Oral Interview of Tessie Buckley Murphy and Vivian Murphy

Name of Person Interviewed

Tessie Buckley Murphy
Vivian Murphy


Vikki Johnston



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Tessie Buckley Murphy and her daughter Vivian Murphy discuss their lives, including experiences teaching and farming, life during the Great Depression, and American politics.


Tessie Murphy was a township clerk and is also a retired teacher. She was born in Sauk Centre on January 10, 1888, during a blizzard. She graduated from high school in 1905, then taught at schools in Millerville, Minnesota; north of Langdon, Minnesota; and in Lucca, North Dakota. At the age of 21, she took a job as the principal in Felton, Minnesota. She attended the Moorhead State Normal School in 1911, graduating in 1912; after that, she taught for three years in Slayton, Minnesota, and then got married.

Her daughter Vivian Murphy was registered to attend the Moorhead State Teachers College when she became paralyzed due to an illness. She continued her education through a correspondence course and became a writer.

Date of Interview



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Length (Time)

24:49, 42:24

Original Format

Audio tape

Current Format


Named Persons

Theodore Roosevelt, Sinclair Lewis, Mark Schorer, Isabelle McDenalie Donaldson, Mary McDenalie, Mr. Stroeder, Henry C. Stiening, Murphy, Swanson, Daniel Buckly Murphy, Vivian Murphy, Margaret Mitchell, Vincent Russell Murphy, Carroll A. Nye, Oscar B. Rusness, Arthur C. Fortney, Dr. Henry, Danny John Murphy, Daniel Buckley, John Deutsch, Julie, Katherine Bye Murphy, James Murphy, Grover Cleveland, Wendell Richard Anderson, Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge, Lyndon Baines Johnson, Herbert Hoover, John Friday, John Ireland, Alice Corneliussen, Georgina Lommen, Ella Hawkinson, George Washington, John Adams Jr., Andrew Jackson, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison Jr., James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Gerald R. Ford, Lawrence Welk, William Jennings Bryan, William McKinley, Richard Milhous Nixon, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Dwight David Eisenhower, Harry S. Truman, Warren Gamaliel Harding, William Howard Taft, Benjamin Harrison, Chester Alan Arthur, Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Henry Cabot Lodge, Ellen Axson Wilson, Jeannette Pickering Rankin, Margaret Madeline Chase Smith, Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, Elliott Roosevelt, Lou Henry Hoover, William James Durant, Ariel Durant, Rockefeller


Teachers, School principals, Farmers, Bookkeepers, Clerks


Fargo College (N.D.), Hudson's Bay Company, Yale University, Minnesota. State Normal School (Moorhead, Minn.), Moorhead State Teachers College, Beard Art Galleries (Minneapolis, Minn.), Northern States Power Company (Minnesota), Moorhead First National Bank, St. John’s Hospital (Fargo, N.D.), St. Mary's Hospital (Minneapolis, Minn.), Cass-Clay Creamery, Moorhead State College, University of Minnesota, Concordia College (Moorhead, Minn.), Forum Publishing Company (Fargo, N.D.), Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, Republican Party (U.S.: 1854- ), New York Times, New Yorker (New York, N.Y.: 1925), Clay County Historical Society (Moorhead, Minn.), United States. Army, Peavey Company, Princeton University, Harvard University, League of Nations, United States. Department of the Treasury


China, Sweden, Minnesota—Georgetown, Minnesota—Sauk Centre, Minnesota—Moorhead, Minnesota—Saint Cloud, Canada, Minnesota—Minneapolis, Nova Scotia—Halifax, Maine, Ohio River, Mississippi River, Minnesota—Fairy Lake (Todd County), Minnesota—Felton, Minnesota—Millerville, Minnesota—Langdon, North Dakota—Lucca, North Dakota—Fargo, North Dakota—Wales, Minnesota—Slayton, Minnesota—Pipestone, Minnesota—Ada, Minnesota—Glyndon, Minnesota—Bemidji, Minnesota—Bass Lake (Itasca County), Minnesota—Rochester, Washington (D.C.), Scotland, Colorado—Denver, Montana, New Hampshire, Missouri—Independence, Minnesota—Rollag


Main Street (Lewis, Sinclair), Education, Agriculture, New Deal, 1933-1939, Clothing and dress, Politics and government

ID Number

S705 707

Restrictions on Use

Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce these oral interviews must be obtained in writing from Minnesota State University Moorhead Archives.


Oral History | United States History

Oral Interview of Tessie Buckley Murphy and Vivian Murphy