Real-Life Legend


Rev. Jozef Murgaš: Radio's Forgotten Genius Exhibit


Exhibit's Slide Show        Father's Life Slide Show


Father's Murgaš exhibit was held at the Moreau Auditorium, King's College, J Carroll McCormick Campus Ministry. On Sunday,  April 17, 2005 from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Monday, April 18, 2005 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The exhibit featuring Father Jozef Murgaš' life and accomplishments was sponsored by the Slovak Heritage Society and the King’s College Ethnic Community Outreach Initiative.

Magdalen Benish, assisted by Bernadette Yencha, chaired this project. Michael Stretanski and Joseph Kowatch did the exhibit’s design and construction. Magdalen is a retired bank official and a very efficient administrator, Bernadette is a retired accounting supervisor who now does the computer work for the Society. Michael is a retired schoolteacher and has experience in setting up displays. He did the Society’s displays for many years at the Luzerne County Folk Festivals. Joseph does antique restoration and photo restoration (company name is Digital Pix). Rev. Patrick Sullivan is head of the King’s Ethnic Community Outreach Initiative program.

A steady stream of visitors passed through the exhibit numbering close to 500 people. 75 children from Sacred Heart School had a private showing Monday morning and on Monday evening the attendees of the Slovak Catholic Federation held a vesper service in King’s College Chapel where the coal altar is located and visited the exhibit.

Father Murgaš was an artist, architect, botanist, inventor, pioneer in wireless telegraphy, and scientist, as well as a parish priest - first and foremost. Father was also, an avid collector of butterflies, collecting and documenting over 10,000 of them. As a pioneer in wireless telegraphy, he secured his first patent in 1904 and was the first to demonstrate the transmission of wireless telegraphy over land, between Wilkes-Barre and Scranton PA, in 1905. Father was the founding pastor and architect of Sacred Heart Slovak Church located on North Main St., Wilkes-Barre. The article in the Times Leader Newspaper called him a Renaissance man.

The exhibit featured:

Paintings: Two (2) of his actual paintings.


  Father’s birthplace, the village of Tajov, Slovakia.
  His home in Tajov.
  The museum in Tajov.
  The painting by an Hungarian artist which he critiqued and caused his immigration to the United States.
  Historical pictures of Sacred Heart Slovak Church, Wilkes-Barre.
  Five (5) of his paintings.
  The botanical garden he envisioned.
  The stamp honoring him printed by the Slovak government.
  The original radio towers in Wilkes-Barre and Scranton where the first wireless message was sent over land.
  The rare weeping beech tree he planted on Sacred Heart Church grounds over 100 years ago.

Newspaper articles:

  Showing his accomplishment in the field of wireless radio.
  The many Slovak organizations he established.
  The tributes and recognitions in his honor.
  His funeral.


  A part of his butterfly collection.
  Copies of his patents.
  A portion of the exhibit room was set up similar to his study, which included his chair.
  The Murgaš Amateur Radio Club’s display.


For those of you who would like to visit Father Murgaš life, we have two slide shows.

Slide Shows:

The first slide show (Exhibit's) features some pictures of the exhibit. The second slide show (Father's Life) features different facets of this “great Man who we call a genius because he could do so many different things so well. I wonder if he slept?”

Father Murgas Exhibit committee: Mr. Michael Stretanski, Ms. Bernadette Yencha, Ms. Magdalen Benish, and Mr. Joseph Kowatch.

On the right of the picture, you can see a part of the representation of Father's study.

Funding for this project is provided by grants from the estate of Theodore M. Salvet which is designated to the continued remembrance of the life and work of Rev. Jozef Murgaš.