Myrtle Cheney Murdock
110 Maryland Ave. NE #311, Capitol Hill neighborhood, DC.
Born in Illinois, Murdock taught in rural Missouri before marrying fellow teacher John R. Murdock. They both briefly taught in Oklahoma before moving to Tempe, Arizona. She received A.B. and M.A. degrees from the University of Arizona and taught at Phoenix College. She moved to Washington in 1937 when her husband was elected to Congress. She quickly came to love the city and worked as a docent and tourguide to the Capitol Building. She was elected president of the 75th Congressional Club and from 1938 to 1943 wrote regular columns for the Arizona Republic entitled "Washington Life by the Congressman's Wife." In 1940 she completed her PhD in Education at George Washington University where she later taught classes. After her husband's 1952 reelection defeat, the Murdocks remained in Washington.
Murdock was the author of numerous guides to the city including Your Uncle Sam in Washington (1948), Your Memorials In Washington (1952), National Statuary Hall in the Nation's Capitol (1955), and The American's Creed and William Tyler Page (1958).
Murdock's greatest contribution to an appreciation of the city's culture was her 1950 volume, Constantino Brumidi; Michelangelo of the United States Capitol, the Life Story of the Forgotten Capitol Artist. Vexation as to the identity of the artist responsible for "The Apotheosis of Washington" and other frescoes in the capitol building led to years of painstaking research that single-handedly rescued the 19th century Italian-born Constantino Brumidi from obscurity. For her efforts, the President of Italy presented Murdock with the Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity.
4721 Colorado Ave NW, Crestwood neighborhood, DC.