Today marks 88 years in family house

By Jannet Walsh
Murdock, Minnesota

My grandparents moved into the house 88 years ago today.

I was trying to figure out why I was feeling so complete in Murdock. It’s really pretty simple as my family has been here for at least 133 years and has lived in the same house since September 30, 1922.

My grandmother Mary Jannet “Jennie” Foley and my grandfather, Martin J. Walsh Sr., known as “Mart”, see photo above from the 1950s, were married at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, in Murdock on Nov. 4, 1915. (They were assigned pew number 12 or about the fifth pew back on the left side from altar at the church.) They moved to the current family home located on the west end of town on Sept. 30 1922, according to an interview on Aug. 12, 1976 by Sister Julitta Walsh, a religious sister and relative. The land was formerly owned by an old four mill. Part of the mill foundation was used for the present home. The house was built in 1917 by John Murphy.

On Dec. 7, 1924 my father Martin J. Walsh Jr. was born in the house. I remember hearing the story as a child and always wondered how it could be as babies are born in hospitals. I was at my father’s side when he died on Dec. 6, 2008 in St. Luke Hospital, in Duluth, Minnesota. A few days before his death, his final words to me were, “I love you.”

Audio recorded on the iPhone 4.

It’s been just over a month after I moved to Murdock from Florida, arriving on August 17, 2010 in Dublin Township, located southwest of Murdock, about 7:30 p.m., near the location of the family farm. The children of Steve and Lisa Collins were running and waving their arms at the side of the road when my car turned into their farm, seeming just like a scene out of movie. My marathon travel of four days and three nights by car from Florida was complete, a total of 1,766 miles.

My arrival in Dublin Township has significance as my grandfather, Martin J. Walsh Sr., was born in Dublin Township on Feb. 19, 1887, in section 32, in a house that was later moved from DeGraff by my great-grandfather Michael Walsh, born in 1812 in Kilkenny, Ireland. (The obituary of Michael Walsh notes he arrived in Dublin Township in 1877 and homesteaded 160 acres in section 32, township 120, range 38.)

The Scared Heart Cemetery is filled with my relatives, including my brother David Walsh, living only short time in 1962. My father Martin J. Walsh Jr., grandparents and great-grandparents and others have their eternal resting places not far from the family house. Murdock continues to mark each day with the noon and 10 p.m. whistle, serving as marking times to eat and sleep, along with church bells on the top of hour, historically ringing to mark times to pray during the day from Scared Heart. The bells and whistles are a steady cadence, keeping the 303 residents in daily step for both body and soul.

Life may appear to be slow in Murdock, but it is steady and appearing unending. My family continues to have deep roots in a land my great-grand father Michael Walsh moved to 133 years ago. Simply said, I am home in Murdock.

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Native Minnesotan Jannet Walsh is a blogger, columnist, journalist, photojournalist, terrier owner, hula hooper and more! Contact her at Click here to view full biography. View her other blog at
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