check to Old Brule Heritage Society, P.O. Box 24, Maple, WI 54854.
DCHS’ Adopt-A-Day program is going strong. For $100 you can “adopt a day” in your name, as tribute to or memorial for a loved one, or in honor of an event. This will help DCHS continue its mission and ensure that we are here to serve citizens of Douglas County.
In need of some winter reading? The DCHS museum shop has a few good reads. Try “Frontier Village: The Birth of Superior, 1853-1883”; “Kelly Lake to Allouez”; “Superior Catholics” or “Central A-Z: the History of a Superior School. You can also find enlarged photo prints and DCHS sweatshirts.
The Douglas County Historical Society, 1101 John Ave., can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or (715) 392-8449.
Kathy Laakso is the executive director of the Douglas County Historical Society.